Winged Victory created with Favini papers

18 Jun

Posted in Art

It all started in November 2019, when the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence opened its doors for an remarkable visit and is where Riccardo Zani first encountered the sculpture of the Winged Victory, whose story is told on the Brescia museums page.

The artist Riccardo Zani was fascinated by it and decided to create his paper sculpture “Winged Victory” using Favini paper.

Winged Victory is a remarkable sculpture: Napoleon III wanted a copy of it, now in the Louvre, also a series of stamps were dedicated to her to celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the Victory of the First World War.

“I wanted to make a Victory too, which was not in marble, and which was not a copy.” Says Zani and was remembering what his friend and teacher Filippo Dobrilla [1] , had always said: “Don’t make copies, it is a waste of time, try to understand how a statue is made and then carve your own”.

The sculptor Zani decided to express the idea of his own Victory from a process that was respectful of nature and the environment with unfurled wings about to take flight.

Hence the concept of creating a new version of the statue, using an ecological and sustainable material. Favini papers seemed the ideal support to carry out his work. Favini, always attentive to environmental issues, offers a wide choice of coloured supports including a choice of metallic effects that could well represent the colours and surfaces designed by the artist for the creation of his paper figure.

How to “carve” paper?

All artists in the past went to the artisans’ workshops to learn and Riccardo Zani knew nothing about this material, paper. In Renaissance sculpture, it was customary to obtain marble “one-piece” sculptures and following this principle, Zani knew that he did not want to use glues or to assemble pieces together, moreover, he didn’t want to model the paper as if it were clay or even harden and sculpt it as marble.

“How to find the right teacher to sculpt the paper?” Wondered Zani.

The paper heart that transforms into a dove made by Julian Park.

In 2018 on a trip to South Korea, Zani by chance met a girl and he briefly described to her his project, she gave him an unusual answer: “If you are a sculptor, why use plastic? Paper is much better!” and placed a paper heart on his hand. She said to him: “This heart is transforming, try!” and the paper heart in his hands was turned into a Dove of Peace. The artist who created this delicate paper magic is Julian Park. [2]

The JPC Julian Paper Craft technique to transform Favini paper into art

A sheet of paper which can seem flimsy in its two dimensional state, once folded, acquires strength, resistance, elasticity and a three-dimensional space.

After an intense exchange of views between Zani and the master Julian Park on the “SUSPENSIS ALIS BRIXIAE VICTORIA” project, the two artists decided that the new Victory would be born in Florence, and it would be the result of a four-handed work. In order to start the project, it was first necessary to decide which paper to use. Favini’s papers usually intended for printing and graphics in the world of design and packaging were to become the protagonists of a new artistic experimentation.

Discover all the graphic specialties of Favini and request a sample.

Among Favini’s wide range of graphic specialties, Zani identified some papers that by colour, surface and metallic effect were the ideal support to create his version of the Winged Victory. Majestic, Favini’s metallized paper in the Gardeners Green shade; Lunar, the paper with its distinctive micro-embossed finish and metallized surface in the Sage and White shades; finally  Favini Art the paper for artists were all used for  the making of the prototypes.

From left Julian Park, Riccardo Zani and the publisher Federico Maschietto who hosted the artists in his atrium to make the Favini paper figures.

The time had come for Riccardo Zani and Julian Park to start working on the project and to develop exactly how to free the Winged Victory from its static posture.

Riccardo Zani was the creator and artistic director and Julian was the artist working alongside him on the project day and night.

Riccardo Zani and Doi Park while working on the production of the Winged Victory using Favini papers; Majestic, Lunar and Favini Art.

Understanding Julian’s JPC technique for cutting and folding paper is very complex, and his daughter Doi Park, already taught in this art form, came over from Germany to support Zani.

The JPC technique, from Julian Park, originates from his theatrical experience: it starts from a small sheet of less than 10 cm folded in two, and is cut directly with scissors, without the use of drawing.

Sketches of the Winged Victory that will be created with some of the Favini’s graphic specialties.

The form to be obtained is imagined in the mind, “you must be big, and your creation small, so you dominate it”. Often what you cut does not appear as the final result, you have to do many tests until you get to a definitive model. The template for this model can be traced back to a vector drawing, a code called CODEX, from which a die for mass production is obtained. The perfect codex is without waste, all the paper of the initial sheet is used, with various folds, even multiples of cut parts, structural tensions are created, which are essential to the balance of the final creation.

The group of artists experimented and discovered the different characteristics of the paper, for example they understood that the Lunar micro-embossed paper by Favini has a direction and that when folded on the reverse side doesn’t respond like the other papers.

A prototype of the Winged Victory made by Julian Park with Favini Art paper.

Making a large statue was quite ambitious, so they set themselves the goal of creating smaller maquettes, prototypes of the Victory,  to be of average simplicity so that anyone with instructions would have been able to make it and so it became nicknamed Nike 08.

With the arrival of COVID-19 and the beginning of the restrictions during the quarantine period for Riccardo Zani and Julian Park, a period of only virtual meetings began. “In this difficult moment the strategy has changed, Victory has acquired a transnational value, becoming a symbol of redemption from this threat.” Zani tells us.

Vittoria Alata in mid- size about 60 cm, in Majestic Gardeners Green 290 gsm paper by Favini.

From home Riccardo continued his contribution by assimilating the information from drawings and photos that Julian sent, until the long-awaited moment of the final transformation of Victory with arms to the sky and wings spread: SUSPENSIS ALIS.

Winged Victory in its diurnal and nocturnal posture versions, up to the liberating flight created with Favini Art paper.

“SUSPENSIS ALIS VICTORIAE MUNDI” will be the Victory that will use all the colours taken from the Olympic flag [3] with the addition of bronze silver and gold, always reproduced using Favini papers, to represent all the countries of the world united for a Victory of all beings humans, against this invisible enemy.

Julian added a sense of drama to the whole project, by creating the story on his site, which all of his followers read and eagerly waited for the next episode. This created a great reporting technique to the evolutionary process of the project with each evolution of the Winged Victory developing an increasing interest. Click to discover the evolution of the Nike project.

More images and descriptions of the project can be found in Julian Park’s blog where he talks about his meeting with Maschietto Editore in Florence.

Favini papers are usually developed for printing and packaging in mind, but we have told some testimonials of their alternative artistic uses in our blog:


And how do you use it? Tag your creations on Instagram with the hashtag #Favinipapers or write to us at



[1] Filippo Dobrilla

[2] Julian Park 

[3] Bandiera Olimpica

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