Gennaro Garofalo was born in Torre del Greco, in the province of Naples, in 1941 and at the age of 13 he made his first Cammeo on shell.
At 16, despite his very young age, between the admiration and wonder of already established Masters, he won the first prize in the glyptic of the cameo.

Eclectic, progressive, creative... the Master Garofalo to his Art did not place any kind of restriction or limit.

He loved to experiment and... while all the others continued with the classic style of engraving, the Master, gave rise to the so-called "Era del Cammeo Garofalo".

It introduces a modern style with soft draperies and double profiles of women, clearing the classic style, loosens the hair in soft fluctuations of wind and radiates the beauty of new faces.

Gennaro Garofalo transforms what was local artiginato in Art. His genius has given the whole world unique works, where the figures seem to emerge from the material and come to life.

Meticulous in the engravings his cameos were able to perfectly express the feelings and emotions of the subjects he portrayed, this is especially what makes Garofalo's creations real masterpieces.

The Master did not constrain art but let it flow, from the natural deformations of the shells he found inspiration... his creativity was guided by curves, by furrows and simply exploded.

The artistic evolution of the
Maestro Garofalo.

He was always inspired by the great artists... Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio.
At the age of five, he collected newspaper clippings of their best works.

His first cameos followed the classical style of the time, with depictions of subjects inspired by the great artists of the past.

At the beginning of the 70s, Gennaro Garofalo refined his study of anatomical representation, focusing in particular on the hands, and innovated the "world of the cameo" by elaborating a new method of using drapery, where the drapes come to life and shapes created by his imagination.

In the 80s he devoted himself to surrealism, carving "fantastic animals"... dragons, goats, beings between horse and lion, his cameos were unique in their kind, never before had anyone given so free rein to their creativity, so much so that his works seemed to come out of a fairy-tale book.

Then the Master came to your original style, the one signed Garofalo, in which his world joined perfectly with the classic one, enriching himself with the experiences and techniques matured over the years. In 2000, to his artistic career, he joined the collaboration with his sons, which will allow him to create a modern and absolutely incredible line of cameos, that of Fantasy and Marquetry, characterized by bright colors and precious inlays.


An Ancient Art, a Treasure to wear.

The Legend tells of large ships returning from the coasts of South Africa and landed in the ports of the towns of the Gulf of Naples.

The ships traveling empty, used large quantities of shells as ballast to burden the boats and make the crossing easier.

On a sunny day in the port of Naples, a sailor playing with a carpenter's chisel and a white shell, the Cassis, realizes he can engrave it...
decided to depict the face of his beloved, giving birth to the first cameo.

The cameo is an artifact made through the engraving of stratified stones or shells, in particular, belonging to the Cassis family.

The surface of these shells consists of two distinct layers of color, this allows to clearly isolate from the bottom the figure in relief.
It has ancient origins, we talk about cameos since the time of the Etruscans, then passing through Greeks and Romans. Over the centuries this artistic expression has become the bearer of values, storyteller and keeper of secrets.

In the history of the cameo, Naples and Torre del Greco occupy a special place. It is said that in the '700 a man from the Gulf of Naples, first, began to apply the techniques of carving on sea shells.
The town of Torre del Greco still holds the unsurpassed record of this art worldwide. Although the shells used come from different parts of the world, it is exclusive to this area of Italy the art of knowing how to carve them with skill and wisdom. This art was handed down from father to son until 1876, when a specific glyptic school was established in the town, the School of Coral Engraving and Industrial Art Design, to protect the knowledge acquired over many centuries of experience.
Even today it is impossible to do it differently.
This makes the cameo on shell, made in the bell, even more admirable and the town of Torrese remains one of the most important coral and shell processing centers in the world.