FABRIS, Michele
(b. ca. 1644, Pozsony, d. 1684, Venezia)


Hungarian sculptor, active in Italy, born in Pozsony, that time the capital of Hungary, presently Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Known as Ongaro (the Hungarian) came to Venice around 1662. Details of his artistic training in his formative years are not known.

In 1665-69, he cooperated with the German Melchior Barthel in the sculptural decoration of the monument to Doge Giovanni Pesaro in the church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice. He sculpted the two dragons holding the urn of the doge. While Barthel left Venice in 1672 for Dresden, Ongaro continued to live and work in Venice, almost always following in the footsteps of Longhena. He worked on Santa Maria della Salute where most of the sculptors of the time were active on the internal and external decoration. Some of the small allegorical figures which decorates the bases of the altar pillars were made by Ongaro.

It was for the Vendramin Chapel that Ongaro carved his most original work, the high relief of Pope Paul V giving the cardinal's hat to Francesco Vendramin. This sculpture remains an isolated case in Ongaro's work, which otherwise reveals at the height of his career the stamp of Josse De Corte already apparent in the same chapel in the statues of eloquence and Christian religion.