Mochi, Francesco

   Tuscan sculptor from Montevarchi who trained with the Mannerist painter Santi di Tito and then moved to Rome to complete his training with the sculptor Camillo Mariani. Mochi's most important patrons were the Farnese. In fact, a letter written by Mario Farnese recommending Mochi for a commission in the Cathedral of Orvieto is the earliest known document on the artist. The work for which he was recommended was the Annunciation (1603-1608), with a Virgin and angel in vigorous poses that capture the psychological depth of the event depicted. Mochi's equestrian portraits Ranuccio and Alessandro Farnese (1620-1625) for the Piazza Cavalli in Piacenza show the same dynamism and dramatic depiction of drapery as the Annunciation. These two monuments were created for the formal entry into Piacenza of Ranuccio Farnese, Duke of Parma, and his wife on the occasion of their son's baptism. Mochi's St. Martha (1609-1628) forms part of the Barberini Chapel decorations at Sant' Andrea della Valle, Rome, commissioned by Cardinal Maffeo Barberini, later Pope Urban VIII. Mochi would again work for Urban at the crossing of St. Peter's for which he contributed his statue of a frantic St. Veronica (1629-1630) displaying the imprint of the Holy Face on the sudario, a relic enshrined in the pier by the statue. This sculpture is further evidence of Mochi's ability to render elegant figures in highly complex, expressive poses.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

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