MOCHI, Francesco
(b. 1580, Montevarchi, d. 1654, Roma)

Virgin Annunciate

Marble, over life-size
Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Orvieto

Mochi first achieved fame with his Angel of Annunciation of 1603-05 for the Orvieto Cathedral, a work whose vigour and directness reflect the artist's earnestness in reformulating a conventional theme. Three years lie between the Angel of Annunciation and the Virgin Annunciate which completed the composition. Here Mochi evoked reminiscences of Rome, in particular the suavity of Mariani and the more active type of Classical statuary, but added his own flair for dramatic gestures by showing the Virgin starting from her chair. Mochi's work has sometimes been explained as a response to Caravaggio, yet it is better understood as part of a general concern with conveying emotions through external expressions, something manifests in the work of Carracci and Reni, as well as that of Caravaggio. Interestingly enough, the forcefulness of Mochi's Virgin Annunciate was not to the liking of the Bishop of Orvieto, who opposed its placement in the cathedral for three years.

See also the Angel of Annunciation.

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