1950 YOUTH

Manzoni attended middle school and the classical high school at the Leone XIII Catholic Institute, developed a passion for science fiction and crime novels, listened to classical music and jazz and from 1950 took private lessons in painting, learning the basic rudimentary techniques. He later also briefly attended the free school of the nude at the Brera Fine Arts Academy.

After graduating from high school in 1951, he enrolled in the faculty of law at Milan’s Catholic University. In this period, he was a habitual spectator and omnivorous consumer of concerts, films, theatre and ballet, an avid reader of novels and human sciences and was beginning to dream of a future as a writer. In 1953, he began to devote himself more seriously to painting, influenced above all by the Ligurian scene dominated by the pottery kilns that attracted many artists, Lucio Fontana at their head. Between the March of 1954 and the May of 1955, Manzoni kept a diary with a wealth of information about this formative period.


Piero in St. Moritz, September 1948

Piero Manzoni on a scooter, Summer 1952

Youth Italian Hostel Association card, 1952

Two pages from Piero Manzoni’s diary, February 1955