BOLGI, Andrea
(b. 1605, Carrara, d. 1656, Napoli)


Italian sculptor from Carrara (called il Carrarino). He first trained under Pietro Tacca in Florence. In 1626, together with Francesco Baratta, he moved to Rome, where he entered the studio of Gianlorenzo Bernini and was put to work on the models for the angels on top of the Baldacchino in St Peter's. In 1629, at the age of 24, Bolgi was well enough respected to be given one of the most important commissions in Rome, the execution of the statue of St Helena, one of the four colossal marble statues in the piers under the cupola of St Peter's; the other three were executed by Bernini, Francesco Duquesnoy and Francesco Mochi (all in situ). Bolgi spent almost ten years (1629-39) on this statue, but it was very poorly received. Offended by the criticism, he moved to Naples (before 1653), where he sculpted a number of marble portrait busts, including Francesco Antonio de Caro and Giovanni Camillo Cace (both Naples, S Lorenzo Maggiore).

Bolgi's style, much influenced by his study of antique sculpture, is conservative and classicizing, characterized by a relentless precision. His work in Naples, however, has certain Baroque qualities that seem to represent a forced attempt to emulate Bernini's vigour.