Pope Innocent X (Giovanni Battista Pamphili, reigned 1644–55)

Artist: After a composition by Alessandro Algardi (Italian, Bologna 1598–1654 Rome)

Date: mid-17th century

Culture: Italian, Rome

Medium: Bronze

Dimensions: Height: 36 in. (91.4 cm)

Classification: Sculpture-Bronze

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1908

Accession Number: 08.49


In this brilliant portrayal, Pope Innocent X is depicted with his head turned to his right, as though to extend approval or blessing on the beholder. The work displays a theatrical approach to portraiture, in which the sitter's public office, animation, and bravado are emphasized. The design for the bronze derives from Alessandro Algardi, a rival and contemporary of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Innocent X, eager to distinguish his papacy from that of his predecessor, Urban VIII, awarded his choicest commissions to Algardi rather than to Bernini, whom Urban VIII had favored.