ALGARDI, Alessandro
(b. 1598, Bologna, d. 1654, Roma)

Bust of Muzio Frangipane

San Marcello al Corso, Rome

The monuments to the Frangipanes are in the fourth chapel in the left nave of the church. The bust of Muzio is one of three of the same size and inserted in the same marble frame. The marble busts of Lelio, Muzio and Roberto Frangipane represent an early peak of achievement. Algardi, restricted by the 16th-century series of busts already in existence and the round shape of the niches in the family chapel, modelled ideal portraits of the mature and youthful warrior in the busts of Muzio (d. 1588) and of Lelio (d. 1606).

Muzio Frangipane fought for Charles IX of France and maybe the decoration he shows is a reward for his military achievements. Algardi shows a determined man who looks in front of him with assurance. Algardi was famous for his ability to represent details which usually were believed to be outside the scope of sculpture. In this bust he shows that Muzio did not shave the lower part of his face every day.