By Alexis Culotta 

Sculptor Girolamo Masini was born 29 December 1840 in Florence. Studying with fellow Florentine Aristodemo Costoli, Masini went on to develop his own approach to 19th-century sculpture. Disliking the Neoclassical tendencies of his prominent predecessor Antonio Canova, Masini sought a more brooding sensibility in his sculptures, as can be seen in Fabiola, one of his earlier creations. 

In addition to a series of important commissions, including the Monument to Cola di Rienzo (1877) that stands prominently next to the extended stairway leading to the Piazza del Campidoglio on the ascent to Rome’s Capitoline Museums, Masini also devoted time to teaching. Among his protégés were sculptors Ernesto Biondi and Atilio Piccirilli. He continued to work until his death in 1885 in Florence. 

Monument to Cola di Rienzo, 1877. Bronze. Base of the Capitoline Hill, Rome. 

Fabiola, 1868. Marble. Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome. 

Cleopatra, 1882. Marble. Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Rome. 

Ruth, Private Collection. 

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