Silpa Bhirasri (Thai: ศิลป์ พีระศรี; RTGSSin Phirasi; Thai pronunciation: [sǐn pʰīː.rá.sǐː]), born Corrado Feroci (15 September 1892 – 14 May 1962), was a Tuscan-born Thai sculptor. He is considered the father of modern art in Thailand and was instrumental in the founding of today's Silpakorn University.

Silpa Bhirasri
ศิลป์ พีระศรี
Corrado Feroci

(1892-09-15)15 September 1892
Died14 May 1962(1962-05-14) (aged 69)
Bangkok, Thailand

Life edit

The statue of Silpa Bhirasri at Silpakorn University

Born in Florence, he studied at the Royal Art Academy of Florence and taught there from 1914 to 1923.[1] Feroci was invited to Thailand in 1923 to teach Western sculpture at the Fine Arts Department of the Ministry of Palace Affairs. He was appointed as a sculptor in 1924 on a three-year contract for 800 baht per month.[1]

In 1943, he founded what later became Silpakorn University, the University of Fine Arts.[citation needed]

When Italy surrendered to the Allies during World War II, Feroci changed his name and became a Thai national in 1944 to avoid arrest by the occupying Japanese army. Previously estranged from his wife in Italy, in his later years he married one of his Thai students.

Feroci / Bhirasri was the designer and sculptor of many of Bangkok's best known monuments, including Democracy Monument, Victory Monument, and the statue of King Rama I at Memorial Bridge. A Thai commemorative stamp was issued in 1992 on the centenary of his birth. His birthday, 15 September, is observed each year in Thailand as Silpa Bhirasri Day.

Death edit

Cimitero degli Allori

He is buried in the Cimitero Evangelico degli Allori in the southern suburb of Florence, Galluzzo (Italy).

Tribute edit

In 2016, he was featured as a Google Doodle on what would have been his 124th birthday.[2]

Partial list of works edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b Pholdhampalit, Khetsirin (10 September 2018). "A rediscovered gem". The Nation. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  2. ^ "Silpa Bhirasri's 124th birthday". Doodles Archive, Google. 15 September 2016.

Further reading edit

  • Oscar Nalesini, L'Asia Sud-orientale nella cultura italiana. Bibliografia analitica ragionata, 1475-2005. Roma, Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente, 2009 (Bhirasri's articles and books on art at pp. 292–316) ISBN 978-88-6323-284-4.

External links edit