The generational transfer of knowledge, much as in the Hebrew proverb L'dor v'dor, depends on the intellectual generosity of our teachers and those who had the privilege to have taught them.
Who did Attilio Piccirilli learn from?
At the Academy di San Luca in Rome, Attilio Piccirilli studied under the wing of the Florentine Girolamo Masini (1840 – 1885), a disciple of Aristodemo Costoli (1803–1871), better known as the sculptor who restored Michelangelo’s David. Costoli, a graduate of the academy in Florence, had been a disciple of Stefano Ricci (1765-1837), whose cenotaph to Dante Alighieri attests to his credentials. Ricci was a student of Francesco Corradori (1747-1824), an exquisite restorer of ancient Roman sculptures for the house of the Medici and for his bust of Alejandro Magno. The transfer of culture and knowledge goes even further. Francesco Corradori had been a student of Innocenzo Spinazzi (1726-1798), best known for La Fede, at Santa Maria Maddalena de' Pazzi, in Florence just as Spinazzi, had been a student of Giovanni Battista Maino (1690-1752), a pupil of Camilo Rusconi (1654-1724). Rusconi had been a novice under Giuseppe Rustati (1650-1713), who in turn learned from Ercole Ferrata (1610-1686), and Ferrata from Tommaso Orsolino (1587-1675), and in the pursuit of the branches of this magnificent tree of knowledge passed on from generation to generation we ultimately arrive to Giuliano Finelli (1602-1653), a student trained at Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s workshop and whom, by pure coincidence was just like Attilio Piccirilli, born to a family of marble masons in the province of Carrara a quarter of a millennium ex post facto.