Luca Marchetti: Profession Grand Master
Who or what inspires your figure modelling
My first figures were inspired by the illustrations found in the Osprey Books that continue to remain a source of inspiration and act as a uniformological bible for modelers of this generation. When I started painting and sculpting unique pieces, the Grand Masters of the Renaissance were my source of inspiration as were the books which I read as a youth. The figure painters/artists who inspired me were Luciano Leni (a famous Italian painter of the 1980s), Bill Horan, Richard Almond, Bruno Leibovitz, Ray Lamb, Julian Hullis, Mike Good and Derek Hansen.
The best thing about figure modelling
I believe that whoever has a passion for Historical Figures is also a person that loves to dream. This I think is the best thing of this hobby – to ensure that we do not forget the best thing of being a kid, the ability to dream.
The worst thing about figure modelling
Honestly I cannot think of anything negative in the hobby, but then again my opinion is coming from somebody who has a deep passion for the hobby.
Favourite modelling era/period
Being Tuscan and a descendant of the Etruscans, it is inevitable that I am passionate about the Ancient and Medieval periods. With the wide variety of fashions, uniforms and armour, the courageous heroic and warrior spirit of the knights, it is impossible for a romantic such as me not to fall in love with these periods.
Favourite modelling competition to enter
The first show I would like to make proud reference to is the Show of Cuneo, which was the first Italian Show that attracted the top European artists to participate in. It was from this show that the Saint Vincent Show was born. The Show of Cuneo was also where my ‘star’ rose and my passion for figure modeling was forged especially after meeting all the Italian and French masters at the time. Next, I am indebt to and would like to acknowledge the Show of Sevres in France which awarded and recognized me as one of the great European painters at that time. During that era there were four major shows in Europe, namely, Sevres, Euromilitaire, Bruxelles and Cuneo and I participated in all four with greater or lesser degrees of success, but I believe that from each show the important thing was that they were all beautiful experiences. I must confess that I have a very fond and soft spot for Sevres because it is at this Show that I had the most satisfaction (apart from the Show at Bruxelles where I won Best of Show, the first time this was awarded to an Italian artists on foreign soil and believe me this was not an easy feat considering some of the top artists in the world competed at that show). But with the French I always had an intense love-hate relationship that has now evolved, transformed and developed into one of respect and friendship. A small historical note is that it was my French friends who were the first to suggest to me to create Pegaso Models.
Most prized award ever won
Well, like I mentioned before, my true modeling consecration occurred in France, Sevres and it was also at this Show where I received my most precious award. Obviously when I won Best of Show at Bruxelles it was a very emotional experience, but at that point I was already considered as one of the top painters in Europe…. instead winning for the first time a gold medal in the 54mm painting category at Sevres was an exceptional moment!!! Before this I had always achieved silver or bronze medals, but the winning of a gold by beating some of the best painters in Europe galvanized my thoughts to seriously consider figure modeling as a dedicated career. In short, that gold medal changed my life substantially. You must also remember that between the Italians and French there has always been an intense rivalry and competition (not only in the world of sport and soccer!!!). Believe me, an Italian winning such a prestigious award in France in one of the most important shows in the world was an immense satisfaction – when I went up to collect my medal I was not walking but flying.
There is another memorable moment in my figure modeling career: this time it was not the winning of any awards but rather an important recognition which I never imagined possible and was a total surprise. After founding Pegaso Models, I almost completely stop participating in Shows and competitions, but due to my links with the Show at Sevres, I continued to attend. Now, in 1996 (if my memory serves me correctly), the then President of Sevres, Monsieur HANNEN, during the final awards presentation, announced my name, and between applauses he conferred me as Grand Master of the Profession. Unbelievable, I was crying with happiness like a baby!!! I am very proud of this recognition as there are very few who have achieved this and I still find it hard to believe that I am one of these.
Achieving natural movement and balance (1994)