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 Luigi Bienaime



Bienaime Luigi         Pages: 1

(b Carrara, 2 March 1795; d Rome, 17 April 1878).

Italian sculptor. In 1818 he won the Rome Prize at the Accademia di Belle Arti e Liceo Artistico in Carrara and then went to Rome, where he entered Bertel Thorvaldsen’s studio, a centre for the production of sculpture and an important attraction for foreign visitors and clientele. He soon became a popular exponent of his master’s style and, in addition to taking his own commissions, he finished many of Thorvaldsen’s pieces and made authorized copies of his work, for example six copies of Tsar Alexander I (1822). By 1827 he was in charge of the studio. After Thorvaldsen’s death in 1844 he taught at the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca and continued to work in both Rome and Carrara, frequently collaborating with his brother Pietro Antonio Bienaimé (1781–1857). In 1839 Prince Alexander of Russia (later Tsar Alexander II) acquired from him his series of figures of Telemachus, Andromeda, Andromache, Diana and Zephyr, which were installed in the Winter Palace (now the State Hermitage Museum) in St Petersburg. Duke Alessandro Torlonia commissioned a Venus (1842; Rome, Pal. Corsini) for his palazzo and Victor Amadeus, Prince of Carignano, also ordered a Venus (c. 1842; Turin, Gal. Civ. A. Mod.). William Spencer Cavendish, 6th Duke of Devonshire, commissioned copies of the Classical figures for the gardens at Chatsworth House, Derbys. Other works in public collections are St John the Baptist (1820; New York, Met.), Innocence (1821; Cadenabbia, Villa Carlotta) and a portrait bust of Napoleon (c. 1843; Rome, Protomoteca Capitoline) after Thorvaldsen. Much of Bienaimé’s sculpture in both marble and plaster is preserved at various sites in Carrara, including the Casa Bienaimé, a museum set up in his brother’s former house. All of his marble sculpture is markedly derived from Thorvaldsen’s, being highly polished with a clear, clean line, and using Classical subjects and poses that are explicit and decorous, if not direct copies of the Greco-Roman.


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