Information about Michael Rizzello

Michael Rizzello (2 April 1926 - 28 September 2004)

Michael Gaspard Rizzello OBE was a sculptor and designer. He was born in London of Italian parents. He attended the Royal College of Art winning both the Drawing Prize and Traveling Scholarship in Sculpture. This led to study in Italy, sculpture in Rome for two years, and he was awarded the Prix de Rome 1951 for Sculpture. He began his career making wax heads for Madame Tussauds.

He served an unprecedented term of two 5-year periods as President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. His public statuary includes Dancer with Ribbon in Oxford Street, London (the Plaza, the old Bourne & Hollingsworth). His David Lloyd George stands in Cathays Park, Cardiff, and other portrait busts include Nelson Mandela.

Rizzello won many commissions from the Royal Mint to make portraits for coins and medals, which was to remain an important part of his work for most of his life. His designs included the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross and the £2 coin commemorating the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, both in 1995.

He was made an OBE in the 1977 Silver Jubilee and Birthday Honours list.

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