CABIANCA, Francesco
(b. 1665, Venezia, d. 1737, Venezia)


Italian sculptor. His first known work is the marble St Benedict (1695) for S Michele in Isola, Venice. Illness forced him to move around 1698 to Dalmatia, where he stayed at Ragusa (now Dubrovnik) and at Cattaro. There he completed the high altar with SS John, Dominic, Bruno and Chiara for S Chiara, an altar for S Giuseppe and the marble altar of the chapel of S Trifone for S Trifone. He returned to Venice in 1708 but retained contacts with Dalmatia.

In 1711 he executed his best-known work, the reliquary, with panels representing the Crucifixion, the Deposition and the Pietà, for the sacristy of S Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice. He also worked in Gorizia. In Venice he carved a figure of Bellona in stone for the entrance to the Arsenal and statues of the Trinity, SS Peter and Paul and other figures for the courtyard of the Frari. On the façade of the church of the Gesuiti are St John the Evangelist and St James in niches and St Andrew on the crowning balustrade. His low relief of the martyrdoms of SS Simon and Jude is placed in the tympanum of the church of SS Simeone e Giuda, and on the great staircase of the Seminario Patriarcale are low reliefs of Jacob's Dream and the Vision of the Orphan. He carved a marble figure of Saturn for the Summer Gardens in St Petersburg.

In his most significant works, the altar of S Trifone at Cattaro and the three low reliefs on the reliquary in the sacristy of S Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, Cabianca demonstrates a dynamism that points to contact with Filippo Parodi and a classical sense akin to that of Pietro Baratta, whose works his own most resemble.

Cabianca's works are not of a consistent formal quality, and it is known that the sculptor died in great poverty, which suggests a certain disorder in his life.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.