Giacomo Benevelli

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Giacomo Benevelli (1925 in Reggio Emilia, North of Italy – July 13, 2011[1] in Pavia, Italy) was an Italian and French sculptor.[2] He was brought up in France.[3] He lived and studied in Nice, Paris, Rome, Aix-en-Provence, Munich. He mainly lived and worked for over forty years in Milan.


He was the nephew of Anselmo Govi, a painter from Reggio Emilia, who painted the fresco of the dome of the Ariosto Theatre. He belonged to a local Northern Italian and French aristocratic family also known as Beneville in its French form or Benedelli - Benevellum as reported in historical texts. La famille Beneville - Benevelli originated in the Rhône-Alpes region of France Bonneville, Haute-Savoie. Also known as Bônavela in Arpitan and Beneville in Provence. In the Piedmont region the name is also recorded as Benevello or Benevel. The Beneville-Benevelli family is already acknowledged as Gallorum/Gauls - of French origins - in the Modena area since the 15th century. They owned different titles and styles: Patricians of Modena; Count palatine; Knights of the Order of the Golden Spur and of the Order of the Golden Militia; Counts in Provence. An English variant of the surname is known as Benewell or Benwell and Boneville. Benevelli never styled himself as N.H. but used to sign some of his works with a seal representing six mountains and a cross, an element of his family coat of arms. Giacomo Benevelli was a member of the Tiberina Academy, an ancient and prestigious institution founded in 1813 with the aim to promote Italian arts and letters; Antonio Canova and Marino Marini belonged to the same institution. Benevelli was awarded the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts by the Italian Government Presidency for his contributions to the arts. He was the cousin of Emidio Benevelli, the founder of Benevelli Transaxles.

Since 1957 Benevelli exhibited in Italy and worldwide. His first US exhibition was in 1963 at the Felix Landau Gallery in Los Angeles. In 1964 he was invited to the 42nd Venice International Art Biennale with a group of sculptures.[4] In 1966 he was appointed as Head of Sculpture at the Accademia di Brera in Milan.[5] Between the late 1960s and the early 1970s he created a series of lamp-sculpture, the most famous is the Roto lamp (1970s) and Arabesque (late 1960s). In 2009 he started a collaboration with the worldwide design and furniture brand Natuzzi in the newly created Natuzzi Open Art, a space dedicated to the collaboration between art and design. Benevelli created a new line of art-objects which first premiered at the Cologne Trade Fair (imm Cologne Furniture and Design fair), Salone del Mobile (Milan International Design Fair) and at the AD Home Show in New York (2010).

In 1993 he realized a bronze sculpture called "Teleios", which can be seen in Piazzale Loreto in Milan.

In 2000 the city of Mantua organized a major exhibition of his works in the museum of the historical Casa del Mantegna. A book was published by Edizioni Casa del Mantegna on this occasion.

In 2001, he exhibited his works in the historical Palazzo Isimbardi during an exhibition organized by the city of Milan.

During the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino he was invited to take part at the Italian Sculpture Exhibition at the Palazzina di Stupinigi.

He realised a number of sacred art works for contemporary and ancient churches, and his works are preserved in numerous public and private collections in Italy and worldwide including at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and at The British Museum in London.[6]


  • Dalla Pietra all’Ago, Rizzoli, 1983
  • Tre scultori di Milano, Kenjirō Azuma, Giacomo Benevelli, Giancarlo Marchese, 196?
  • Azuma, Benevelli, Marchese: Galleria Mosaico, Chiasso, La Galleria, 1966
  • Benevelli: sculture e disegni : Castello di Sartirana (Pavia), [2 giugno - 9 settembre 1990] Ed. "Centro Studi", 1990
  • Sculture contemporanee nello spazio urbano: Kengiro Azuma, Iginio Balderi, Giacomo Benevelli, Gianfranco Pardi, Giò Pomodoro, Carlo Ramous, Mauro Staccioli. July 1973, Tipo-lito Nuova Step
  • Giacomo Benevelli: forme, Andrea B. Del Guercio, editor S. Benevelli, Photography Cristina Cocullo, Translator R. A. Landon, Casa del Mantegna, 2000, ISBN 978-88-7943-022-7
  • Giacomo Benevelli, Forme al Giardino Malaspina, Pavia - Malaspina Gardens, Pavia, exhibition catalogue, Rossana Bossaglia, Photos by Cristina Cocullo, 2001
  • M. Hopkinson, Italian Prints 1875-1975 (2007), exhibition catalogue, 208 pp., 48 colour, 80 b&w illus. The British Museum, London


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