Silpa Bhirasri

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The statue of Silpa Bhirasri at Silpakorn University

Silpa Bhirasri (Thai: ศิลป์ พีระศรี; RTGSSin Phirasi; IPA: [sǐn pʰīːrásǐː]), born Corrado Feroci (15 September 1892 – 14 May 1962), was a Tuscan-born Thai sculptor. He is considered the father of modern art in Thailand and was instrumental in the founding of today's Silpakorn University.


Cimitero degli Allori, Corrado Feroci

Born in Florence, he studied at the Royal Art Academy of Florence and taught there from 1914 to 1923.[1] Feroci was invited to Thailand in 1923 to teach Western sculpture at the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Palace Affairs. He was appointed as a sculptor in 1924 on a three-year contract for 800 baht per month.[1]

In 1943, he founded what later became Silpakorn University, the University of Fine Arts.[2]

When Italy surrendered to the Allies during World War II, Feroci changed his name and became a Thai national in 1944 to avoid arrest by the occupying Japanese army. Previously estranged from his wife in Italy, in his later years he married one of his Thai students.

Feroci / Bhirasri was the designer and sculptor of many of Bangkok's best known monuments, including Democracy Monument, Victory Monument, and the statue of King Rama I at Memorial Bridge. A Thai commemorative stamp was issued in 1992 on the centenary of his birth. His birthday, 15 September, is observed each year in Thailand as Silpa Bhirasri Day.


Professor Silpa Bhirasri

He is buried in the Cimitero Evangelico degli Allori in the southern suburb of Florence, Galluzzo (Italy).


In 2016, he was featured as a Google Doodle on what would have been his 124th birthday.[3]

Partial list of works[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pholdhampalit, Khetsirin (10 September 2018). "A rediscovered gem". The Nation. Retrieved 10 September 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ "พระราชบัญญัติ มหาวิทยาลัยศิลปากร (Act: Silpakorn University)" (PDF). Government Gazette (in Thai). Chapter 54. 60: 1496. 12 October 1943. Retrieved 5 October 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: location (link)
  3. ^ "Silpa Bhirasri's 124th birthday". Doodles Archive, Google. 15 September 2016.

Further reading[edit]

  • Oscar Nalesini, L'Asia Sud-orientale nella cultura italiana. Bibliografia analitica ragionata, 1475-2005. Roma, Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, 2009 (Bhirasri's articles and books on art at pp. 292–316) ISBN 978-88-6323-284-4.

External links[edit]