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The Cycling Art of Ottorino Mancioli

Ottorino Mancioli was born in Rome on April 26, 1908 into an upper-middle class family, later studying humanities and medicine at the University of Rome where he received his degree in Medicine and Surgery in 1932.

Mancioli soon found himself equally divided between his life as a doctor and his career as an artist, painter, draughtsman and writer on medical and sports topics, after developing a taste for drawing early on.

Thanks to his keen powers of observation, he soon became known for his detailed stretches of the human body in motion, paying close attention to the stylistic trends of Futurism, Art Deco and Rationalism. 

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During the early 1930s to the late 1940’s, Mancioli participated in numerous important exhibits throughout Italy, the USA and parts of Europe such as the Olympic Competition and Exhibition of Art, Museum of History, Science and Art, the III Mostra della Gioventù Fascista Romana, Aranciera di Villa Umberto, the XXXIV Esposizione Sociale “Amici dell’Arte” at the Palazzo del Valentino, the Mostra di disegni del Sindacato Interprovinciale Fascista Belle Arti, Circolo delle Arti e delle Lettere, the I Mostra Nazionale d’Arte sportiva, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, the Olympischer Kunstwettewerb, Der Olympischen Kunstausstellung, in Halle VI des Ausstellungs-Gelandes am Kaiserdamm, Berlin-Charlottenburg, II Mostra Nazionale d’Arte ispirata allo Sport, Mercati Traianei, I Mostra degli Artisti italiani in armi at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and the III Mostra d’Arte ispirata allo Sport and the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna.

During the WW II, Mancioli served as a medical officer in the Folgore Brigade and was decorated with a silver medal for valor, after being wounded at El Alamein that left his arm paralyzed for two years.

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In the aftermath of the war, Mancioli embarked on new artistic pursuits by collaborating with various magazines and newspapers, publishing  drawings that he often submitted along with articles, thus combining the roles of physician and sportsman.

Additionally, he illustrated books and successfully took part in a number of exhibitions, including some abroad like the II Bienal Internacional del Deporte en Bellas Artes, Palacio del Retiro, Madrid in 1969, the III Bienal Internacional del Deporte en Bellas Artes, Reales Atarazanas, Barcelona in 1971.

He also held two solo exhibitions at the Perugia, Hotel Brufani in 1957 and the Ancona, Panathlon Club in 1958, while also publishing a monograph for Giuochi sportivi in 1976, which featured forewords by Gianni Brera and Libero de Libero.

Brera also edited a volume devoted to Mancioli as part of the Libretti di Mal’Aria series later that year.  

Mancioli also illustrated certain aspects of sports medicine via figurative stretching, portraying sublime moments in which the human body appears to transcend the laws of gravity and attain a harmonious balance between strength and beauty. Moreover, his anatomical knowledge, which he had absorbed through his medicine studies and later first-hand experience, also enabled him to convey all the dynamism of individual movement(s).

In the latter half of his life, Mancioli developed an artistic style that loosened the bonds of stricter stretching in favor of flowing athletic gestures that depicted motion and emotion in greater detail.

In the 1960s, he began experimenting with sculpture, using various techniques and materials to further express human movement and expression.

Among Mancioli’s last works was a large wall painting that measured approximately 70 meters in length and 2 meters in height. Located in the old Parioli Tennis Club in Viale Tiziano in Rome, it is devoted to great Italian sportsman. 

Mancioli suddenly passed away on March 21, 1990 at his family’s summer home.

 

 

 

 

 

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