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Silpa Bhirasri (Thai: ศิลป์ พีระศรี; rtgs: Sin Phirasi; IPA: [sǐn pʰīːrásǐː]), born Corrado Feroci (15 September 1892 – 14 May 1962) was an 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.
Born in Florence, Feroci was invited to Thailand in 1923 to teach Western sculpture at the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Palace Affairs in 1923. In 1943, he founded what later became Silpakorn University - the University of Fine Arts.
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.
Partial list of works
- Democracy Monument, Bangkok
- King Rama I statue at Phra Phutta Yodfa Bridge (The Memorial Bridge), Bangkok 1932
- Thao Suranari in Nakhon Ratchasima 1934
- King Rama VI at Lumphini Park, Bangkok 1942
- King Naresuan the Great at Don Chedi, Suphanburi Province 1959. Sitthidet Saenghiran, Pakorn Lekson and Sanan Silakorn assisted in creation of the 1½ life size statue.
- Phutthamonthon, Nakhon Pathom (west of Bangkok), 1976, considered to be the tallest free-standing Buddha statue in the world.
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- History of Thai postage stamps
- Thai Artists
- 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.
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