Romano Mazzini Biography

By Serena Mazzini and Nicoletta Nardella

Special thanks to Serena and Nicoletta who, with great fervor and dedication have recreated the lifelong artistic journey of an exceptional artist, my father.

His son, Piero Mazzini

Romano Mazzini was born in Imola ( Bologna ) on 14 September 1939. From an early age he showed a marked aptitude for drawing disegno and modeling.

Foto dell'artista da giovane.
In 1953, he started studying art at the Institute of Faenza Gaetano BallardiniFaenza then he went on to study at the city ‘Magisterium’, where he graduated.
The prestigious school of ceramics in Faenza allowed him to attend lectures by renowned artists such as ceramist (italian link) Carlo Zauli, the technologist Tonito Emiliani, the sculptor Angelo Biancini and the art historian Giuseppe Liverani.

Romano Mazzini was greatly influenced by Angelo Biancini who was for him not only a teacher of art, but also a teacher of life.

Romano Mazzini in montagna.

Another important influence for the culture of Mazzini was Pietro Melandri, a famous painter , set designer and ceramist from Emilia Romagna, (Faenza 1885 -1976) Form Romagna, we also remember his dear friend, Raffaele Mondini about whom the critic Mariano Apa wrote: «Raffaele Mondini was the laboratory and the oven where Mazzini’s clay learned to recognize and model its value and its forge. Mondini, Biancini and Melandri are the cornerstones of a cultural history where Faenza could be reflected in Deruta.»

In 1961Mazzini, strengthened by the the centuries-old art of ceramics, maiolica (italian link) , a singular tradition of Faenza, started his own artistic path that led him to research plastic forms, using mainly terracotta (italian link), plaster e bronze .
He learned the secrets of the lost wax, the ancient technique for bronze casting , used in classical times, from Bilancini. This technique disappeared to then reappear during the Renaissance. He also learned the secrets of casting to create shapes in concrete and plaster.

He took part in the International Competition of Ceramics in Faenza in 1962 and 1966. From 1962 to 1964, Mazzini exposed his theoretical considerations on technical ceramics and sculpture discussing with Argan and Menna during art seminars held in Rome.

In October 1961, when he was only twenty-two, he moved to Deruta, where he taught clay- modeling at the Art Institute of Ceramics, and later, became professor of sculpture and artistic anatomy at the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia. Perugia.

Mazzini was fashineted by the environment and the history of Umbria, ian interest he shared with friends like Giulio Busti artist and curator Manlio Bacosi, painter, and Bruno Orfei, sculptor, all of them outstanding representatives of contemporary art in Umbria.

A longstanding, deep and lasting friendship united him to the well-known writer Marco Rufini, who, wrote about Mazzini, highlighting his artistic and his inner, personal human side.

Trained in Faenza, Mazzini matured as an artist in Umbria, where he devoted himself to the clay sculpture that remained a constant in his work and from which he derived his unique identity of “ceramic sculptor”.  Terracotta remained his favorite material, used to create large and monumental sculptures or small pieces sometimes colored with metallic luster.

The use of concrete was reserved to the creation of large-scale sculptures, he creates wax-sculptures with paraffin and fusions with bronze.

Another aspect of the artistic work of Romano Mazzini is represented by his drawings, sometimes they depict the same themes and narratives of his sculpture. He employed red-chalk pencil, charcoal , ink china, oxides and earth colors.

He mainly carried out its vital work as a sculptor in Deruta, , where he worked until his death on 6 March 2013, at the age of 73.

His work can be divided

into the following temporal

and artistic phases:

  • Between 1959 and 1968, Romano Mazzini produced mostly abstract works like
    Abstract Sculptures and Study Machine. . Another favorite theme was that of the flight of birds mostly made of iron or clay (produced between ’58 and ’64).
  • Between 1965 and 1976, he created terracotta tiles with the top and bottom-relief containing figurative or abstract themes: worth remembering is the big panel with Gospel scenes on the facade of the church of the Holy Family in Castelraimondo (MC). Around this period (between ’68 and ’78) is the production of the series Women on horseback, made in both bronze and with the technique of refractory painted luster.
  • In the second half of the seventies è seventies he engaged in realizing important ceramic panels and large works in concrete, like the crucifix of the facade of the church of Santa Maria delle Corti in Lisciano Niccone (PG).
  • In the eighties the Maestro was engaged in researching plastic forms in ceramic
    sculptures, including Mechanical Animals,ALonging Contrasted, The Victories of the Wind and Universoassisi,the latter preludes to the future series of the Spheres .
  • The 90s swere particularly important and productive for Romano Mazzini: we recall works like layers of a Metropolis, Utopia, The Orbiting System of Domes, Generating Forms. In this decade he tackles the theme of the Ideal City; developed with the a series of refractory balls and colorful series of Underground. Later he would create large sculptural works like The Cathedrals and other smaller wax sculptures.

Throughout his artistic experience he took part in exhibitions and national and international competitions. He received awards in Castelli Abruzzo (TE), Gualdo Tadino (PG), Gubbio (PG), in Grottaglie (TA), in 1988 in Monte San Savino (AR), Savona, Todi (PG) and in 1987 in Limoges and in Vallauris in France.

Many of his works are in important museums worldwide. Lucia Bose, moved by a great interest in art, commissioned the master a work exhibited at the Museum of the Angels in Turegano in Spain, a few kilometers from Segovia.

Famous writers and critics: have written about Mazzini aesthetics and poetics:

  • Mariano Apa,
  • Giorgio Bonomi,
  • Emidio De Albentiis,
  • Massimo Duranti,
  • Giuseppe Maradei,
  • Cristina Marinelli,
  • Paolo Nardon,
  • Antonio Carlo Ponti,
  • Elena Pottini,
  • Marco Rufini,
  • Maurizio Terzetti.


Many of his sculptures are in the Bolaffi National Catalogue and in many art magazines.

Personal Exhibitions

  • 1993, 1993 retrospective exhibition, Exhibition Centre Rocca Paolina, Perugia, by Mariano Apa.
  • June-July 1997, Romano Mazzini – Sculptures and drawings, Gallery Canticle of the Sun at the Shrine of San Damiano, Assisi (PG), edited by Giorgio Bonomi.
  • 2000, City-Cities – Promenade sound-visual sculptures of Romano Mazzini, music by Massimo Monacelli, Exhibition Centre Rocca Paolina, Perugia, edited by Marco Rufino.
  • March 2014,,” Romano Mazzini, an artist among cities and cathedrals”, Exhibition Centre Rocca Paolina, Perugia, by Giorgio Bonomi.

Permanent Exhibitions

Some of his sculptures

are exhibited in the following museums

and church buildings:

  • At the National Museum of Kyoto, Japan two abstract works, each entitled White Sculpture are on display.
  • The work titled Ball / Ideal City 1993 is exhibited at the Museum of Ceramics in Santo Stefano di Camastra (ME).
  • Two of his works of religious art depicting a Crucifix are in the College of St. Isidore in Rome, since 1994.
  • A work of great dimension titled Ball / Ideal City 1994 is exhibited at the headquarters of Mercedes Benz Italy in Rome.
  • LThe work titled Ball / Ideal City 1995, first exhibited at the National Museum of Mino, is now at the Museum of Modern Art of Ceramics in Gifu, Japan.
  • The sculpture titled Ideal City 1993 is on display at Associates, Inc., Wisconsin, United States.
  • The work titled Ball / Ideal City Ideal 1997 is on display at the Regional Museum of Ceramics in Deruta (PG).
  • The great work titled Fallen Angel is in the Museo de Los Angeles (owned and supervised by Lucia Bose) Turegano, Spain, since 2001.
  • A work titled Large milling machine is on display at the International Museum of Ceramics in Faenza (RA), since April 2009.