CAFFA, Melchiore
(b. 1635, Vittoriosa, d. 1667, Roma)

Ecstasy of St Catherine

1667
Marble
Santa Catarina da Siena a Magnapoli, Rome

Caffa was the best of Bernini's followers. His relief of the Sienese mystic stands in direct relationship to Bernini's Ecstasy of St Theresa and would have been unthinkable without it. A pupil of Ferrata, Caffa directly established himself through his models and drawings, and even Bernini let it be known that the younger man had overtaken him in his art. Caffa's sculpture reinvented the aesthetic qualities of Bernini's late style in new terms, thereby establishing a bridge between High and Late Baroque sculpture. This is seen most clearly in the Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena in the Dominican convent of Santa Caterina da Siena a Magnapoli in Rome.