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 Artist Félicie de Fauveau's masterwork under restoration at Santa Croce

Artist Félicie de Fauveau's masterwork under restoration at Santa Croce

The women behind the monument… under restoration

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Felicie de Fauveau was one of the first female sculptors to make a living from her art. She spent her childhood in Florence and moved to Paris, France in 1826, at the height of the Restoration period when the Bourbon's were again in power. It is there she learned first, painting and later, sculpture. It is said that after a single discussion with a craftsman who made religious statues, she stated “I too am a sculptor”. It is not known if she received any formal training in this medium. In France, de Fauveau became a political activist, an ardent, and passionate, legitimist, who believed in the rights of dynastic succession of the elder descendants of the Bourbon monarchy. When she moved to Florence in 1833, in self-imposed exile, her friends included sculptor, Lorenzo Bartolini, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Antonio Marini and Caroline Bonaparte. She was embraced by the international intellectual community and received many commissions, including from Prince Anatolio Demidoff and Czar Nicholas I. Her home/studio on Via degli Serragli, in Florence, in the ex-convent of Santa Elisabetta delle Converite, became an artistic mecca for foreign travelers during their Grand Tour. Befittingly, the studio today hosts a school for artisans and the applied arts.

From: Jane Fortune's "Félicie de Fauveau. Artistic passion and political exile" in Santa Croce in Pink.