Melchiorre Cafà

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Melchiorre Cafà, Glory of St. Catherine of Siena , completed in 1667. Rome, Santa Caterina a Magnanapoli.

Melchiorre Cafà (in Malta also Gafa or Gafa * 1636 in Birgu , † 4. September 1667 in Rome ) was a famous Maltese sculptor of the Baroque and brother of the architect Lorenzo Gafa .

Cafà was at the start of a great career when he died of an industrial accident at the age of 31 while he was working on the altar decorations for St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta .

Works (selection)

The following statues are located in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg:


  • Rudolf Preimesberger:  CAFÀ (Caffà, Gafar, Cofà; a Malta chiamato solitamente Gafà), Melchiorre. In: Alberto M. Ghisalberti (Ed.): Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (DBI). Volume 16:  Caccianiga-Caluso. Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome 1973, pp. 230–235, very detailed and informative, but now a little out of date.
  • Gerhard Bissell, in: Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon , Vol. 15, 1997, pp. 493–495.
  • Keith Sciberras (Ed.): Melchiorre Cafà. Maltese Genius of the Roman Baroque. Valletta 2006 (essays in English and Italian; as a joint project of leading international researchers, this is the most comprehensive and accurate account of the life and work of Cafà and clears up numerous uncertainties and errors).
  • Sante Guido, Giuseppe Mantella: Melchiorre Cafà insigne modellatore. La Natività, l'Adorazione dei pastori e altre opere in cera. Soveria Mannelli (CZ) 2010 (Italian)

Individual evidence

  1. Statue on the Hermitage website
  2. Statue on the Hermitage website
  3. Statue on the Hermitage website