Domenico Guidi (1625–1701) – meaning Bernini in the French style

Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Camillo del Corno, fragment, Church of Santissimi nomi di Gesù e Maria

Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Camillo del Corno, fragment, Church of Santissimi nomi di Gesù e Maria

Domenico Guidi came from the area surrounding Carrara, from a family with sculpting traditions. When he came to Rome in 1648, Alessandro Algardi became his teacher. It is this artist who to a large extent influenced the development of the young sculptor. Guidi worked with him until his death in 1654. He co-created his sculpting visions, including the highly valued relief The Meeting of Pope Leo the Great with Attila  in St. Peter’s Basilica, but he also was the one to finish, along with Ercole Ferrata, the work began by his master in the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino.

Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Camillo del Corno, fragment, Church of Santissimi nomi di Gesù e Maria
Domenico Guidi, Angel with a Spear, Ponte Sant’Angelo
Domenico Guidi, altar of St. Joseph, Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria
Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali, Basilica of Sant’Agostino
Domenico Guidi, main altar of the Church Sant’Agnese in Agone
Domenico Guidi, bust of Pope Innocent X, Palazzo Doria Pamphlij
Domenico Gaudi, funerary monument of Cardinal Gauthier de Sluse, Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima
Domenico Guidi, bust of Felice Zacchia Rondinini, Galleria Borghese
Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Orazio Falconieri and Ottavia Sacchetti, Basilica of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini
Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Gaspare Thiene and the allegory of Prudence, Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle
Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Carlo di Montecatini, Church of Santa Maria in Aquiro
Domenico Guidi, figure of Louis XIV (works on the sculpture were finished by a French artist), Villa Medici
Alessandro Algardi, main altar, sculptures by Ercole Ferrata and Domenico Guidi, Church of San Nicola da Tolentino
Domenico Guidi, St. Sebastian, façade of the Basilica of Sant’Andrea della Valle
Domenico Guidi, tombstone of Camillo del Corno, fragment, Church of Santissimi nomi di Gesù e Maria
Domenico Guidi, Pietà, Cappella del Monte di Pietà, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà
Domenico Guidi, Pietà, fragment, Cappella del Monte di Pietà, Palazzo del Monte di Pietà

Domenico Guidi came from the area surrounding Carrara, from a family with sculpting traditions. When he came to Rome in 1648, Alessandro Algardi became his teacher. It is this artist who to a large extent influenced the development of the young sculptor. Guidi worked with him until his death in 1654. He co-created his sculpting visions, including the highly valued relief The Meeting of Pope Leo the Great with Attila  in St. Peter’s Basilica, but he also was the one to finish, along with Ercole Ferrata, the work began by his master in the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino.

     

When Gian Lorenzo Bernini passed away in 1680, Guidi along with Ferrata, became the principal Roman sculptor, while his style was more and more identified with the fashionable French taste. The proof of this can be his last work – the larger than life statue of King Louis XIV, completed for Duke Guido Vaini, who in this way wanted to appeal to the French ruler. Right at the beginning of his work Guidi started receiving mysterious, anonymous letters with threats, in which he was even threatened with death if he did not abandon this commission. As it turned out the sender was a not a jealous competitor, but…. the ambassador of the Austrian Emperor Leopold I. The ruler did not like the symbols of authority with which the sculptor equipped the sculpture of the French king, which were until then reserved for the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire, and Leopold considered himself to be their descendant. It was about no more no less than a Roman tunic, a lion skin and a globe, on which the foot of the French monarch rests. The significance of the symbols, can be attested to by the fact, that for fear of his life the sculptor gave up on his work and the statue was finished by a French artist.


In Rome Guidi enjoyed great popularity, which in turn led to him employing many assistants, which meant that some of his works suffered. He was however, a prolific artist, ambitious and hard-working, while his skills were quickly discovered abroad – he worked in Versailles and in Breslau, while also supplying works for the Spanish court. However, he enjoyed special popularity among French clients.

 

 
Works completed independently by Domenico Guidi in Rome:

 

Church of Santi Bonifacio e Alessio

  •     Tombstone of Cardinal Giovanni Francesco di Bagno (1650)

Galleria Borghese

  •     Bust of Felice Zacchia Rondinini (1660)

Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini

  • Tombstone statue of Orazio Falconieri and Ottavia Sacchetti (1668)

Church of Sant’Andrea della Valle

  •     Tombstone of Gaspare Thiene and Allegory of Prudence (1673–1676)
  •     Statues of St. Cajetan and St. Sebastian on the church façade

Church of Santissimi nomi di Gesù e Maria

  •     Tombstone of Camillo del Corno (1680)

Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone

  •     Main altar with a representation of the Holy Family (1683)

Church of Santa della Vittoria

 
  •     Altar The Dream of St. Joseph (1699)

Church of Santa Maria dell’Anima

  •     Tombstone statue of Cardinal Jean Gautier de Sluse

Church of Santa Maria in Aquiro

  •     Tombstone of Carlo di Montecatini

Ponte Sant'Angelo (Bridge of the Holy Angel)

  •     Angel with the Lance

Church of Sant’Agostino

  •     Tombstone statue of Cardinal Lorenzo Imperiali (1673)

Villa Medici

  •     Statue of King Louis XIV (unfinished)

Church of San Nicola da Tolentino

  •     In cooperation ( with Ercole Ferrata), completion of sculptures of the      main  altar
      Palazzo del Monte di Pietà
                          Main altar, Pietà, Cappella del Monte di Pietà