Giacomo Monaldi (1733-1798)

Together with Le Brun, a sculptor from Rome, Giacomo (Jacob) Monaldi, arrived in Warsaw. He was the son of a well-known sculptor Carl Monaldi and remained in the King’s service until his death in Warsaw in 1798.

Monaldi made many sculptures intended to decorate the Royal Castle and the Royal Łazienki, in most cases in co-operation with Le Brun and according to his designs of: marble figures of personifications of Peace and Justice in compositions adorning the Marble Room (1771) and the Ballroom (1780), the statue of Chronos standing in the Knight’s Hall since 1786 (its smaller version sculpted by Monaldi can be found in the Łazienki Palace) and stucco medallions – made in co-operation with other artists – displayed in the Library at the Royal Castle (1782) and stucco statues in the Royal Theatre in the Orangery building at the Łazienki (1788).

The following marble sculptures standing in the Rotunda in the Palace of the Isle at the Łazienki were made by Monaldi according to the designs by Le Brun: Statue of King Casimir the Great (1793), and the bust of Emperor Titus (1795). Some of the sculptures were independent works of the artist, such as the statues of Zephyr and Flora (1777–1778) standing in front of the Myślewicki Palace at the Łazienki, and the most important part of his artistic legacy – sculpted portraits made for the display in the Royal Castle. In 1777, Monaldi sculpted marble busts of Jan III Sobieski and Catherine II for the display in the former Audience Hall, for which, in 1781–1782, he also made bronze busts of Stanisław Poniatowski, the King’s father, and Stefan Czarniecki; his works of art made in the years 1781–1783 include bronze heads decorating the Knight’s Hall, depicting the following figures: Piotr Kochanowski, Maciej Sarbiewski, Paweł Działyński, Jan Wielopolski and Andrzej Chryzostom Załuski, which belong to the series of depictions of famous Poles; the marble bust of the King as well as the portraits of Jan Zamoyski and Stefan Czarnecki are also part of Monaldi’s artistic legacy. The works of Monaldi – which mostly include works made in Poland for the King and other art commissioners – followed the canons of late Roman Baroque; the artist alluded to late-Baroque sculptures from c. mid-18th century, which he knew from Rome, and although he used Ancient patterns in the compositions of some sculptures, he accommodated them to the late-Baroque style.

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