November 2017

Originally a 15th century church, the sculpture studio of Lorenzo Bartolini was founded in 1860.

With the demand for commissions increasing, Bartolini employed student sculptors to help, one of which was Pascuale Romanelli. Today, Bartolini’s studio is called Galleria Romanelli, after Pascauale Romanelli's family who took over the studio after Bartolini’s death. Today, his great-great-great grandson Raffaello is the current proprietor and sees it as his duty to keep this skilled craft and its history alive.

Located in the Oltrarno quarter of Florence, Galleria Romanelli’s cathedral-like proportions (the ceilings are 16 metres high) makes creating towering works of art simple. Some of Bartolini’s original sculptures are still situated in the hallowed space, providing a ghostly guiding hand over new apprentices. Now two centuries old, the studio blends traditional with contemporary tastes; from Michelangelo-type busts carved in marble to contemporary plaster impressions and limited-edition bronze pieces. The methods practised by Raffaello and his students have direct lineage to the contemporaries of Michelangelo, making the studio one of the most prolific in the world. With the thousand eyes of Italian gentleman and serene goddesses staring down on everyone who steps foot in the studio, it is not surprising Galleria Romanelli still produces exquisite original artwork which will live on for another 200 years. 

Studio Galleria Romanelli
Borgo San Frediano 70
50124 Firenze
All photography © Galleria Raffello