Inventory Number: 56393
In 1953,Venturino Venturi(Loro Ciuffenna1918-TerranovaBracciolini2002)participated in the international competition for a Monument to Pinocchio, organized by Carlo Collodi National Foundation for the park dedicated to the famous marionette.
Venturi submitted the design for a small square mosaic and tied the competition with Emilio Greco who submitted a statue dedicated to the Blue Fairy. From 1954 to 1956, Venturi worked tirelessly to complete his Piazzetta, which was to be at the center of the small park, where he intended to build an inornaate “monument”, one which he hoped would give an emotional feeling to those who would come to Pinocchio’s park. Pinocchio was an important imaginative character to Venturi during the long period that he spent in the hospital of San Salvi in 1956, just after the completion of the work for Collodi, recovering from a nervous breakdown. During his stay, he was allowed to work and he completed a series of large format drawings, many of which were dedicated to Pinocchio.
The figure featured in this year’s wishbook is made of cement. It arrived in the Vatican Collection in 2004 as a gift from the artist’s granddaughter, Lucy Fiaschi. The sculpture would have been placed in the center of the Piazzetta, which was eventually completed by Greco.
Another, bronze figure, which is a unique copy of the Vatican Museums’ cement one, depicts Pinocchio with one arm raised and his face tilted back, accentuating his funny nose. The bust was meant to be completed by the body of the puppet and would have been placed in such a way that the hand could mark the passage of time, casting its shadow on the mosaic floor. However, the work was left unfinished in the studio for the rest of Venturi’s life. This piece is expected to return on display, but we will await the result of the restoration.