Giuliano Finelli

Dates1601/1602 - 1653
BornTorrano di Carrara, Italy
DiedRome, Italy

Guiliano Finelli's carving skills were so exceptional that Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the most outstanding sculptor of the 1600s and the favorite sculptor of powerful Pope Urban VIII, selected Finelli as his key assistant. Finelli learned to handle marble from his uncle, a stonecutter in the quarries at Carrara. At the age of ten he accompanied his uncle to Naples, where he began his formal training in the workshop of a prominent Neapolitan sculptor. Following this training, in 1622, Finelli moved to Rome and began working with Bernini. In 1629 Finelli established himself as an independent sculptor. His commissions include numerous statues of saints, including thirteen bronze statues for a chapel in San Gennaro. Finelli's numerous portrait busts of local noblemen and church dignitaries capture his subjects' personalities, while revealing his mastery of marble sculpture through the exquisite rendering of textures and details of dress, skin, hair, and jewels.