Anna Chromy (born July 18, 1940 in Ceský Krumlov) is a painter and sculptor. Born in Bohemia (Czech Republic), she was raised in Austria, lives in France and works in Italy. She is said to be a quintessential European.
At the end of World War II, Anna Chromy's family moved from Bohemia to Vienna, Austria. Her family did not have enough money for her to attend art school however, so only after she married and moved to Paris was it possible. She received her education at the École des Beaux-Arts. It was here she realised an interest in Salvador Dalí and other surrealists, and began using the soft colours of William Turner in her paintings.
A life-threatening accident in 1992 meant that Anna Chromy was unable to paint for eight years. She turned her attention to sculpture using bronze and marble as her medium.
Anna Chromy has studios in Pietrasanta, Tuscany where she also has her bronze foundries, Fonderia Artistica Mariani and Massimo Del Chiaro. For her marble sculptures she works at the studio of Massimo Galleni in Pietrasanta. In Carrara, she sculpts at Studio Michelangelo of Franko Barattini.
The 15 ft High Cloak of Conscience
Cloak of Conscience weighs 45 tonnes
Visitors can walk inside.
The Cloak of Conscience close up
Chromy's best-known piece is the empty coat, known as The Cloak of Conscience, Piétà or Commendatore, located in Cathedral in Salzburg, Austria, Stavovske divadlo in Prague, National Archeological Museum in Athens and elsewhere. Chromy has since transformed The Cloak into a chapel over four metres high, carved out of a block of white marble weighing 250 tons in the Cave Michelangelo in Carrara.
Other important works include the Olympic Spirit, to be placed in front of the new library in Shanghai; and Europe, a contemporary reinterpretation of the old myth, to be placed at the European institutions. In 2009 her “Olivier d’Or” was presented by Albert II, Prince of Monaco to Nobel Peace Prize winner, Elie Wiesel. In 2008 she presented a model of The Cloak of Conscience to Pope Benedict XVI at Saint Peters in Rome to mark the creation of the Conscience Institute.
In 2012 at the London Olympic Games, Anna Chromy's Olympic Spirit was positioned in the Olympic Village, the home of the athletes for the duration of the games. It was provided as a gift from Lord Moynihan, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, and a compliment to the sportsmen and women competing at the Games. Some of them posed next to it to have their photograph taken, including Matthew Mitcham who climbed to the top of it for his photo. Ulysses, another of the Olympic collection, was positioned in the harbour of Monaco in 2011, and Sisyphus has been positioned at the University of Pisa.
Olympic Spirit in the Olympic Village London 2012
Ulysses in Monaco Harbour 2011
Australian Olympic diver, Matthew Mitcham on top of Olympic Spirit, London 2012
England Olympic hockey player, Georgie Twigg with The Olympic Spirit, London 2012
Olympic Spirit (2004)
Marionett Dancer (1997)
Chromy draws inspiration from music, opera in particular; classic dance; and the ancient myths. Her paintings contain references to the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism and other Central European artists. Her colours, sometimes used also on sculptures, have a subtle Turner-like touch.
- Don Giovanni and the Sound of Bronze (2000) in Prague (Czech Republic)
- Il Canto di Orfeo (2004) Pietrasanta (Italy)
- Europe (2005) Place Vendôme, Paris (France)
- Mythos Revisited (2007), National Archeological Museum, Athens (Greece)
- Dream of the East (2009), Beijing (China)
- Myths of the Mediterranean (2011), St. Tropez (France)
- Spiritus Mundi (2012), Foshan (China)
The Chromy Awards
The Chromy awards were conceived by Anna Chromy following her study and practice of conscience art. The first award ceremony, in 2013, will honour those individuals who have been nominated for their diligence and service to saving humankind or the Earth, or both, in the work they do. The first nominees include people like Bill Gates, Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi and Gene Sharp. Following completion of The Cloak of Conscience, and on further reflection of her life's work, Anna Chromy painted a series of oils on canvas in 2012 called Chromology. These were created to reflect the emotion, purpose and meaning of those who might win a Chromy award. These paintings were later added to, and the entire collection became Chromatology.
'To be or not to be', 1982
'Eternal Love', 1979
'Ball in Venice', 1979
Anna Chromy in China
Anna Chromy has gathered interest in China since 1995 when she was honorary guest at the Guangzhou-art-fair. In the time since then her popularity has grown in the region. In December 2011, at her exhibition in Foshan, Qiao Hua, Director of the Grandfather Art Gallery, formalised her popularity when he said her works have won the favour of collectors in China. She has been invited to exhibit her entire collection for the first time at the National Museum of China, on Tiananmen Square in Beijing. In June 2012, during the placement of Chromy's Olympic Spirit in the National Academy of Sculpture in Beijing, Wu Weishan, Director of the Academy appointed Anna Chromy Honorary Fellow in the National Academy.