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 Gaetano Russo  (1852 - )

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Lived/Active: Italy      Known for: marble sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

A sculptor of allegorical figures in marble and of commemorative monuments, Gaetano Russo was born in Messina, Sicily and was a student in Rome of the Academia del Belle Arti.   Then, scarely out of his teen years, became a student of Monteverde from the school of Milan. 

In America, he is best known for the Christopher Columbus monument in New York City at Columbus Circle at Broadway and Central Park West, unveiled in 1892 on the 400th anniversary of the Italian explorer's discovery of America.   About 10,000 people gathered for the dedication October 12, 1892 at the Circle, designed by William P. Eno, a business person who pioneered innovative traffic management systems such as this one-way circular street.  The monument was donated to the City of New York by the community of American-Italians.

Russo created the monument with a statue of Columbus posed on a column surrounded by fountains and allegorical figures.  The figures, including that of Columbus, are carved from Carrara marble; the bas reliefs are from bronze; and the 77 foot-high column is of granite.  It represents the ship's prows and anchors "like a famous lost column of Augustus, on which the Roman emperor had hung the prows of the ships he defeated in the Battle of Actium in 31 b.c. ..." The Columbus Gallery by Nestor Ponce

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