History

The Studio Galleria Romanelli is one of the oldest active sculpture studios in Europe. The incredible building of the Studio Galleria Romanelli is located in the artistic heart of Florence, the Oltrarno (“the other side of the river Arno”). Originally a church, it became Lorenzo Bartolini’s sculpture studio in the early 1800s. Bartolini (1777 – 1850) was one of the greatest Italian sculptors of the Nineteenth century. A vast collection of model in plaster made by the Master is visible at Galleria dell'Accademia where the layout of the sculpture is inspired to the arrangment designed by the artist in his Studio in Borgo San Frediano. Pasquale Romanelli (1812-1887), his favourite pupil, became his successor in the direction of the sculpture atelier and also founded an art gallery in 1860. Pasquale was the first of five generations of sculptors in the Romanelli family. He was succeeded by his son Raffaello Romanelli (1856-1928), followed by Romano Romanelli (1882-1968), then Folco Romanelli and currently Raffaello C. Romanelli. Today the studio is still owned and run by the Romanelli family, and it has recently been restored. It is both an art gallery and a sculpture studio. The sculptures made by the several generations of Romanellis, and those produced by the gallery, are spread worldwide. The previous function of the building as a church (15th century), still remain in the architectural features, such as the large arches and the 16 - meters - high ceilings. In the early 19th century, this space became a sculpture studio and some of the original tools still remain here: the rotating square wooden pedestal in the middle of the main room, where the biggest monuments are sculpted; while the two rams heads facing each other, on both the north and south walls, were used to lift heavy sculptures. The whole place hosts hundreds of original plaster sculptures that belong to the family collection.