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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lello Scorzelli (1921 - 1997)



Lello Scorzelli
1921 -1997
Monumento a Paolo VI / Monument to Paul VI- 1984
Cattedrale di Brescia, Brescia -



Lello Scorzelli
1921 -1997
Detail - left hand side
Monumento a Paolo VI / Monument to Paul VI- 1984
Cattedrale di Brescia, Brescia




Lello Scorzelli
1921 -1997
Detail - left hand side: "La chiusura del Concilio"/ The closing of the Council
Monumento a Paolo VI / Monument to Paul VI- 1984
Cattedrale di Brescia, Brescia




Lello Scorzelli
1921 -1997
Detail - left hand side: "L'attentato a Manila"/ The attempt at Manila
Monumento a Paolo VI / Monument to Paul VI- 1984
Cattedrale di Brescia, Brescia




Lello Scorzelli
1921 -1997
Detail - Crucifix
Monumento a Paolo VI / Monument to Paul VI- 1984
Cattedrale di Brescia, Brescia







Sculptor: Lello Scorzelli (1921-1997 ); Minter: E. Senesi
Obv: PAVLVS • VI • | PONT • MAX
Bust of the Pope, l., wearing mitre and vestments.
Rev.: ALTERA SESSIO CONCILII OECUMENICI VATIC. II
A.D. | MCMLXIII
IN NOMINE DOMINI
Pope, entering the central Door of St. Peter's Basilica; bishops awaiting him within




Benedict XVI with the Scorzelli Pastoral Staff



Lello Scorzelli (1921 - 1997) and Manlio del Vecchio
Pastoral Staff of Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II (1965)
Aluminum, silver
18 x 17.5 x 7.5 cm
Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, Vatican City State


Lello Scorzelli was born in Naples in 1921 and died in Rome at the age of 68.

His father Eugenio was a famous Neapolitan painter who left the city more than 1,500 signed paintings.

After the second world war, in which he saw active service, he concentrated on sculpture, and above all on portraits, winning the first prize at the Mostra Nazionale di Cava dei Tirreni in 1947. That same year he held his first one-man show in Milan, followed by an exhibition in Rome in 1948

In 1959 he met Archbishop Montini, the future Pope Paul VI, who asked him to make the portraits of all the clergy in the Ecumenical Council of Pope John XXIII. These are conserved in the Vatican Museum.

In 1963 Pope Paul VI called the sculptor to Rome and gave him a studio in the Vatican. He was to stay there for 15 years.

Some of his important religious works of art date from this period, for instance the bronze panels of the Stations of the Cross and the Last Supper for the Pope’s private chapel (1964). The most important work was the Porta della Preghiera for the Basilica of St. Peter’s, a three-year project completed in 1971.

One of his most well known and visible works was the staff with the rugged crucifix on top that was created for Pope Paul in the mid-1960s. But the piece has become closely identified with the pontificate of Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI does not use this any more and prefers to use the staff of Pope Pius IX. However the Scorzelli crucifix remains the model for the crucifix on the rosaries Pope Benedict gives to his guests.

The Scorzelli crucifix is post-modern, and therefore speaks to the timelessness of the Church. It is a bent cross, which symbolises the humility of Christ, who bends down from His Throne, to hold out His Hand in love. It bears the figure of the suffering Christ, to remind us of the pain our sins have caused. It is realistic, and therefore reminds us that Christ is no mythological figure, that He did indeed walk among us, that His sufferings, death and resurrection were real.

In 1984 Scorzelli finished the magnificent monument to Pope Paul VI for the Cathedral at Brescia, and in 1994 began work on the main altar, the ambo and throne for the Cathedral at Bologna.

As yet he is underrated as an artist and sculptor. His admirers are at present limited to historians of religious art