Rudolfo Nolli

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Rudolfo Nolli
Lombardy, Italy
Died1963 (aged 74–75)
Known forsculpture, architecture
Notable workmarble decorations at Old Supreme Court Building, Tanjong Pagar railway station, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
four allegorical figures, Tanjong Pagar railway station, 1932
pediment sculpture, Old Supreme Court Building, Singapore, 1939

Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli (1888–1963)  was an Italian sculptor and architect from Lombardy, who worked mainly in Southeast Asia during the first half of the 20th century.


Born in 1888 Lombardy, Italy, he was the nephew of the sculptor Vittorio Novi from Lanzo d'Intelvi, a village close to Lake Lugano in northern Italy, province of Como.

Around 1914, Novi created the marble decoration for the new Mahaiudthit Bridge in Bangkok [2] and also did marble works for the Ananta Samakhom Throne Hall.[3] Here Nolli became his assistant and was so successful that he earned himself the title of Cavaliere (knight).

In Singapore Nolli later designed the marble decorations of the College of Medicine Building, Singapore (completed 1926)[4] and of the Old Supreme Court Building (completed 1939).[5][6][7] Nolli had also designed the cast iron lamps and lion reliefs[8] of the Elgin Bridge spanning the Singapore river (completed 1929) and the allegorical marble bas-relief figures of Agriculture, Commerce, Transport, and Industry, at the entrance hall of the Tanjong Pagar railway station (1932).[9][10]

In 1950 he created two iconic crests for Gan Eng Seng School at 155 Waterloo Street, which were lost when the school moved to Raeburn Park in 1986. He had formerly crafted similar decorations for the Fullerton Building built in 1924-28. He also created a pair of lions for the Bank of China Building, Singapore (1952), and for the Merdeka Bridge (1954).[11]

Probably his last commission was the huge Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque in Brunei (completed 1958) which inspired the novel Devil of a State by Anthony Burgess.

He died in 1963 in Italy at the age of 75.


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  3. ^ Archived 2011-07-17 at the Wayback Machine. -
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  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-03-28. Retrieved 2015-03-31.
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