Salvatore Buemi

Salvatore Buemi

Biography of Salvatore Buemi ( 1860-1916 )

Salvatore Buemi was born in Sicily in 1860. The artist chose to leave his native region to settle in Rome in order to pursue his artistic studies. Specializing in the production of classical sculptures, he produced a large quantity of bronzes. Important actors in the history of Italy and famous war heroes are at the core of his work.

In fact, the artist was commissioned to create a particularly important monument in Messina: the Batteria Masotto, which fell at the Battle of Adua in 1896. The latter depicts three bronze soldiers, placed on a quadrangular base. Buemi chose to affix commemorative plaques, mentioning the names of the soldiers who fell in this battle. On either side of the monument, he also shows the guns of the battery, which was recovered by the soldiers.

He also created the bust of Francesco Daverio, a patriot who worked for the unification of Italy. He portrayed Giacomo Natoli, a soldier and politician of the Kingdom of Italy, president of the Association for Assistance and Charity named "Golden Cross" in which he distinguished himself by participating in the relief operations for the population during the cholera epidemic in 1887. A part of his artistic production can be found today in the monumental cemetery of Messina, which contains the largest number of sculpted works in Italy.

This work, entitled African Musician, playing the banjo, features a man sitting on a half-unrolled mat in a particularly natural posture. Indeed, Buemi presents his subject with his feet crossed, playing his instrument: The African banjo is a plucked-stringed instrument, derived from the West African ekonting lute, which is very popular in the United States. The sculptor, concerned with anatomical rendering, chooses to translate the human hands with great finesse. The realism of the face is particularly striking.  

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