Giacomo Manzù, whose real family name was Manzoni, worked as a wood carver and gilder from 1926 to 1929, when he visited Paris. He settled in Milan, where he produced the decoration for the chapel of the Sacro Cuore University (1932–35), in 1930. He made a number of trips to Paris (in 1929, 1936 and 1938) and became acquainted with the work of Aristide Maillol and Auguste Rodin as well as Medardo Rosso. His participation in the Venice Biennale began by invitation with the 21st Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte di Venezia in 1938, at which time he was closely involved with the Corrente group. He held the chair in sculpture at the Brera Academy from 1940 to 1954 and devoted himself above all in the 1940s to religious subjects symbolising human suffering during the war. The award of first prize at the 24th Esposizione d’Arte della Città di Venezia in 1948 set the seal on his international renown. His most important works of the post-war period include doors for Saint Peter’s in Rome (1947–64) and Salzburg Cathedral (1955–58).