(b. 1597, Bruxelles, d. 1643, Livorno)

St Andrew

Marble, height 450 cm
Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican

The years around 1630 saw the crystallization of the controversy of Baroque versus Classicism that was to continue to rage during most of the rest of the century. Pietro da Cortona led the Baroque faction with Bernini, while the painters Andrea Sacchi and Nicolas Poussin championed the classical cause together with the Flemish sculptor Duquesnoy, who lived in Rome during 1618-43.

Duquesnoy's figure of St Andrew stands in St Peter's opposite Bernini's St Longinus, its contemporary, and the comparison between the two is revealing. Both figures are unquestionably Baroque, but, in contrast to the dynamic composition of the Bernini, Duquesnoy' figure is absolutely static and posed; even the slightly over-elaborate draperies are motionless.