This records one of a pair of massive tables commissioned around 1789 from Giuseppe Valadier by Pope Pius VI Braschi for the Biblioteca Apostolica in the Vatican. While Valadier seems to have made an initial sketch for the tables, documents suggest that Unterberger was responsible for developing the design to its final form, for overseeing Vincenzo Paccetti's modelli for the figures of Hercules, and in particular for designing the reliefs of scenes from the pontificate of Pius VI which decorate the base supporting the marble top. Chiara Felicetti writes of the tables: ...'essi rappresentano uno degli ulitmi esempi della meravigliosa simbiosi fra mobilio e scultura...tipica della Roma barocca...'1
Unterberger settled in Rome in 1758 and was very active as a painter and as a designer. He worked for the Apostolic Camera from 1772-1780, doing much work in the Vatican and papal palaces. He was related by marriage to the Valadiers and worked closely with Giuseppe, who took over the family workshop from his father, Luigi.
1. C. Felicetti, 'Cristoforo Unterperger e i Fasti di Pio VI...', Cristoforo Unterperger: Un Pittore Fiemmese nell'Europa del Settecento, Rome 1999, p. 64
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