Valeria Rotili

The chimney-pieces for the Quirinal Palace between seriality and originality. Artistic practice and organization of work in Carlo Albacini’s atelier.

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This essay aims to describe a particular aspect of the activity of the famous restorer and copyist Carlo Albacini. The sculptor was able to respond to the growing demand of the Grand Tourist and purchasers of works of art, as evidenced, for example, by the chimney-pieces produced in large quantities. The twelve chimney-pieces and the three antique floors requested for the new arrangement of the Quirinal Palace in the Napoleonic period represent the apex of the production of these furnishings. The chimney-pieces provide a catalog of decorative solutions already adopted in previous years and were particularly appreciated by the international market. In fact, thanks to a large group of collaborators and his great organizational skills, Albacini knew how to combine with a great ability a type of serial production with the taste of the time, reworking famous ancient sculptures and Roman paintings


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