Lorenzo Matielli was born in Vicenza in 1687 and trained in Venice under Orazio Marinali. In a document of January 1706 he is recorded as a witness at the marriage of his colleague Giacomo Sasseti to Anna Marinali, daughter of Orazio, only reappearing again in a document in Vienna in 1711. The Imperial Court in Vienna was attracting large numbers of Italian trained sculptors early in the eighteenth century and it was in Vienna that Matielli made his reputation. He is responsible for the large garden sculpture for the Schwarzenberg palace (1719-24) and most notably the series of Herculean Labours which front the Hofburg palace in the Michaelerplatz. During his time in Vienna he also received numerous ecclesiastical commissions including those for the Karlskirche (1725-26). Following on from his success in Vienna he moved to Dresden where he also undertook a number of ecclesiatical commissions as well as the notable Neptune Fountain (1741-46) in the garden of the Marcolini palace.
M. De Grassi is publishing the present bust in his forthcoming article in the periodical Arte Veneta (edition no.62.) Carved as it is in the distinctive "Pove" marble of Vicenza, Matielli's home town, De Grassi believes that the bust was most probably executed just prior to his departure for Vienna. It can be most closely compared to the head of of one of the four sphinxes, dating to 1716, sculpted by him at Hetzendorf castle, Vienna, and was undertaken in anticipation of this work.
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