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 Clotilde Marie Zanetta  (1885 - 1970)

About: Clotilde Marie Zanetta


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Lived/Active: Ohio / Chile      Known for: religious sculpture, painting

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An example of work by Clotilde Marie Zanetta
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted September 2004, is from Jay Hogan, who writes: " I am currently researching the Life and Work of Clotilde Marie Zanetta. Most of what I know about her is from my mother, who was a student and friend of hers. Recently, my mother, Doe Donovan, located some nuns who remember Clotilde. My interest in collecting information about her life is personal; she was a big influence on my mother and I hope to document her Life's Work.

My mother describes Clotilde as a shy and quiet woman. She recalls that for a wedding gift, Clotilde invited her to her studio, and allowed her to select a couple of pieces: an oil painting of a still life with ceramic pieces, which my mother still treasures, and a small green ceramic bowl which I now have.

Please note that she spelled her first name with an e, which was silent; She pronounced her name 'CLO-TILD.'

She was born in 1885 in Chile and emigrated to the United States at age 18 to study at the Cincinnati Art Academy. She studied and worked with sculptor Clement Barnhorn,

Some places in the Cincinnati area where her work can be seen include:
Façade of Science Building, University of Cincinnati
St Monica's Cathedral, Cincinnati
Holy Family Church, Norwood
Xavier University, Statue of Our Lady of Cincinnati

Clotilde worked at Rookwood Pottery from 1943-1948. In addition to making signed
vases and wall plaques, she created molded religious statues such as madonnas, Jesus and Saints. I have seen a St Francis holy water "wall pocket" from that period. The molded pieces are not signed, but they are very much in her style.

Her work has a beautiful presence- serene and calm. It's easy to see why the Archdiocese of Cincinnati commissioned her sculpture. Her better statues have a strong classical feeling with a slightly stylized treatment of garments, consistent with Art Deco-influenced Church Art of the period. According to my mother, Clotilde preferred to carve the eyes of her statues whole, meaning that she did not carve out the iris/pupil. This is partly what gives the serene feeling to her sculpture.

After Rookwood, Clotilde taught Art at Our Lady of Cincinnati College, later
named Edgecliff College, run by the Sisters of Mercy.) It was there that my mother studied with her and eventually learned about her background and legacy of work.

In the late 50's, Clotilde returned to Chile; She died in Santiago in 1970. Birth and death dates are from the Social Security Death Index: June 1, 1885- June 1970.

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