Artibus et Historiae no. 75 (XXXVIII)

2017, ISSN 0391-9064

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STEFANO PIERGUIDI - Ferrata and Guidi, the ‘boys’ of Algardi, in Sant’Agnese: A Contentious Rivalry (pp. 195–205)

In July 1654, right after Alessandro Algardi’s death, his pupils Ercole Ferrata and Domenico Guidi were already working on a model of a scene in low-relief intended for the main altarpiece in Sant’Agnese. According to Carlo Cartari, Guidi’s biographer, the latter’s work in the church was hindered by someone, probably by Ferrata. And indeed, in 1660, Ferrata managed to achieve a position of absolute authority in the yard of Sant’Agnese, personally assigning commissions for altarpieces destined to the piers under the dome. The chosen artists, of average standing, had all gravitated around Algardi or still around Ferrata, but Guidi was clamorously banished from that assignment. Certainly, Ferrata always aimed to accomplish the great low-relief for the main altar, already commissioned from Algardi in 1654, and when, between 1671 and 1672, Guidi finally managed to obtain the coveted commission, Ferrata left the yard and started a lawsuit against the Pamphilj.

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