Fendi gifts Penone sculpture to Rome

Public artwork by Giuseppe Penone installed outside Fendi store.

Fashion house Fendi has unveiled a permanent artwork by leading Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone outside its flagship store in Largo Goldini, just off Rome's central shopping thoroughfare Via del Corso.

The sculpture Foglie di Pietra [Leaves of Stone], was commissioned by Fendi and has been donated to the capital to "give thanks", according to the company's chairman Pietro Beccari.

The work comprises two bronze trees, one around 18m high, the other half that height, whose branches carry an 11-ton block of marble suspended some five metres above the pavement. Penone said the sculpture's form is “based on naturalism and the shape of the tree, and the block of marble represents the geological memory of history."

foglie pietra

Beccari said that the work by the 70-year-old Turin sculptor would help "overturn ugliness with beauty,” in reference to the negative headlines generated recently by Rome's rubbish crisis.

Over the last few years Fendi has restored several of Rome's fountains, notably the Trevi Fountain, and is the main sponsor of the Italian pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Penone is associated with the Arte Povera movement and is known for his works that engage with poetry, nature and time using materials ranging from terracotta to iron.

Photo La Stampa