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Enzo Plazzotta
(1921 — 1981)

Enzo Plazzotta was a British sculptor of Italian origin. Born in Mestre, Venice in 1921, Plazzotta initially began training as an architect before deciding to specialize in sculpture. The artist enrolled at the Academia di Brera, Milan in 1938 but his training as a sculptor was interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War, in which he served in the Bersaglieri or Marksmen Corps and later helped to found a partisan group. Following the War, Plazzotta continued his sculptural education. Following his graduation, the artist received a significant commission from the Italian Committee of Liberation to commemorate their collaboration with the British Special Forces. Upon personally presenting the sculpture to the Special Forces in London, Plazzotta decided to relocate to the city. Though his arrival in London was marked by immediate success as a portrait sculptor, the artist found the format to be limiting. His growing fascination with conveying movement found the artist experimenting with several new subjects such as horses and dancers.


Several prominent dancers of the late 1950s and early 1960s sat for Plazzotta in his studio, inspiring sculptures which would become his most enduring examples of work. Whilst based in London the artist continued to travel to his native Italy and eventually established a studio near the Carrara quarry in Tuscany in 1967, where he continued to cast his bronze sculptures alongside experiments in marble and onyx carving. In 1976 Plazzotta was knighted by the Italian government and was awarded the title of Cavaliere for his services to art. The artist died in 1981. His work can be seen today in several public spaces throughout London, such as the Barbican Centre, the College Gardens of Westminster Abbey and the Royal Opera House.