PARODI, Filippo
(b. 1630, Genova, d. 1702, Genova)


Italian sculptor and wood-carver, part of a family of artists. Filippo first worked as a wood-carver and went to Rome twice, staying for six years each time. The time Parodi spent in Rome is vital for the understanding of the stylistic characteristics of his work. The crowning of the pediment of the altar of the Virgin in Santa Maria delle Vigne, Genoa, with allegorical figures of Faith, Hope and Charity follows a composition that occurs frequently in Roman churches, and four statues representing characters from Ovid's Metamorphoses (Narcissus, Hyacinth, Heliantha and Flora, all Genoa, Palazzo Reale) reveal a thorough knowledge of Roman Baroque sculpture. These works, and a large carved wooden looking-glass in the Villa Durazzo at Albisola, Genoa, probably date not much later than 1661.

The French sculptor Pierre Puget was in Genoa from 1661 to 1667, and his influence can be seen in the caryatids on the jambs of the gate to the garden of the Palazzo Brignole and the statue of the Virgin and Child in San Carlo Genoa, which formed the prototype for other Virgin and Child groups (e.g. Sampierdarena, Santa Maria della Cella). Parodi's supple figures, the drapery full of movement, and the figure types are all clearly derived from Puget. A second journey to Rome seems to be reflected in the monumental St Martha in Ecstasy (Genoa, Santa Marta), inspired by Melchiorre Cafà's Ecstasy of St Catherine of Siena (completed 1667; Rome, Santa Caterina da Siena a Monte Magnanopoli), and the statue of St John the Baptist (documented, 1677) in Santa Maria Assunta di Carignano in Genoa.

Around 1678 Parodi went to Venice to execute the funerary monument to the patriarch Francesco Morosini (completed 1683; Venice, San Nicola da Tolentino). Here he adopted Bernini's idea of a large cloth hanging against the wall, held up by angels and opening to reveal the sarcophagus, around which stand the allegorical figures of Fame, Charity and Time. A preparatory drawing for the monument (Florence, Uffizi), shows that he altered the original design considerably in the final execution.

Parodi moved to Padua in 1685 to start work on the Deposition of Christ (completed c. 1690; Padua, Santa Giustina) and the funerary monument to Orazio Secco (signed and dated 1686; Padua, San Antonio). On 23 December 1687, he was back in Venice, where he was employed by the Senate to sculpt the bust of Doge Francesco Morosini (two copies survive: marble, Venice, Correr; bronze, Venice, Palazzo Ducale). Back in Padua in 1689, Parodi began work on the decoration of the Cappella del Tesoro in the Santo. This consisted of a large, polychrome marble concave structure with three niches within which the relics and liturgical objects were displayed. The whole is surmounted by marble statues of St Anthony, St Francis, St Bonaventure and the allegories of Faith, Charity, Humility and Penitence. The composition was designed by Parodi, but some stucco angels were executed by his pupil Pietro Roncaioli (active 1600-1660). Parodi worked on this sumptuous complex until the end of 1697 and it was finally completed, after his death, in 1705. There are no known works by him after 1699. Another of Parodi's pupils was Giacomo Antonio Ponsonelli, who collaborated on numerous projects until Parodi's death and whose work on these projects is difficult to distinguish from that of his master.