The portrait of the duke

The portrait of the duke

The portrait of the duke:

Tommaso Fulco Gallarati Scotti

Marble sculpture – unique artwork on commission

Private Collection, Family Gallarati Scotti, Villa Melzi Gardens, Bellagio , Lake Como.

During 2018 in the Gardens of Villa Melzi in Bellagio, under the historic greenhouse (“orangerie“) designed by the architect Luigi Canonica and now used as a museum with sculptures and heirlooms of family history. The artist Abele Vadacca, a pupil of illustrious masters of the 20th century, has dedicated himself to the creation of an artwork that inspires and deserves inspiration: the portrait of Duke Tommaso Fulco Gallarati Scotti, Italian intellectual and diplomatic, he made so much to Italy and culture. He was very attached to these places. The Civic Library of Bellagio was in fact dedicated to him.

The artwork begins because of the request of the current owners of the Villa, Family Gallarati Scotti and starts with the historical study of documentation referred to and written by the Duke, and as well as by a careful photographic research. the documents are only the first part of the research, the most fascinating part are based on the family story, the people who knew him.

The study phase engaged the artist for a year, and is visible the careful morphological analysis based on a psychological and biographical evaluation that required, several months. Abele has observed the writings of the Duke, interviewed the people still alive who had memory of him and who remembered him assiduously frequented the villa at different times of his life.

The entire creative phase took place in the villa, this allowed the artist to “live” in the environment so loved by the Duke, to perceive the same creative influence that only such a unique place can allow, to approach his own emotion, as in a time jump.

Once the clay model was shared with the commitence, according to ancient tradition of a “Bottega d’Arte “, through the technique of ‘puntatura’ the model was report by point on marble and finished in a workmanlike manner.

The sculpture proposes dimensions slightly higher than the natural as well as from classical tradition and the optical deception is at the base of the forms that acquire expressiveness.

The modification of the shapes takes place according to the matter, the refractions of the marble crystals require a particular technical approach that defines the volume according to the chosen effect.

The selected marble is a white ApuanThe starting block was more than 11 quintals.

The synergy and the sharing of the personal events of the Gallarati Scotti family, reported by his nephew, Prince Fulco Gallarati Scotti allowed to define a very deep description of the character.

Diplomatic, intellectual, who helped to infuse high value of ideology to Italy, a nation that the Duke represents as ambassador first in Spain then in England.

A nation that he loves and doesn’t want to leave even when he is forced to reach Switzerland.

He has about 66 when he wake up in the enchanting property of Bellagio that he knows he must leave, the future is unknown; this is the moment that is fixed in the marble by the sculptor, the look of a man who looks at his destiny with his heart turned to the places he loves. History supports him and the capabilities of this diplomatic and far-sighted man will allow him a quick return home, after the vicissitudes of the world war.

It is at this moment that the artist catches him, fixing him in the eternal, a look that penetrates the massifs of the pre-alps and looks towards his fixed destination, but the gaze also turns, briefly, towards the place that is his home the villa Melzi, Italy. Of course it will not be a farewell but a goodbye, with the anxieties and sufferings of such an unstable and bloody period in which every ideology becomes an instrument of vindication.

The expressive emotion of the sculpture must reach the heart of the observer, the presence of the narrated character becomes present and tangible.

The choice of the sculptor was difficult because he had to combine personal styles for the harmonious insertion in the villa that has a pure Neoclassical setting.

The stylistic choice of the base is a reference to the Neoclassicism that dominates the architectural complex and gardens.

The setting desired by the committence means that the buste is located to complete the already precious collection of sculptures in the gardens of Villa Melzi, stopping over time the image of this man who made so much for Italy , Duke Tommaso Fulco Gallarati Scotti.

The creative experience in the Villa and the knowledge of Tommaso Fulco Gallarati Scotti marks the artist to the point that he decides to open his Atelier in the small hamlet of Loppia, overlooking the Gardens, close to a place so dear to the Duke, wooing through the artistic tradition that for centuries has characterized Italy and that today is unique in all the world.


White marble




50x40x80 cm


I Giardini di Villa Melzi, Bellagio, Lake Como