Updated: Sep 15
If you find yourself in the City, it will be virtually impossible not to step into the shadows of one of the Piccirilli's sculptures. Between Attilio and his brothers, they carved more monuments than we know.
Imagine yourself sitting on a bench in Washington Square, engrossed in a book or people-watching. If you look behind or ahead, you'll likely be met with the enduring presence of George Washington. Two iconic figures designed by John Quincy Adams Ward and realized entirely by the Piccirilli brothers in their legendary Bronx studio. You're also 2.3 miles from The Four Continents, which they sculpted for Daniel Chester French. A mere 0.9 miles from where you are lies the New York Stock Exchange, where Paul Bernadou entrusted the Piccirillis to sculpt the pediment, and 1.9 miles due North, the lions at the New York Public Library, designed by Edward Clark Potter and sculpted by Piccirilli. And if you are still in the mood for exploring, continue heading north 1.6 miles until you find Attilio Piccirilli’s pediments at the Frick Residence on Fifth Avenue. A slightly deviating to the west will place you after 2.9 miles at the feet of a group of monuments designed and executed by Attilio for the U.S. Maine Memorial and 3.5 from the Fireman's Memorial in Riverside Park. One more stretch, head east now, and at 3.8 miles, you'll find yourself at the Met, where you can appreciate the nude "Fragilina," the brainchild of Piccirilli who carved a vision of seven beautiful and ever so marmorean female figures.
New York City and The Piccirilli
While you're at the gallery in the Met, look at the surrounding masterpieces by Daniel Chester French, all of which were executed by Attilio Piccirilli.
If you're still seated where I think you are, say hello to Garibaldi and let him know that the six children of Giuseppe Piccirilli of Rome, a courageous volunteer in his armies, were responsible for carving some of the most beautiful monuments in New York and across this land that he so admired.