Portrait of Olimpia Maidalchini Pamphilj

White Carrara marble

This celebrated bust is a portrait of the famous sister-in-law of Pope Innocent X and was completed by 1650. Donna Olimpia’s determined and ambitious personality led her to become the target of many of the Pope’s enemies, who fostered a highly unfavourable image of the Princess. This portrait is one of the best examples of Roman sculpture of the mid-17th century. The Bolognese artist Algardi was the most important sculptor of the classicising movement of this period, but there are clear similarities with major Roman Baroque works, as evidenced by the virtuoso execution of the flowing widow’s veil.