Augusto Lorenzini archive




A collection of around 600 designs and presentation drawings (pencil, ink and watercolour), and full-scale working drawings (cartoons) relating to painted decoration schemes in the Italian Renaissance Revival taste for walls and ceilings of public and private buildings in Rome, London, Sydney and Melbourne. This portfolio of 19th century designs and drawings is supported by a collection of 19th century topographical prints, engravings of architectural ornament, and works on perspective drawing, forming part of the artist's professional reference collection.

Augusto Lorenzini (1852-1921) was a Roman-born artist decorator who worked as a decorative artist in Paris and London before arriving in Sydney in 1883 where he established a studio, announcing his business under the banner 'Signor Augusto Lorenzini, Italian artist decorator', and sharing the space with sculptor and compatriot Tommaso Sani. He quickly became part of a small but highly visible circle of Italian artists and artisans resident in the city. In the 1880s and early 1890s Lorenzini's commissions, mostly carried out in the High Renaissance style of Raffaello Raphael, ranged across commercial, ecclesiastical and domestic work. He prepared a substantial exhibit for the New South Wales Court of the 1888 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition and was awarded a First Order of Merit for his 'mural art decorations'. He also developed plans to establish an 'Industrial Studio of Art' to provide art training for decorators. In the early 1890s Lorenzini formed a short-lived partnership with Giuseppe Anivitti, brother of the painter Giulio Anivitti, before the severe economic depression of the 1890s forced him to give up his studio and retire to an orchard at Dural. On Sydney's northern outskirts Lorenzini's legacy, in the form of intact decorative schemes, has been almost entirely lost. This rare archive of working drawings and full-scale designs is significant as testimony to his place in Australian cultural history and to the otherwise largely unrecorded taste for painted decoration in the Italian Renaissance style in Victorian Sydney


Augusto Lorenzini

C1875 to c1903; Decoration and ornament; Interior decoration; Italian Australians; Mural painting and decoration; Renaissance revival (Art); Symbolism in art

Design drawings; Drawings

Coverage Spatial

Rome, Italy; London, UK; Sydney, Australia; Melbourne, Australia

Coverage Temporal



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