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Guidi trained in Naples and then moved to Rome in 1649, where he was active in Alessandro Algardi’s workshop until the master’s death in 1654. In addition to his renown as a sculptor, it was doubtless also his connections with artists at the French court that brought him the commission for the tomb of secretary of state Louis Phélypeaux de La Vrillière, the scion of an old French aristocratic family. La Vrillière, who died in 1681 at the age of eighty-one, engaged the Roman sculptor to make the monument while he was still alive. The finished statue was duly installed in the Gothic parish church of Saint- Martial in Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, near Orléans, under the arch of an arcade. Hewn in marble, it essentially followed the highly detailed clay model in Berlin, which shows the deceased as a relatively young man, in a typically baroque pathos. He is shown wearing the robes of a Knight of the Order of the Holy Spirit, of which La Vrillière was both commander and master of ceremonies. The complete tomb, which was installed in 1686, also includes a large angel, hovering beside the kneeling man, the folds of its robes treated as dynamically as those on the figure of the deceased.

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