Emilio Greco

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameEmilio•Greco
Used nameEmilio•Greco
Born11 October 1913 in Catania, Catania (ITA)
Died4 April 1995 in Roma, Roma (ITA)
NOC Italy


Italian sculptor Emilio Greco was a marble worker in Sicily before studying in Palermo. During World War II he was drafted and sent to Albania. After three years, when the Allied troops liberated Albania, Greco joined the American Red Cross. Greco later taught in Carrara, Napoli and Roma. Later, he worked in München, Salzburg and even stayed in Iran for some time. He was one of the most important European sculptors of the 20th century; in particular his complicated movement patterns in his female nudes were unique. In addition, he also was an esteemed lithographer and etcher. From 1962-64, Greco designed and constructed the bronze doors of the Orvieto Cathedral. He was also known for his literary production and poetry, and lithographs and etchings, amongst others on Italian stamps.

His sculpture Lottatore in Riposo (Fighter in Rest) won Honorable Mention in the art competitions at the 1948 London Olympics in the category Mixed Statues. The bronze figure from 1947 is 30 x 21 x 18 cm in size. A large version (Grande Lottatore) was created shortly afterwards in the format 93 x 90 x 61 cm. Two of its bronze castings are in Auckland and Antwerp. Probably the original version was presented on the III. National Sports Inspired Art Exhibition at the National Gallery of Modern Art in Roma and then at the Tate Gallery in London. Since the British art critic Neville Wallis in “Punch” described Greco’s work as a “bronze statuette”, it was apparently the first and smaller version. In 1960 Greco created the commemorative medal for the Olympic Games in Roma.

In 2013, to commemorate the centenary of Greco’s birth, Poste Italiane issued a postage stamp entitled Vittoria Olimpica, taken from a 1960 sculpture located in the square of the Palazzo dello Sport in Roma.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1948 Summer Olympics Art Competitions ITA Emilio Greco
Sculpturing, Statues, Open (Olympic) HM