Work of women sculptors living or working in the Florence area

Jane’s Gems

Editorial Staff
October 4, 2007

Those looking for the work of women sculptors living or working in the Florence area will have better luck finding pieces from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries:


Felicie de Fauveau

(Florence 1802–1866) was very political in her youth, which caused her to flee to Brussels at a young age.  However, she returned to Florence in 1834, where she and her studio became an attraction to an international circle of intellectuals. You can see two of her sculptures in the English Cemetery, on the tombs of Sir Charles Lyon Herbert and Lady Harriet Frances Pellew. She executed the decorative elements surrounding the monument to Lousie Favreau, in the church of Santa Croce. It was badly damaged in the 1966 flood.


Adelaide Pandiani Maraini (Milan 1843–1917) also learned from her father, Giuseppe, a sculptor, and studied in Florence under renowned sculptor Giovanni Dupré. She eventually worked in Rome and Lugano. In the English Cemetery, see her monument to Attilio Lemmi, Youth Weeping over the Tomb of the Dead. Her most famous piece, Saffo, is in the National Museum of Modern Art in Rome.


Amalia Dupré (Florence 1845–1928) was a corresponding member of the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence. She was taught by her father, Giovanni Dupre, a famed sculptor, whose Abel is in the Modern Art Gallery at the Pitti. You can find her work on the façade of the Duomo: she made the statue of St. Reparata and finished the statue of St. Zenobi for her father. In Casacalande, in Campobosso province, on the fourth Sunday of each September, her statue of the Virgin Mary is brought to the Chiesa delle Madonna della Difesa for the day’s religious festivities.


Amalia Ciardi Dupré was born in Florence in 1934 and named after her great aunt, Amalia Dupré. Her works are found in many churches, squares and gardens throughout the world. Among her many profound pieces, is one in Vincigliata near Settignano: the apse of the Chiesa di Santa Maria a Vincigliata is almost entirely her work.  One the largest terracotta reliefs in the world, it depicts scenes from the Old and New Testament.


You can also see work by Amalia Ciardi Dupré, and others, in the church of San Bernardino in Borgunto (Fiesole), where all the art is created by women, including paintings by Elizabeth Chaplin, who made her home in Fiesole. Chaplin donated plaster figures by her mother, Marguerite de Bavier-Chaffour, poet and sculptor, to the Modern Art Gallery in the Pitti.



If any readers know of other early or modern sculpture by women on public display in the Florence area, please e-mail me at [email protected]

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