Manzù Giacomo, Family Savings – The Family United in Peace, Love, Work and Saving

1,970; bronze
cm. 265 x 789 x 20

Inventory: BI00072AFC
Provenance: commissioned from the artist (1970)

Created for the main hall of the Cariplo Conference Centre between January and October 1970, this monumental bronze relief represents the various ages of man in relation to material subsistence. Four scenes are set against a background described in terms of a gust of wind: a mother playing with her child, a young person whose clothing is sent flying through the air alongside a dove, a veiled woman picking up a moneybox from the ground, and a father leaning on his spade in a break from work. The composition suggests a conception of society based on the family and cultivation of the soil.

The sculptor returns here to the iconography of the Peace lunette of the Door of War and Peace in the church of Saint Lawrence in Rotterdam (1964–1968). The two preparatory studies for this work (1965, Manzù Collection, Ardea; 1968, private collection) constitute the initial formulations of the subject matter of the relief in Milan. The same theme was also used in the 1970s for medals, drawings and sculptures now in the Manzù Collection, including Peace (1976).

The roots of the work lie not only in the stiacciato (low relief) technique of Renaissance sculpture, but also in the more recent Lombard and French tradition. In 1936, at the time of his association with the Corrente movement, Giacomo Manzù saw the works of Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin during a trip to Paris. The religious subjects he dealt with both during and after World War II are evidence of his spiritual torment. Great importance attaches in this connection to the creation of the bronze Door of Death for Saint Peter’s in Rome (1947–1964).

Sources:Archivio Storico Intesa Sanpaolo, Patrimonio Cariplo, verbali C.E. – BO 170, seduta del 15 May 1970, delibera no. 71644 R.; Archivio Cariplo, Atti 879 R433, 1 January 1970, not found


Mario De Micheli, Giacomo Manzù, Fabbri Editori, Milano, 1971, pp. 26, 51, 166-170;
Cesare Brandi – J. G. Ebbinge Wubben – Franz Fuhrmann, Bilda Heynold von Grafe, a cura di, Manzù, Le porte: Roma, Salisburgo, Rotterdam, Silvana Editoriale, Milano, 1989, p. 183, Note biografiche (La famiglia unita nella pace, nell'amore, nel lavoro e nel risparmio);
Rosanna Bossaglia, a cura di, Manzù. Mostra antologica, catalogo della mostra, Milano, Palazzo Reale, Arengario, Museo del Duomo, 17 dicembre 1988 – 26 febbraio 1989, s. e. , s.l. , 1989, p. 214;
Tesori d'arte delle banche lombarde, Associazione Bancaria Italiana, Milano, 1995, p. 532, ill. n. 869;
Sara Fontana, Giacomo Manzù, Il risparmio familiare o La Famiglia nel Risparmio, in Sergio Rebora, a cura di, Le Collezioni d'arte, Il Novecento, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Provincie Lombarde, Milano, 2000, n. 211, pp. 209-211, ill.

Antonella Crippa
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