Key to Umbria

Emilio Greco, who was born in Catania, Sicily, moved to Rome in 1943.  He had his first one-man exhibition there in 1946 and was Professor of Sculpture at the Liceo Artistico there in 1948-52.  In 1956, he won the sculpture prize at the Venice Biennale.

Among his last works was the monument (1965–6) to Pope John XXIII in St Peter's, Rome (see below).


Museo Emilio Greco 

Bronze doors (1962-64)

Emilio Greco began his association with Orvieto by executing these bronze doors for the central portal of the Duomo.  They were installed, after considerable controversy, in 1970.  The reliefs depict the seven works of mercy, one of which (second from the bottom, on the right) depicts John XXIII visiting people in prison.

Museo Emilio Greco

In 1991, Emilio Greco donated a collection of 26 sculptures and some 60 prints to the city of Orvieto.  This formed the basis of the Museo Emilio Greco (illustrated above) on the ground floor of Palazzo Soliano.  More information is given on the museum’s website.

Female Figures


                              Iphigenia                                    “Grande Pattinatrice n. 2”          "Memoria dell' Estate”

                                 (1961)                                                       (1971)                                              (1979)       

These three striking works represent (respectively):

  1. Iphigenia, a young women named for a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra;

  2. a female skater (Pattinatrice); and

  3. a memory of summer.

Preparatory Models

The museum exhibits two preparatory models by Emilio Greco:
  1. a cast of his monument (1965-6) to John XXIII (illustrated here), the original of which is in  St Peter's, Rome; and

  2. a model for the doors of the Duomo, which his daughter Antonella Greco donated to the museum in 2008.

As noted above, the reliefs on the doors of the Duomo depict the seven works of mercy, one of which (second from the bottom, on the right) depicts John XXIII visiting people in prison. This scene also features in the monument.


Emilio Greco Collection

Works by Emilio Greco were first exhibited in Spello in the exhibition “Incontri per le Strade” in 1983.  He was made a citizen of Spello in 1985 and donated a number of works to the city in 1989.  These are now exhibited on the three rooms on the second floor of Palazzo Comunale Vecchio, as the Emilio Greco Collection

The collection comprises mostly high quality lithographs.  The painted chalk figure (1971) illustrated above is called "l’ Accoccolata" (the crouching woman).

More information is provided in the website of the Comune di Spello.

Read more: 
This website pays homage to Emilio Greco. 

Return to Art in:  Orvieto   Spello. 

Return to “Foreign” Sculptors in Umbria.

Emilio Greco (1913-95) 

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