Gaetano Trentanove - Sculptor

Gaetano Trentanove
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Gaetano Trentanove lived from 1858-1937 and created this monument in 1905. As a professor of sculpture at the Florence Academy he maintained studios in Italy and the United States. Trentanove studied old portraits and paintings of Kosciuszko before beginning the clay models for this equestrian work of art. He sculpted Kosciuszko and his horse as victorious heroes. In the modeling of the sculpture, twenty tons of clay were used.  A plaster cast followed, with the second and final bronze casting executed by the Galli Brothers foundry in Florence. After a long journey to Milwaukee, the sculptor himself directed the placement of the seven-ton statue.

Trentanove’s naturalistic style attracted many portrait commissions in Milwaukee. He would model his subjects in clay during the spring or summer months, return to Italy with cast plaster models in the fall, have the bust cast in bronze or carved in marble in the winter, and return to Milwaukee with the finished portraits the next year. Locally you can see other samples of the sculptor’s work at the Milwaukee Art Museum, State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and Wahl Park.