Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pope Alexander VII (1599–1667)

Melchiorre Cafà (Maltese, 1638–1667)
Cast by Giovanni Piscina
Italian, Rome
Overall (confirmed): 39 1/4 x 34 1/4 x 16 1/2 in., 145 lb. (99.7 x 87 x 41.9 cm, 65.7716 kg)
Credit Line:
Edith Perry Chapman Fund, 1957
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 550
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.
Signature: Signed and dated on back of cape: MELCHIOR. CAFA/MELITENSIS / FAC. AN DOM. / MDCLXVII

Inscription: Stickers: (on underside) ANNEXE/ 007; (on base) 3263
Pope Alexander VII (until d. 1667) ; Baron Gustave de Rothschild , Paris ; by descent to Baroness Rothschild-Lambert , Paris ; [ Stiebel Ltd. , New York, until 1957; sold to MMA ]
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