Bartolomeo Cavaceppi

  • 1716/1717 - 1799
  • Artist
  • Italian

As a place for the restoration and selling of antiquities, sculptor Bartolomeo Cavaceppi's workshop in Rome was one of the most famous stops for British tourists in the second half of the 1700s. Cavaceppi trained as a sculptor and entered the Accademia di San Luca in 1732. In 1734 Cardinal Albani, the nephew of Pope Clement XI and the most ambitious and learned private collector of antiquities in Rome, appointed Cavaceppi as his restorer. The relationship with the cardinal brought Cavaceppi many commissions from foreign tourists, particularly from British collectors who wanted to set up galleries back home. For these and other patrons, he not only found antique statues, restored them, or made copies but also created original worksall'antica, in the antique style. Cavaceppi rarely signed his work; while some of his statues were known to be his own original designs, others were confused with authentic antiquities.

Cavaceppi also worked as a restorer for the pope at the Museo Clementino. His fame was firmly established between 1768 and 1772, when he published three volumes of engraved images of works he had restored or possessed, the Raccolta d'antiche statue, busti, teste cognite.