Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: BER-42

Bruno Bearzi papers, 1943-1983

Content Description

This collection primarily contains administrative and photographic documentation regarding the activity of bronze conservation and casting conducted by Bruno Bearzi.


  • Majority of material found within 1943 - 1983


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright on materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.


9 boxes
6 boxes : documents
3 boxes : photographic materials

Biographical / Historical

Bruno Bearzi, a bronze caster and restorer of sculpture housed in Florence, was born on November 19th, 1894, in Palmanova (Udine). Following his early studies in Belluno, he moved to Florence, where he started working in the technical department of the Officine Galileo. In 1921, he became partner and co-owner of Vignali’s very famous foundry. From then on Bearzi dealt all aspects of metallurgy including casting, the study of ancient techniques, the composition of metals, and the fusion processes used in ancient works of art. At the outbreak of WW2 he was commissioned by the Soprintendenza of Monuments to protect the city’s marble and bronze works of art from bombings. Thereafter, at the end of the war, he was tasked with organizing the return of famous Florentine statues to their original sites: the Loggia dei Lanzi, Orsammichele, the Baptistery and many Florentine squares. He became the Soprintendenza’s restorer, during which time he restored the most important Florentine bronzes (the S. Rossore, the S. Ludovico, the Judith and Holofernes by Donatello; Cellini’s Perseo; Ammannati’s statues for the Nettuno fountain, and Tacca’s Porcellino), and also archaeological monuments, such as the Chimera and the Etruscan lamp. He also restored the weaponry in the collections of the Bargello and the Stibbert Museum’s armory collection. In 1960 he was invited by the Greek Government to establish a national foundry in Athens. He participated in many conferences and exhibitions and spoke widely about working in bronze and metallurgy. He also worked with famous contemporary artists, such as Carl Milles, and cast monuments for many American cemeteries in Italy and abroad. In 1967 he was invited in Spain to analyze and study the newly discovered manuscript page on the Sforza monument by Leonardo da Vinci. Unfortunately, his notes remained unpublished. Bearzi died in Florence on December 26th, 1983.


The collection is organized into 4 series: 1. Biographical and Personal; 2. Correspondence; 3. Professional; 4. photographic materials; Series 3. Professional is subdivided into 5 subseries.

Bruno Bearzi papers: A Finding Aid
Biblioteca Berenson
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Biblioteca Berenson, I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies Repository

Via di Vincigliata 26
Florence 50135 Italy
+39 055 603 251
+39 055 603 383 (Fax)