SOLDANI BENZI, Massimiliano
(b. 1656, Firenze, d. 1740, Montevarchi)

Reliquary of St Alexius

c. 1691
Hard stones, gold, silver, gilded copper, ebony, height 54 cm
Museo delle Cappelle Medicee, Florence

The elaborate structure of the reliquary was inspired by the story of St Alexius, who fled his home the day of his wedding, then took a vote of chastity; he later returned to his father's abode to take refuge, but died under a staircase. The frame and other elements of gilded copper were made by Pietro Motti (active in Florence, 1690-1697).

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