The Gypsotheque

The Gypsotheque

The Gypsotheque Gianluigi Giudici exhibits a selection of sixty of the works of Gianluigi Giudici, mainly in plaster, but also works in bronze and in copper, that together illustrate his creative journey. The works are shown on two floors of the museum in a series that starts from the upper floor, which documents the themes of the works, starting with his studies, and from thereon showing examples of his production of figurative, abstract and religious works.

On the lower floor there are groups of works, or “islands”, that best encapsulate certain aspects of his production, concentrating on portraits, on the development of "biomorphic bodies" and on the realisation of large public and private commissions. The latter part of the tour is an excursion into the world of religious sculpture, with embossed copper reliefs and plaster reliefs, and into a space dedicated to the large interventions of 1966 and 1992 in the church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna, which houses the most important of all of his religious works.

For a deeper understanding of his work, the Gypsotheque also offers public access to a store of numerous other important casts, and a space that recreates Gianluigi Giudici’s. Here there are a number of preliminary drawings and plaster casts small bronzes by the sculptor. It should not be forgotten that some of the interior space of the Gypsotheque houses exhibitions of other artists, the presence of whose work often offers interesting comparisons, combinations or even conflicts within the museum rooms


The collection of works by Gianluigi Giudici consists of over 300 plaster casts, sculptures, which are located mainly in public and private spaces in Italy, Switzerland and Austria, and bronzes cast by the lost wax technique. Interesting graphical studies, sketches, drafts and drawings used in the preparation of sculptures over the years have also found their way into the archives.

The repoussé and chasing works date from the fifties and sixties when Giudici began working in the studio of the sculptor Tavani of Como. Some of the embossed copper panels are representative of the works found in many churches in the Canton Ticino of Switzerland. The plaster casts in the collection illustrate the progress of the sculptor from the beginning of his career, with works such as the self-portrait of 1953 and the Female Nude of 1955. From the sixties onwards many of the works are in the churches and places of worship, such as the sketches for the tabernacle of the Cappella della Buona Stampa in Lugano and the Saint Francis and the Saint Christopher of 1962, mentioned for their great spirituality at the fifth Biennale of Contemporary Religious Art in Bologna.

The extraordinarily powerful artistic expression Giudici put into his work can be seen in the important Via Crucis and in the Madonna and Child assigned to him by the head of the Fine Arts Academy, the architect Kosak, for a modern church he designed for a residential area of Vienna. The same is true of the Madonna and Child of 1966 for the church of Bulgarograsso. Also dating from the nineteen sixties there are portraits that succeed in releasing that inner light of the characters, including the Mother-to-be representing the enchantment of a family event, the Adam and Eve of 1967, which was submitted to and earned special mention at seventh International Bronzes Competition of Padua. In this the figures are tending to break up, foreshadowing the Interview of 1968, the first of the works with which the artist frees himself from the constraints of realism, followed by the Figures of 1969.

The sculptures of the seventies have a cerebral character and are inspired by an organic vibrancy, to include particularly the Horizontal structure (1970), the Embrace (1971), the Variable Structure (1972), Cathedral (1973), Spatial Dynamics (1974), Hydrodynamic structure (1976) and Organic Mutation (1977). The work The Furies of hell, exhibited at the International Biennale of Dantesque Bronzes in Ravenna of 1975, is treated with an original modernity. In the same year the work the Descent of Angels appeared. The high relief of The Crossing of the Red Sea dates from 1971, while the mid-seventies saw the creations for the altars of Argegno and Vacallo. The ambo of the Vacallo altar was one of the first works to boldly apply the canons of the new liturgical reform. The Resurrection of the daughter of Jairus also dates from the same period.

Some large works of the eighties and nineties take on the broad abstract compositional tone of an artist working with an ever-greater freedom. Elevation (1981) in Mozzate near Como, Hydrodynamic organism of (1980), Rising structure (1983), Totemic structures (1985), Cylindrical structure (1991), The Guarded city (1993), Accumulation (1999) at the Town Hall of Olgiate Comasco (Co). The Cross of 1984 is represented with an abstract cerebral and at the same time religious idiom.

Included in the collection are: The plaster cast of the large bronze group “The Miracle of the Fish” (1990), which adorns the facade of the Church of the Good Shepherd of Vienna, the panels illustrating the lyrical tale of Chiara Bosatta, made for the portal of the Church of Pianello Lario (Co) and the modern altar and tabernacle of the unusual Church of Sondalo (So).

Fondazione Renato e Gianluigi Giudici

Luigi Cavadini


Technical plans
Rolando Zuccolo with Studio Meyer e Piattini

Graphic design
Mattia Massa
Monica Faccini

Building works

Organiser and curator
Emanuela Bergantino

Restoration works
Emilio Negretti
Ezio Negretti

Studio Aleph