Berto da Cogolo’s workshop, located in a small village in Verona – Cogollo of Tregnago – still keeps the tradition of old times alive today.
We have been transforming iron into art for over a hundred years. Our passion never ends.
Roberto da Ronco
Roberto from Ronco, known as “Berto from Cogolo,” was one of the prominent Venetian iron artists. Raised in a family of blacksmiths, Roberto quickly learned how to mold iron, honing his skills by attending the art school in Soave. At a young age, Roberto forged weapons and focused on the restoration of old armor.
In 1910, he moved to Venice and worked in the significant artisan workshops of Battocchio and Bottacini, coming into contact with Umberto Bellotto. In 1920, he collaborated with the most important iron company, “Dalla Vecchia e Kunn.” Roberto’s expertise was such that it transcended craftsmanship and became art in its fullest sense.
In 1943, in the midst of World War II, his most famous work, “La Via Crucis,” is situated as a long prayer, written with iron, sweat, and anguish in the heart for those dark moments. “La Via Crucis” is also made of faith and hope.
Alberto da Ronco
Alberto da Ronco, known as “Bertin,” was born in Cogollo on January 27, 1922. He soon joined his father Roberto in their family business, adopting the challenging technique of “lavorazione da dentro,” which involved shaping the inner part of iron sheets by hammering them with a spherical hammer while they were supported and guided over another steel sphere.
This technique allowed for the perfect execution of a life-sized equestrian statue, gifted by Enrico Mattei to Reza Pahlevi, the Shah of Persia, as well as other renowned figures like King Gustav of Sweden and Eisenhower. Using the same method, he also crafted the bust of Queen Elizabeth of England, Marco Peres James, the President of Venezuela, Giuseppe Sagraat, and many more. After completing his initial apprenticeship in the family workshop, he attended the “Napoleone Nani” art institute in Verona. Later, he resumed working alongside his father and, during that period, he did not hesitate to work with other metals such as gold, brass, and copper.
His first significant work is a crucifix measuring 1.80 meters in height, created for the romantic chapel in Albaro (VR). Another important piece is a copper angel, over 3 meters tall, with the ability to rotate. Alberto underwent a cultural education that spanned from neo-impressionist romanticism to a lyrically modern art style, characterized by a dynamically extended representation of the figure towards a simple linearity.
Alberto passes the torch to his nephew Marco.
Marco Da Ronco
Marco Da Ronco, born in Verona on August 27, 1961, lives and works in Cogollo. The tradition continues. Marco grows up amidst the scent of iron, the sparkling crackling of the forge, the rhythmic sounds of the hammer taming the red-hot iron, held by the tongs and resting on the anvil. No one pushes him into the workshop or encourages him to be interested in anything else. There will be no need for that; the calling comes naturally.
From the age of 18, he works in the workshop with his uncle Bertin and the other ironworkers in the shop. From the age of 20 to 23, he attends the Academy of Fine Arts in Verona, and that seals the deal definitively. After many experiences in high-quality craftsmanship, he begins to soar on his own, so much so that his uncle, once an affectionate teacher, quickly transforms into a pleased colleague. His works are scattered all over Italy, just as the evidence of his generosity is everywhere
Among his most important works, we can mention the “Gothic door” in a 15th-century Gothic palace in the center of Verona. In Lazise, he constructs gazebos with doors and lamps, creating suggestive effects. To conclude in a fitting manner with one of Marco’s works, an exclusive piece stands out—a hand-forged 16th-century-style bed, crafted as it was done in that era, meticulously embellished with leaves. It is worked in the round, allowing it to be admired from both the front and the back.
This work is particularly dear to Marco because it reminds him that over 60 years earlier, just a few meters from that place, his grandfather Roberto had worked on restoring the 14th-century gates of the Scaliger Tombs: an extraordinary relay.
Matteo Da Ronco