He was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence and also gained experience with sculpture in alabaster. In 1799 lived in Paris also receiving important commissions, as one of the bas-reliefs of the Column of the Grande Armée to Place Vendôme, celebrating the Battle of Austerlitz, and a bust of Napoleon, who liked it very much to the general.
Thanks to the intervention of Elisa Baiocchi, Napoleon’s sister, was appointed professor of sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara in 1807 (despite the resistance of the academic environment local) and became the official sculptor of the Bonaparte family, for which numerous portraits sculpted busts and statues of “Napoleon’s”, including a colossal statue of Napoleon, already emperor, to be placed in Livorno, but then ended up in Bastia.
Since 1815, after the fall of Napoleon, he returned to Florence were not easy years and was repeatedly put on the Index for his political views (of Bonapartist) and artistic ill suited with the rigid neoclassicism more academic, yet arrogant to ‘ imitation, even sterile, style of Canova.
Some wealthy foreigners, however, the sovvenzionarono and entrusted him with commissions. Towards 1818 he carved the Ammostatore, a child in the act of pressing the grapes, which refers to Donatello and Verrocchio, with careful observation of reality and a molded delicate refinement.
In 1824 he sculpted the group of Charity educator, originally designed for a chapel in the villa of Poggio Imperiale, but today in the Galleria Palatina in Palazzo Pitti. From 1830 he devoted himself to the prestigious request of the sons of Russian Prince Nicholas Demidoff to sculpt a monument in memory of his father, who is still in Piazza Demidoff in Florence since 1871.
The work consists of five groups and figures was completed by his pupil Romano Romanelli. The figure is the best Charity, wholly Bartolini. The sculptor used a special high-quality marble, the sugary, but very fragile, so it was necessary to cover the sculptures with a shed since the.
He was also a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Florence in 1839 and fought to spread a style of sculpture more tied to the vitality of nature (the so-called purity) rather than academic ideality. He remained famous lecture in which he presented the students with a model hunchback, pointing, in its kind, as an “exemplary”.
His best known work is imitated and Trust in God (1835), the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan, which is separated clearly from the neoclassical sculpture, inspiration towards more natural. Is a girl kneeling while looking to the sky, it is said that the idea of such a pose, as well as inspired by the penitent Magdalen by Canova, both coming artist looking right at the model who wearily relaxed after hours of posing.
The sculpture was requested by Rosina Trivulzio Poldi Pezzoli, whose family had already commissioned a bust of the Marquise artist, who, after being widowed of her husband Giuseppe Poldi Pezzoli in 1833, he saw the figure as an image of consoling her abandonment in faith after bereavement.
The marble inspired a famous sonnet to the poet Giuseppe Giusti. His last major work was the sepulchral monument to the Polish princess Sofia Zamoyski, to the Basilica of Santa Croce, which he worked, helped by aid from 1837 to 1844.
In the meantime, he carved the figure for the tomb dell’Inconsolabile Mastiani in the Campo Santo of Pisa (1840) and the Nymph of the Scorpion (1845, now in the Louvre), which was greatly praised by Baudelaire. Among the many portraits are reminiscent of the marble bust of comedian Louis Vestri in Bezzuoli Villa in Fiesole. In 1855 received critical acclaim at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, unique among Italian sculptors.
The set of plaster models and studies that were present in his study were placed nell’appositamente created Gipsoteque Bartolini, for the students of the Academy of Fine Arts, which is now part of the Museum of the others are in the Museum custodine Civic Praetorian Palace (Prato), his hometown.
He was buried in the chapel of St. Luke in the Basilica of the Santissima Annunziata in Florence, although a plaque in his honor is also found in the Basilica of Santa Croce. A plaque commemorates his Florentine studio in Borgo Pinti. Source: Wikipedia.