Francesco Messina was born in Linguaglossa (Catania) in 1900. He grows up, dirt poor, in Genova, where he studied, completing his training with visits in the greatest museums of Europe. In 1932 he moved to Milan.
In 1934 he gets the Chair of Sculpture at the Academy of Brera in Milan of which, in 1936, he becomes the Director. During the fascist regime he was temporarily removed from his position, but in 1947 he obtains again the chair.
He participates from 1926 to ’29 at the great exhibitions of the group Il Novecento Italiano in Milan and from 1930 to 1940 at the most important exhibitions of Italian abroad: Bern, Zurich, Gothenburg, Oslo, Monaco, Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires. In 1949 he exhibited at the great exhibition “3rd International Sculpture” organized by the Fairmount Park Association of Philadelphia (USA).
In 1956 he participates with a solo exhibition at the XXVIII Venice Biennale. From 1965 to 1975 he took part to the “Mostra Itinerante del Bronzetto Italiano” organized by Fortunato Belloni, that will be held in eighteen countries. In 1977 in the Museum of Lugano, Villa Ciani, is accepted his donation of sculpture and graphics, arranged in four rooms.
In 1978 two important exhibitions of sculpture and graphics are held in Moscow (Pushkin Museum) and in St. Petersburg (Hermitage). Later, the two museums dedicated permanent rooms to the donation of the Master, forty sculptures and many graphics.
In the summer of 1984 there were two exhibitions in Vienna. In 1983 he opened a large retrospective exhibition of his sculptures at the Maison de l’UNESCO in Paris.
In 1985 he participated with ten works at the great exhibition “Rapresentation abroad” to Hirshon Museum of Washington. In 1986 he exhibited forty works of sculpture at Gallery Universe in Tokyo. In 1990 at the factory of Salò Duomo there is an important exhibition with a prestigious catalog curated by Vittorio Sgarbi.
His works are in private collections and museums in Europe, America, South Africa and Japan.
In 1989 he gives to the National Museum of Bargello in Florence 15 works (sculptures, bronzes terrecotte and silver), and about forty drawings. He died in Milan in 1995.