Franco Vianello

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franco vianello

Franco Vianello, renowned sculptor and versatile modern artist with roots in Renaissance Italy. Born in Venice in 1937 to a family with a heritage of over a century of sculptors and founders. He began his traditional training at nine and by eleven his skills and talents were recognized by famed sculptor, Napoleone Martinuzzi, who accepted him as an apprentice. His exceptional talent at the age of thirteen qualified him to study at the Institute of Arts in Venice where he received his master's degree.

Franco came to the United States in 1959 as a recognized and highly respected sculptor having created many bronze works, including life-size bronzes. He has also restored historic works in piazzas and churches for many well-known collectors, including Peter Guggenheim.

Franco started the first (other than New York) Lost-Wax sculpture foundry in Berkeley in 1960. He taught bronze sculpting techniques and set up Lost-Wax casting facilities, including at the University of California at Berkeley.

After serving in the United States Army, he and his wife, Jane settled in the East Bay of San Francisco. He resumed his career in sculpture and created works that are known throughout the world and the United States. Some of his favorite works are historically correct pieces that depict early California life and some of its' wild animals. He also enjoyed sculpting and casting modern pieces, classical and thematic works. Many of his sculpture are 18-24 inches tall and fit easily into any home.

Vianello was one of the few sculptors experienced in enlarging statues to heroic sizes and casting them in bronze. Some larger bronze sculptures include:

He created bronze sculptures for: the Audobon Society, Champion International, Scripps Oceanographic Institute, Wells Fargo Bank, Dillingham Corporation, Levi Strauss Company, San Francisco Bohemian Club, San Diego Historical Society, and San Francisco Academy of Sciences.

Franco received many awards and prizes for his work. He was especially proud of the Trustees' Gold Medal unanimously voted by the directors of the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center and National Academy of Western Art.

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