CORNACCHINI, Agostino
(b. 1683, Pescia, d. 1754, Roma)

Biography

Italian sculptor, draughtsman and painter. He moved with his family to Florence in 1697, entering the workshop of Giovanni Battista Foggini, principal sculptor to Cosimo III de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Early in his career he received some important commissions: in 1709, when the English antiquarian John Talman arrived in Florence looking for artists to illustrate Italy's most famous monuments of art, he chose Cornacchini to do a number of the drawings, and in 1710 Cornacchini signed and dated a marble standing statue of Clement XI (Urbino Cathedral). He was also patronized by the influential Francesco Maria Niccolò Gabburri, who commissioned from him, probably before 1712, stucco decorations (destroyed early 19th century) for his own Palazzo Giuntini. Gabburri accompanied Cornacchini when he departed for Rome in 1712, establishing him in the household of his uncle, Cardinal Carlo Agostino Fabbroni, who until 1720 provided Cornacchini with a studio, lodgings and an income.

In Rome he realized, among others, the statue Sant'Elia (1727) in St Peter's. The work that most perplexed Cornacchini's contemporaries was the monumental equestrian statue of Charlemagne in the porch of St Peter's. The statue, completed in 1725, had a precise political importance, in that it testified to the opening of relations with France, as desired by Benedict XIII, strengthening the ties of friendship.

Cornacchini worked as well in Orvieto (Arcangeli Michele e Gabriele in Duomo, 1729), in Pistoia, Ancona and Turin (Basilica di Superga, circa 1730).



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