(b Florence, c. 1700; d Madrid, 1770). Italian sculptor and modeller. He trained as a sculptor in Florence before moving in 1738 to Naples, where he was appointed chief modeller of the Capodimonte porcelain factory between 1743 and 1759. Most Capodimonte figures have been attributed to him. Factory records indicate that he originated a popular snuff-box moulded in relief with shells and marine life (1743-55; New York, Met.) as well as figures of peasants, street traders, characters from the commedia dell’arte and such religious figures as his only signed work, the Mourning Virgin (c. 1745; New York, Met.). He contributed to the creation of porcelain cabinets, including the Salottino di Porcellana (1757-9; now Naples, Capodimonte), from the Palazzo Reale in Portici near Naples, and the Gabinete de la Porcelana (1763-5; in situ) for the Aranjuez Palace, near Madrid, both of which comprised interlocking plates of porcelain decorated with chinoiseries. In 1759 he moved with other personnel to the Buen retiro porcelain factory, where he held the same position of chief modeller until his death; he was succeeded by his sons Carlos (d 1795) and Felipe (d 1803).
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.