MOCHI, Francesco
(b. 1580, Montevarchi, d. 1654, Roma)

St Martha

c. 1609-21
Marble, height 240 cm
Sant'Andrea della Valle, Rome

Mochi obtained a major commission from Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, the future Pope Urban VIII, for a St Martha for his family chapel in Sant'Andrea della Valle. The Barberini Chapel was a showcase for the most talented Roman sculptors in the era of Bernini's emergence, and Mochi competed there with the likes of Ambrogio Bonvicino and Pietro Bernini, Gianlorenzo's father.

Mochi's figure is tense and probably overly motivated for the narrow confines of the niche yet it has a vigour. Mochi's work often displays an idiosyncratic, at times obstinately individualistic flair which made him stand out among a mediocre range of competitors.