Sauro Cavallini was born on March 4 1927 in La Spezia, the offspring of a Ligurian family originally from Savona.
After many years spent in the Navy, his father was employed by the Italian national railways and transferred to Florence.
Because of his inspiration for art, Sauro was literally adopted by the city of Florence.
By this time, he had slowly become more and more interested in plastic art.
A self-taught artist, in 1957 he exhibited some of his works in a group show.
In 1958 he held a personal exhibition in Livorno.
In 1961, on the occasion of the 1st centennial of the Italian Unification, he took part in the Mostra Nazionale d’Arte Contemporanea Figurativa at the Royal Palace in Caserta.
In 1961 he held a personal exhibition at Galleria Cairola, in Milan.
In 1961 he exhibited his works at the Mostra di Arte Sacra in Bari.
In 1962 he held a personal exhibition at Galleria San Marco, in Rome.
In 1962 he held a personal exhibition at Accademia del Ceppo, in Pistoia.
In 1963 he exhibited his works in the group show Mostra Mercato Nazionale d’Arte Contemporanea at Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence.
In 1963 the bronze Portrait of Statesman Konrad Adenauer was placed in the Palace of Government in Bonn, and published in the volume Adenauer Bildungs und Deutung (Komm mit Verlag).
In 1965 he participated in the XVI Premio Internazionale del Fiorino d’Oro in Florence with the sculpture Cat, and he was awarded the First Prize for sculpture.
In 1967 he exhibited his works in the group show at the open-air Museo di Scultura in Legnano, held at the Pagani Foundation.
In 1968 he produced other works, among which the huge bronze Flight of the Seagulls, that architect Italo Gamberini would place in front of the new RAI TV building in Florence.
In 1968 he also produced the work Crucifix, a 4 meters bronze of Christ placed at Cimitero delle Porte Sante, by the church of San Miniato al Monte (Florence).
In 1970 he was invited to Zurich, in Switzerland, where he opened an exhibition at the Burdeke art gallery.
In 1971 he held a personal exposition at Galleria Idea in Florence.
In 1971 he held a personal exposition at Galleria Bellini in Florence.
In 1971 he participated in the VIII edition of the contest Concorso nazionale del Bronzetto in Padua.
In 1971 he presented his works at the Antologica exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi, in Florence.
In 1971 he exhibited his works in the group show Opere di scultura di maestri italiani held at the Galleria Falsetti in Cortina D’Ampezzo, in collaboration with the Azienda Autonoma del Turismo of the town.
In 1972 he held a personal exposition at Galleria Falsetti in Viareggio.
In 1973 he held a personal exposition by the Romanic cloister of the Cathedral in Prato (Museo Opera del Duomo) thanks to the Falsetti Gallery.
His studio started to be furnished with bronze models and monuments that slowly became part of private and bank collections.
Among these, the group of five figures Fountain of Maternity, that a few years later would be placed in Piazza Ferrucci, in Florence.
In 1967 he exhibited a huge bronze in the group show at the Salon D’Automne Grand Palais, in Paris.
In 1978 he was awarded the prize La Fronda D’Oro by the mayor of Genoa: this prestigious prize is meant for those who honour the native region of Liguria with their work.
In 1978 he realized the Monument to Peace. In 1982, this huge 9x3 sculpture would be placed in the park of Palazzo degli Affari, in Florence.
Motivated by the art historian Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, in 1982 he realized the model of what would be a unique example of in-the-round sculpture in art history: The Last Supper. Cavallini would produce this full-size sculpture in 1999.
In 1982 he exhibited two works in the Centro Studi Ragghianti in Lucca during a group show on Italian sculpture.
In 1983 he was commissioned to realize the War Memorial by the municipality of Diano Marina in Liguria. The statue placed in the main square enjoyed the approval of the population and authorities, so that the artist was granted the freedom of the city.
In 1984, in Terni, he was granted the San Valentino d’Oro Prize.
In 1984 the president of Ford Motor Company, Henry Ford II, invited him to his foundation in Detroit. Cavallini was surely tempted to remain in America given the tempting opportunities. However, he resolved to come back to Italy, especially for family matters.
In 1987 he held a personal exposition of bronzes and sketches at the Locus Gallery in London, after being invited by the Italian Embassy as the artist representative of Italian sculpture.
In 1987, after a five-year study of models, he began the production of The Last Supper. The municipality of Lastra a Signa (Florence) made an industrial warehouse available for him, where he would work for three years to complete the work: 16m. long by 6.5m. tall.
In 1988 the former Ministry of Economy Amintore Fanfani proposed him to create a bronze representative medal for special occasions. The event was a great success, and the artist had to create another one for the University of Florence.
In 1990, he exhibited his works in the group show “Percorso della Scultura”, subtitled “Sculture della Collezione del Principato di Monaco” at the Palazzo del Senato in Milan. The event was organised by the Principality of Monaco and featured works by De Chirico, Arman, Botero, Cèsar, Mitoraj, Moore, Pomodoro.
In 1991 he was commissioned the monument Hymn to Life by the Italian State. The work was conceived of as a gift for the European Council, and was placed in the Palace of Human Rights in Strasbourg. The French postal service also issued a philatelic document with the effigy of the work.
In 1992 he was received by Pope Wojtyla, to whom he donated a bronze model of the monument Hymn to Life.
In 1992, on the anniversary of the discovery of America, and on the occasion of the 1992 Expo, he placed the Monument to Columbus in Genoa, a 6m. tall bronze.
In 1992 Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, bought Monument to the Dance, on display in the gardens of Fointville.
In 1993 the European Union published the volume Variations. The Concil of Europe Art Collection. The publication presented the sculptors and works owned by the European Council and displayed in Strasbourg. The image on the cover of the book portrayed monument Hymn to Life by Sauro Cavallini.
In 1994 Cavallini won a contest announced by the University of Florence and placed the work Icarus; at Villa Favard, seat at that time of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce. Later on, Icarus was moved by the sponsor to the headquarters of Signorini S.p.A., Prato.
In 1996 he was awarded the Columbus Prize for Arts by the Rotary Club in the wonderful Salone dei 500 at Palazzo Vecchio, in Florence.
In 1996, on the occasion of the European Summit, the sculpture group Fountain of Maternity, featuring 5 bronzes in a semi-circular disposition, was placed in Piazza Ferrucci by the Municipality of Florence.
In 1998 Cavallini wrote and published the book of poems Cantici del mare e della vita (Polistampa-Florence).
In 2000 he was commissioned a monument by the Italian community of the Principality of Monaco to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Rainier III’s regency. The sculpture Fratenity was placed in front of the new railway station, and inaugurated by the Princes Rainier and Albert. The former president of the Italian Republic Francesco Cossiga participated as a representative of Italy.
In December 2000 he participated in the exhibition Europa: Cultura e Libertà patronized by the Repubblica Italiana president . On this occasion, he presented the small bronze version of Hymn to Life in Forte dei Marmi (Lucca), which he had produced ten years earlier for the European Council in Strasbourg.
In 2006 he held the one-man exposition Bronzo in Movimento at the Palazzo del Parco in Diano Marina (Imperia).
In the following year the exhibition would be displayed inside the church of San Giuseppe in Alba (Cuneo).
In 2010 he collaborated with archistar Ron Arad and Notify fashion house in a project involving his Monument to Peace on the occasion of the Pitti Immagine Uomo event. This would be his last public appearance before his retirement to his villa in Fiesole, where he devoted himself to his biography.
Due to heart failure, Sauro Cavallini passed away in his studio on 27 July 2016. His only heirs and curators of his heritage are his children Teo and Aine.
In January 2017 open in Fiesole (Florence) within the artist's studio, by the will of the heirs, the “Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini”. The studio is opened to the public, inaugurating its season of events in the presence of the President of the Regional Council of Tuscany, the Mayor of the town and the press.
In May 2017, the Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini is invited to exhibit some of the master's works at the "Visionary Art Show" in Lecce and during the event the artist is awarded the “Lifetime Achivement Award”. The President of the Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini withdraws the prize.
In June 2017 by the collaboration between the Municipality of Fiesole and the Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini, the great public exhibition "Intrusioni" is inaugurated in the town in the province of Florence. The event has obtained the patronage of the Municipality of Florence, the Tuscany Region and the Metropolitan City of Florence.
In October 2017, the Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini is invited to exhibit some unpublished works by the master at the XI edition of the International Biennial of Art in Florence (Florence Biennale) and the artist is awarded the "Lorenzo il Magnifico" International Prize to the Career. The President and Vice President of the Centro Studi Sauro Cavallini receive the award.
March 2018 the Art Gallery Marval in Neuchatèl (Switzerland) present a Sauro Cavallini’s personal exhibition until June 2018. The foreign exhibition offers to the swiss collectors bronze sketches and tempera on paper made by the italian master between 1965 and 2000.
June 2018 the Sauro Cavallini’s religious works are exhibited in the Salone Donatello of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence on the occasion of the collective exhibition "Presenze nell'Arte Contemporanea" together with the masters Guttuso, Annigoni, Carrà, Sironi, Rosai.
July 2018 inaugurates in Pietrasanta, with the patronage of the municipality, the Sauro Cavallini’s monumental personal exhibition in Piazzetta San Martino, in the Galleria Paoli and inside the Sant'Agostino’s church tower.
October 2018 inaugurated at the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence the great personal exhibition "Luce e Ombra" by Sauro Cavallini. The oldest academy in the world presents about 70 works between painting and sculpture by the master Sauro Cavallini under the patronage of the Municipality of Florence, the Tuscany Region, the Metropolitan City, the Municipality of Fiesole, the Michelucci Foundation and the financial contribution of the Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze Foundation , Banca Mediolanum, Regional Council of Tuscany. The exhibition is presented by the President of the Academy Dott.ssa Cristina Acidini, the Mayor of Florence Dott. Dario Nardella and the President of the Regional Council of Tuscany Dott. Eugenio Giani.