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 Antonio Capellano  (1780 - 1840)

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Lived/Active: New York/Maryland/District Of Columbia / Italy      Known for: portrait bust and allegorical figure sculpture

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Antonio Capellano was an early 19th century sculptor, who in several ways was associated with early history in the United States.  His portrait bust of George Washington, now in the Peale Museum, is the 'first' piece of gallery sculpture owned by the city of Baltimore.  Capellano began working in that city in 1815, when he was hired to do a marble statue atop the Battle of Baltimore Monument, a commemoration of the Battle of North Point, which in 1814 was a turning point in the War of 1812. His work is a female figure representing Baltimore wearing a crown of victory and holding a laurel wreath in one hand and a ship's rudder in the other hand.  The monument, located in downtown Baltimore, is the 'first' American-built sculpture depicting the common soldier.  During this time, Capellano also did facade reliefs for Old St. Paul's Church in Baltimore.  The church burned down in 1854, but the reliefs were saved and installed in the Richard Upjohn building.

Capellano was born in Italy where he was a student of Antonio Canova.  He, and came to America at the invitation of Benjamin H. Latrobe, superintendent of construction for the United States.  Latrobe began his tenure by focusing efforts on the unfinished Capitol building in Washington.  His ideas and designs, heavily influenced by Roman architecture, contained elaborate frieze and relief work.  Unsatisfied with American artists of the early 19th century, the British-born architect began corresponding with colleagues in Europe in hopes of hiring a more skilled set of sculptors.  This opened the door for numerous European artisans including Capellano to earn generous commissions in the United States.  For the western entrance of the Old Capitol Building, Capellano did a relief sculpture, Preservation of Captain Smith by Pocahontas.  In 1827, he did a sandstone panel with bust of George Washington for the east central front of the Capitol, and the work is now on display in the Capitol Crypt.

Wikipedia: Battle Monument
Charles E. Fairman, Art and Artists of the Capitol of The United States of America

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