Leonardo Castellani was born in Faenza on 19 October 1896 from a family of cabinet-makers.
He attended the sculpture section of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence (1914-1915), together with Osvaldo Licini and served in the army from 1915 to 1920. He turned to Futurism after meeting Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and Giacomo Balla, and founded the “Artistic ceramics workshop” in Cesena. A self-taught copperplate engraver, he learnt the trade during the years in which he began to teach decoration and ceramics at the Art School in Fano (1928) and when he obtained the chair of chalcography at the Institute for Book Illustration and Decoration of Urbino (1930), where he taught for 38 years. While teaching, engraving and painting, Urbino is where he created almost all of his artworks, a production including more than 1,500 plates.
His works have been displayed as part of 56 solo and 158 collective exhibitions, as well as the retrospectives held in Urbino, Faenza, Klagenfurt, Milan and those in Rome, National Chalcography (1951) and at the National Gallery of Modern Art (1996).
As a writer, his most important works are Pagine senza cornice(Unframed pages, 1946), Quaderni di un calcografo(A copperplate engraver’s notebooks, 1955) e Carte sotto stampa(In print, 1974), along with Vivere nel tuo paese (Living in your country, 1964), a kind of autobiography. He collaborated with Enrico Panunzio’s weekly “Il Mondo” and was the founder and editor of the “Valbona” magazine (1957-1961).
He died in Urbino on 20 November 1984.
Content of the collection
Selection of 17 engravings by Leonardo Castellani, made between 1930 and 1979 and donated to the Foundation by his son Claudio. These are mainly images of landscapes of various Italian regions, places, nature; most of them are made with the etching technique, though there are also aquatint and dry-point works.
The data sheets and (low resolution) images of the individual engravings are available in the library’s catalogue.
May be browsed on request in the library.
Methods of acquisition
Gift by Claudio Castellani, 2018.