(b. 1683, Pescia, d. 1754, Roma)
Equestrian statue of Charlemagne1725
Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican
Cornacchini's model was Bernini's Constantine. The choice was amply justified by the fact that Bernini's work would have made a match with Cornacchini's, since it is positioned on the right of the portico, beyond the door giving access to the Scala Regia. It goes without saying that it would have been difficult to come out victorious from such a comparison, but the solution proposed by Cornacchini did not satisfy even his contemporaries. The polychrome of the whole is over-accentuated and the disproportion between horse and rider (the rider is too bigÍ) worsens the situation.
However, Cornacchini's work is important because it allows a focus to be placed on those elements that conditioned the change of taste at the end of the first quarter of the eighteenth century, determining the birth of Rococo - the predilection for fragmentary compositions, the inclination to the picturesque, and the love for working at the limits of virtuosity, as evident in the horse's tail and mane, which end up by being affected.