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

Tomb of Cardinal Giovanni Garzia Mellini

Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome

The spectacular portrait achievement of the 1630s is the marble bust of Cardinal Giovanni Garzia Mellini, a posthumous image, in which the Cardinal, represented down to the waist, is shown leaning forward slightly from the niche in his tomb and turned towards the altar with an expression of dignified devotion. The expressive realism of the work suggests that a death mask was used.