BOLGI, Andrea
(b. 1605, Carrara, d. 1656, Napoli)

St Helene

1630-39
Marble, height 450 cm
Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican

Bernini was charged with reorganizing the crossing piers of St Peter's with colossal statues of the four saints whose relics were to be contained in niches above. The original models were planned by Bernini as early as 1628, although their execution required the participation of three other sculptors, Andrea Bolgi, Francesco Mochi and François Duquesnoy.

The rather bland St Helene was executed by Bernini's trusted assistant, Andrea Bolgi. It is unquestionably the least successful of the four statues there: although well-balanced, it is cold and is marked by a contained piety which contrasts with the theatrical agitation of the other statues.