Ercole Ferrata

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Angel, Ponte Sant'Angelo, Rome

Ercole Ferrata (* 1610 in Pellio Inferiore , Val d'Intelvi near Como , † July 10, 1686 in Rome ) was an Italian sculptor.


After his first artistic training in his hometown, Ferrata came to the workshop of the sculptor Tomaso Orsolini in Genoa . There he spent a seven-year apprenticeship.

Then Ferrata went to Naples and worked there mostly for the noble families Corsini and Savelli . In 1637 the Guild of Sculptors of Naples accepted him as a member. He worked at Aquileia Cathedral for almost the whole of 1646 .

Supported by Cardinal Bernardino Spada and his brother, Ferrata came to the workshop of Gianlorenzo Bernini in 1647 . At that time he was working on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Ferrata soon became a master student there and the builder Alessandro Algardi recruited him for his workshop. Here Ferrata worked not only for the Vatican , but also for the court of Queen Christine of Sweden , who had lived in Rome since 1656.

From 1662 to 1665 Ferrata worked in the workshop of the painter Pietro da Cortona . About 1663 Ferrata was accepted into the Accademia di San Luca via this . After the delivery of works of art to Grand Duke Cosimo III. de 'Medici in Florence , Ferrata stayed at the court of the Grand Duke for some time. There he supervised a. a. the workshop of the restorers Giovanni Battista Foggini and Carlo Marcellini .

Ferrata stood u. a. in Rome before a large workshop. Among many others, Antonio Francesco Andreozzi , Pietro Balestri , Melchiore Caffa , Filippo Carcani , Giovanni Camillo Cateni , Giovanni Battista Foggini , Lorenzo Lottone , Carlo Marcellini and Camillo Russoli were his students.

Ercole Ferrata died on July 10, 1686 in Rome at the age of 76.

Among other things, he chiseled a marble group depicting St. Elisabeth for the chapel of the same name in the Wroclaw Cathedral . His most famous work, however, is the elephant in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome.


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