SLODTZ, René-Michel
(b. 1705, Paris, d. 1764, Paris)

The Capponi Monument

1740-43
Marble
San Giovannini dei Fiorentini, Rome

The Capponi monument is tenderness and grief personified, literally, in the graceful, mourning Virtue who contemplates a skull beneath a medallion portrait supported by two putti. With her much pleated draperies and willowy pose, she is somewhat similar in style to Filippo della Valle's work, but markedly more neo-classical. It is not surprising that the two sculptors worked together in Santa Maria della Scala, but the result was to give a frenchified air to the extremely attractive work of della Valle rather than to affect Slodtz. Yet the Capponi tomb is typical of tendencies in Rome during the 1740s, and it is notably modest in effect when compared with the grandiose Montmorin tomb or the dramatic pageant of that for Languet de Gergy. Slodtz made no attempt to involve Capponi as an actor in his monument, but expressed instead the conventional idea of a female mourning figure, raised out of banality by the delicate treatment of robes that seem positively to rustle, yet posed with un-Rococo tranquillity.