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Alessandro Algardi - Italian Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Alessandro Algardi (1598 - 1654)

Alessandro Algardi’s work strongly emulated the style of his originally master in Bologna, Ludovico Carracci. He initially worked under the patronage of Duke Ferdinando Gonzaga in Mantua, creating ivory figures and ornaments for his palace. In 1625, Algardi settled in Rome, producing portrait busts that resembled ancient sculpture. He also was a talented draughtsman and architect, encouraged by artists such as Domenichino, Poussin, and da Cortona. At the age of forty, Algardi was commissioned to create the tomb of Pope Leo XI.

Algardi was born in Bologna, where at a young age, he was apprenticed in the studio of Agostino Carracci. However, his aptitude for sculpture led him to work for Giulio Cesare Conventi (1577—1640), an artist of modest talents. By the age of twenty, Ferdinando I, Duke of Mantua, began commissioning works from him, and he was also employed by local jewelers for figurative designs. After a short residence in Venice, he went to Rome in 1625 with an introduction from the Duke of Mantua to the late pope's nephew, Ludovico Cardinal Ludovisi, who employed him for a time in the restoration of ancient statues.

In temperament, his style was more akin to the classicized and restrained baroque of Duquesnoy than to the emotive works of other baroque artists. From an artistic point of view, he was most successful in portrait-statues and groups of children, where he was obliged to follow nature most closely. His terracotta models, some of them finished works of art, were prized by collectors

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