Melchiore Caffa (Maltese, active in Rome, 1631–1667/8)
H. (without base) 39 1/2 in. (100.3 cm)
Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1957 (57.20)
A pupil of Alessandro Algardi, Caffa was one of the principal sculptors in Rome in the generation after him. His bust of Pope Alexander VII displays a new attitude to portraiture in which psychological penetration plays a role. The image confers an air of sober concern on the pontiff, who is remembered, among other things, for commissioning Bernini to design the colonnades of St. Peter's Square and for receiving the visit of Queen Christina of Sweden, a recent convert to Catholicism.