THE FOUNDERS OF THE GALLERY:
A FAMILY OF FLORENTINE SCULPTORS OF 6 GENERATIONS
Lorenzo Bartolini was born in Savignano near Prato on January 7 1777, from a humble family. After having trained at the Accademia of Belle Arti of Florence in 1799 he stayed in Paris, where he received a very important commissions. Thanks to the interest of Elisa Baciocchi, Napoleon’s sister, in 1807 he was appointed professor of sculpture at the Accademia of Belle Arti in Carrara and became the official sculptor of the Bonaparte family, for which he sculptured numerous portraits.
Pasquale Romanelli was born in Florence on May 28 1812. When he was 15 years old he entered the studio runned by Master Sculptor Luigi Pampaloni and later moved to Lorenzo Bartolini’s studio in Borgo San Frediano. Lorenzo Bartolini was a teacher at Accademia in 1837 and suggested the young pupil to attend a proper sculpture training at the Accademia of Belle Arti. Soon he learned to sculpt in marble at such a high level that Bartolini himself did not need to finish his pieces if they have been carved by Pasquale.
Raffaello Romanelli, son of Pasquale, was born in Florence on May 13 1856. From his early childhood he would often be found in his father’s studio, where he aquired the first skills of draughtsmanship. It is the Italian custom from mid-July to September to go the hills or to the sea to avoid the fierce summer heat in the cities. Raffaello’s family spent their summer at Viareggio and here the boy had developed a longing to spend his life in the Navy.
Romano, son of Raffaello and grandson of Pasquale Romanelli, was born in Florence on May 14 1882. He became a well know sculptor and also writer. Under the guidance of his father Romano he had shown an aptitude for sculpting whilst still a boy, and it seemed that he was going to follow the now established family tradition of sculpture.
Folco Romanelli was born in Great Britain in 1952. He descended from artists on both sides of his family, for on his father’s side there had been Pasquale, his great, great grandfather, Raffaello, his great grandfather, and then is grandfather Romano Romanelli, all internationally renowned sculptors of their time. On his mothers’ side both his grandparents were painters and book illustrators, and his mother is also a book illustrator and musician.
The human figure is the nucleus of Raffaello’s work and the natural proportions of the human body are a continual source of inspiration for him. Each piece owes its beautiful form to his pursuit of realistic representation. His forte is portraiture: he is meticulous about modelling from life which enables him to capture the facial form, a myriad of expressions and consequently the personality of his subject.
The youngest of the family artists, Vincenzo inherited a natural talent for sculpting. He has been in contact with art from a very young age, admiring the works of his ancestors and developing a special sensibility for modeling. He received his classical training from Charles H. Cecil Studio, where he learned the technique of drawing and sculpting from life.