Federico Carasso


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Carasso was born into a family of craftsmen. In 1922, two weeks after Benito Mussolini’s seizure of power, he fled to Paris, where he worked as a carpenter. Because of his political activism, he was deported from France in 1928, which happened to him in Brussels in 1933. He eventually took refuge in the Netherlands, which became his new homeland. He befriended Maurits Dekker, Han Wezelaar, Leo Braat, Piet Esser and Gerrit van der Veen.

Yet in 1933 Carasso still had his first exhibition in Brussels, albeit under the pseudonym Fred Deltor. In addition to drawings, photo collages, he also showed four small images. In Amsterdam he was able to develop himself as a sculptor and he was included in the circle of Amsterdam sculptors. In 1938 Carasso exhibited for the first time in the Netherlands. In 1956 he was appointed professor of sculpture at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht to succeed Oscar Jespers.

Carasso built the 46-meter-high National Monument for the Merchant Navy in Rotterdam, in memory of the 3,500 civilian casualties at sea during the Second World War. Carasso’s design consisted of a stylized aluminum ship’s bow with concrete waves. Already in 1957, before the unveiling, a lot of discussion arose and it was decided to add a bronze group of statues with the motto they kept the course. The 8-meter-high sculpture group was only completed in 1965.