STUDIES AND MODELS
Several projects, models, and a great number of studies were needed to make this colossal statue. It required about eight years of work, in which other professionals cooperated besides the sculptor: geologists, architects, engineers, and many workers.
In Florence, in my studio at the Istituto d’Arte, I made a series of models, about 1.20 metres tall, among which two emerged particularly; then finally one was chosen.
After this, still in my studio in Florence, I enlarged the chosen model to 5 metres, working directly in plaster, and developing all the themes proposed in the small model. Thus I created a “large model” that was exactly one quarter of the one that would be definitively erected on the mountain. Then I cut the “large model” into 12 pieces and enlarged each of them.
I moulded the 12 pieces in clay, one by one, in the large size (i.e. in a one-to-four ratio), so as to achieve a total height of 21 metres from head to foot. Plaster moulds were obtained from each of these pieces, then, in turn, they were cut into an indefinite number of sections, depending on several needs, in particular that of facilitating their transportation.
These plaster mould sections were reinforced with wood and bamboo, not iron, in order to avoid their becoming too heavy, making transportation even more problematic than it already was. They were several hundreds, their sizes were quite diversified, and they formed a highly fragile aggregate. They were carried by means of large lorries with trailer up to the top of Mount San Biagio of Maratea, towering 630 metres above the sea below it (it would have been a long, interminable line of lorries, if they had all travelled at the same time).