Giacomo Serpotta
Giacomo Serpotta was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 sculptor, active in a Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 style and mainly working in stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...


Serpotta was born and died in Palermo
Palermo is a city in Southern Italy, the capital of both the autonomous region of Sicily and the Province of Palermo. The city is noted for its history, culture, architecture and gastronomy, playing an important role throughout much of its existence; it is over 2,700 years old...

; and may have never left Sicily. His skill and facility with stucco sculpture appears to arise without mentorship or direct exposures to the mainstream of Italian Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

. Rudolf Wittkower
Rudolf Wittkower
Rudolf Wittkower was a German art historian.-Biography:He was born in Berlin and moved to London in 1934. He taught at the Warburg Institute, University of London from 1934 to 1956 and then at Columbia University from 1956 to 1969 where he was chairman of the Department of Art History and...

 describes him as an aberrancy in an otherwise provincial scene, a "meteor in the Sicilian sky".
In 1677, along with Procopio de Ferrari, he decorated the small church of the Madonna dell’Itria in Monreale
Monreale is a town and comune in the province of Palermo, in Sicily, Italy, on the slope of Monte Caputo, overlooking the very fertile valley called "La Conca d'oro" , famed for its orange, olive and almond trees, the produce of which is exported in large quantities...

. His first independent work appears to be in 1682 in connection with an equestrian statue cast of Charles II of Spain
Charles II of Spain
Charles II was the last Habsburg King of Spain and the ruler of large parts of Italy, the Spanish territories in the Southern Low Countries, and Spain's overseas Empire, stretching from the Americas to the Spanish East Indies...

 and Sicily, which was cast in bronze by Gaspare Romano. The Serpotta family, including his brother (1653-1719) and his son Procopio (1679-1755), was immensely prolific, decorating the Oratory of San Lorenzo (1690/98–1706) with such a profusion of statuary, teeming with putti, that the walls appear to quiver with the movement of a crowd. He completed work also for the Oratory of Santa Cita (1668–1718), the Oratory of Rosario di San Domenico (1710–17), the chapel for the Ospedale di Palermo, the Archbishop's Palace in Santa Chiara
Santa Chiara
Santa Chiara is Italian for Saint Clare.Santa Chiara may refer to:*Santa Chiara , several churches with this name*Basilica di Santa Chiara, in Assisi*St. Clare of Assisi, founder of the Poor Clares and companion of St. Francis...

, the Badia Nuova and the Church of SS. Cosma e Damiano in Alcamo
Alcamo is the fourth largest city in the province of Trapani, in north-western Sicily, southern Italy.-History:Alcamo was founded in 828 by the Muslim commander al-Kamuk , though other sources date its origin to c. 972...

. His work at the oratory of the Compagna della Carità di S Bartolomeo degli Incurabili in Palermo has been lost.

In style, he has a florid elegance that often recalls Antonio Raggi
Antonio Raggi
Antonio Raggi , also called Antonio Lombardo, was a sculptor of the Roman Baroque, originating from Ticino.-Biography:He was born in Vico Morcote on the Lake Lugano. His mentor in Rome for nearly three decades was Gianlorenzo Bernini...

, a slightly older artist who was adept at stucco decoration and active in Rome.


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