The first version of this work was carved out of a giant 31 ton block of marble by Ambrosi in his small studio in war torn Vienna between 1916-1918. This work is now in the collection of the Belvedere Museum, Vienna.
“In the sculpture ‘The Eternal Longing’ or ‘Promethidenlos’ both man and woman are forged like rocks, they are crucified to themselves through their passion, which is the great outlet of longing. Both hostile forces want to escape and yet are searching for each other.” – Gustinus Ambrosi
Gustinus Ambrosi, despite his Italian descent, was born in Eisenstadt, Austria, in February 1893. His initial passion for music was unfortunately hindered by a childhood illness that caused him to lose his hearing at the age of seven. Instead, Ambrosi focused his creative and artistic talents on drawing and sculpture. Much of his time was spent crafting hundreds of plaster models, which displayed an unusually mature quality from early on.
In 1909, Ambrosi’s family moved to Graz, where the young prodigy studied under various decorative sculptors. At the age of 16, the young artist was working as an apprentice when he witnessed a workman break his neck after falling from high scaffolding. This incident had a profound effect on Ambrosi and inspired the highly acclaimed work, Man with a Broken Neck. The piece, which was first shown at the Fine Arts Society of Styria shortly after it was produced, represented a major break-through in the artist’s career.