Fragments of Light

Fragments and the Fragility of Life


Romolo Del Deo, Sovra, 2014.

Fragments of Light recently had the privilege of speaking with Romolo Del Deo at his Provincetown studio about his art practice. Romolo, an internationally acclaimed sculptor, designed and fabricated the Creation Doors for the Church of the Transfiguration in Orleans, Massachusetts. We share here, his response to the question: “Your work is sometimes described as ‘fragments’ of figures, but speaking of your figurative work you have described your process as ‘getting rid of extraneous elements, anything that gets in the way of the thing itself.’ Can you comment on this?”

Romolo shared that as part of his training and artistic development he spent time in Italy where he studied the artifacts of Roman civilization . . .

“I would travel around and look at Roman ruins and Etruscan antiquity . . . I realized that the things I really loved were the things that were not complete and that there was so much poetic content in what was indicated but not necessarily explicitly there. That when you looked at something and your mind was forced to fill in the blanks that you could create all kinds of stories and superimpose all kinds of histories and that this would somehow make the work interesting on a number of different levels. There was this classical level of information that came out of references to Hellenistic, Roman, and Renaissance art — I would look at these ancient things from 2000-3000 BC and they looked so modern to me — so contemporary because they really talked to me about the difficulty of life and the awareness we have of the fragility of life and the fragility of existence.


Romolo Del Deo, Creation Doors, 2000.

Romolo is a Provincetown, Massachusetts native whose tutelage began as a youth at the side of his father, painter Salvatore Del Deo. His passion for sculpting led him to Florence and Pietrasanta, Italy, where he developed his training in the “lost wax” method perfected by the ancient Greeks and commonly used by the Italians during the Renaissance. He attended Harvard College where he studied under Dimitri Hadzi and the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy.

His design for the Creation Doors at the Church of the Transfiguration drew inspiration from the famed bronze doors at the Florence Baptistery created by Ghiberti in the sixteenth century. After producing several bronze maquettes, he rendered the doors full-scale, first in clay at his studio In New York, and then In wax at the Polich Tallix Art Works In Rock Tavern, New York, before they were eventually cast into bronze. He collaborated with Helen McLean for the fabrication of the church’s baptismal font gates and bowls, and designed the structure, and sculpted the ambo reading desk.

Romolo’s sculpture has won awards from the National Sculpture Society, International Sculpture Symposiums in Italy, and the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

The original maquette for the Creation Doors can be viewed at:

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