Odhise Paskali, Albanian (1903 - 1985)

 Odhise Paskali is considered one the most outstanding artists in Albania. He received his Diploma Di Laurea in Philosophical Studies from the University of Turin, Italy.
After his graduation, he stayed in Turin for another year to study sculpture with Ruffino.
Upon his return to Tirana, Paskali became one the founders of Albanian Sculpture.
He became very involved in many art-related organizations and dedicated his life to the development of art in Albania. Paskali has been awarded very prestigious titles for his artistic work. His monumental sculptures are placed on main squares of major cities in Albania. Photographs of his work are used on the Albanian passport, currency, stamps, postcards and other governmental publications.
Paskali was a sculptor, poet, essayist, translator, publisher and academician.
He spoke Latin, Ancient Greek, Modern Greek, Italian, French, German and English.
Odhise Paskali laid the foundations of monumental sculpture in Albania.

In 1925 when Paskali realized The Hungry he sent the work along with Face of a Girl (Fytyrë vajze) to Ahmet Zogu, then Prime Minister of Albania, and asked in return for a scholarship to study in an academy of arts in Italy. Zogu fulfilled his desire by sending him to Turin. As a student in Turin, he initiated the Albanian Student Association (Studenti shqiptar) and the magazine of the Albanian Students of Turin. He graduated in 1927 in Art Critique at the Litterature and Phylosophy School of the Kingdom of Italy University in Turin. In the '30s he was one of the initiators of the association Friends of the Albanians (Miqt e Arbrit). He was also one of the organizers of the first exposure of arts and the first School of Painting in Tirana.

Paskali has finished around 600 sculptures. His first sculpture was The Hungry. His masterpiece is the Skanderbeg's monument in Tirana, Albania. Other important works are The Flag Bearer (Flamurtari 1932, Vlore), The National Fighter (Luftëtari Kombëtar 1932, Korçë), The Mountaneer (Malësori), Jeronim De Rada, Naim Frashëri, KETI, Themistokli Gërmenji, Naum Veqilharxhi, The Unknown Soldier (Ushtari i panjohur), Vojo Kushi, Fan Noli, Onufri, Ahmet Zogu, Enver Hoxha, Çerçiz Topulli, Pashko Vasa, Migjeni, Isa Boletini, Idriz Seferi. It is thought that many of Paskali's works can be found in Italy and Switzerland as they were taken away through pillage during the Fascist Italian Invasion.

Odhise was director of the National Gallery of Figurative Arts of Albania in the 1960's.


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