Lorenzo Ottoni is best known for the Baroque religious sculpture he contributed to the Counter-Reformation renovation of Rome. He also created sculptural portraits of high-ranking church officials who were active during this period of intense Catholic patronage of the arts.
A native of Rome, Ottoni received many commissions from the powerful Barberini family in the 1670s and 1680s. These include marble sculptural portraits of Cardinal Francesco Barberini, Cardinal Antonio Barberini, and Prince Maffeo Barberini, as well as busts of Popes Urban VIII and Alexander VIII. Drawing on a large workshop of assistants, the artist also completed commissions outside Rome.
Ottoni's most important large-scale commissions for Roman churches date from the 1690s to about 1718. Using bronze and stucco, he contributed to the sculptural decoration of the chapel of the Baptisterium, transept, and chapels at Saint Peter's basilica, the chapel of San Ignazio in the church of Il Gesù, and the church of San Giovanni in Laterano. Recognized by his peers for his achievements, Ottoni was elected in 1691 to the Accademia di San Luca in Rome and a short time later to the Congregazione dei Virtuosi al Pantheon (Assembly of Illustrious Artists), Rome's two most prestigious artists' organizations.s