OLIVIERI, Pier Paolo
(b. 1551, Roma, d. 1599, Roma)

Biography

Italian sculptor and architect. Few details of his life are known, but his small oeuvre includes commissions for important public works that show he was successful in his time. He had already a successful career before Sixtus V's pontificate, with the colossal statue of Gregory XIII in Santa Maria Aracoeli (c. 1585) and the monument to Gregory XI in San Francesca Romana (1584) He could boast of a solid apprenticeship in the antique. Documents also seem to indicate his activity as an architect in the building site of S Andrea della Valle, and in the planning of the Sacramento altar in S Giovanni in Laterano. At the end of the century he completed the altar of the holy sacrament in San Giovanni in Laterano, in gilded bronze.

His religious sculptures in Rome show a classicising type of late Roman Mannerism absorbed from the city's churches and workshops, where many Lombard masters of the time worked. Some of his allegorical figures and statues of saints are markedly cold and didactic, with an exasperating minuteness of detail, qualities that his first biographer Baglione rather chose to emphasize as ‘diligenza'. In the Cleopatra (marble, 1574, Palazzo Corsini, Rome) and the Andromeda (c. 1570-80; private collection), however, the Tuscan influence of sculptors such as Baccio Bandinelli, Bernardo Buontalenti and Giambologna can be seen.