17th-Century Sculpture Captures Unbelievable Lace Details in Hand-Carved Marble

The Baroque Period is known for its decadent theatricality, with European artists continuing the classical trends of the Renaissance and shaping them into dramatic paintings and sculptures. Italian sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s work is particularly revered by art historians. Yet, the work of his lesser known apprentice, Giuliano Finelli, are just as breathtaking. Finelli was born in 1601 in Torrano di Carrara, Italy and received formal training in sculpting in Naples. Moving to Rome in 1622, the budding artist’s prowess with carving live figures attracted the renowned Bernini, and he chose Finelli as his assistant.

Under Bernini’s tutelage, Finelli grew his artistic ability and his political connections. Since Bernini was often commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the most powerful political figure in Italy during the period, Finelli was able to work on incredibly significant pieces. One of these sculptures was a bust of Pope Urban VIII’s niece, Maria Duglioli Barberini, who had died in 1621 from labor complications.

Finelli’s attention to detail translated well in bringing her visage back to life in the bust that was commissioned around 1626. The sculptor was so precise in carving the details of her dress that the insertion lace surrounding the bust’s ruff is deceptively realistic—one would think it’s actually made of textile, when in reality it’s all marble. Even the minute string which binds the beads of the figure’s necklace is visible.

Unfortunately, Bernini could not share the spotlight with Finelli and refused to allow his assistant the chance to present the commission to the Pope in Rome. Finelli’s other contributions to Bernini’s work were also overshadowed by the artist’s popularity, and so he broke from Bernini’s workshop in 1629. His skill in portraying the most minute of details in all his commissions makes his work distinguishable from Bernini’s and beautiful to behold.

Baroque sculptor Giuliano Finelli created this exquisite, life-like carving of Pope Urban VIII’s niece, Maria Duglioli Barberini.

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini by Giuliano Finelli

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini in the Louvre (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 3.0])

His attention to detail was remarkable. You’d think he used real lace for the bust’s ruff. But it’s all marble.

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini by Giuliano Finelli

Detail of the bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini in the Louvre (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 3.0])

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini by Giuliano Finelli

Detail of the bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini in the Louvre (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY 3.0])

Bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini by Giuliano Finelli

Beautiful lace details on the bust of Maria Duglioli Barberini (Photos: Kim Rempel)

Finelli’s craftsmanship is also found in many of the famed Bernini’s works, like his sculpture Apollo and Daphne.

Baroque Sculpture of Two Lovers

“Apollo & Daphne” by Bernini (Photo: Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 4.0])

The post 17th-Century Sculpture Captures Unbelievable Lace Details in Hand-Carved Marble appeared first on My Modern Met.


How Different Types of Exercise Improve Your Mental Health

Exercise has been shown to have a great effect on your mental health and well being. There are many types of physical activities that will positively impact your mood and the chemicals which influence your feelings and outlook on life. 


Running is one of the easiest activities to begin. It requires little equipment and you can go at your own pace. Humans have evolved to be naturally great at running. Once you push past the difficulty of beginning a running habit, the overall feeling during your workout can be positive for your mental health. Aerobic activities like running have been shown to improve symptoms of depression and anxiety. It also has the immediate benefit of boosting endorphins, which can change your outlook and mood for your day. Likewise, running improves your focus. Running also leads to a better night’s sleep, which can be great for having a clear head when you wake up in the morning. Finally, it’s an easy activity to do alone, with friends, or in a group.


Swimming, because it is in the water, has been shown to have a positive impact in helping reduce anxiety and aiding relaxation. It can also be a great way to bond with your family and enjoy activities together when the weather warms. Many people favor swimming as their preferred form of cardio and even install pools in their own backyards. For instance, if you reside in Virginia, a simple internet search for “inground pools Virginia” can provide you with companies in your area that specialize in estimating and building pools to fit within your budget and space. Building a swimming habit can be an incredibly relaxing way to improve your mood, cool off, and get in shape at the same time. 


Practicing yoga on a regular basis has many positive effects on your mood, mental health, and emotional state. Yoga shifts you from a state of sympathetic nervous system to parasympathetic, bringing you into a relaxed mode instead of being on edge, or in fight or flight mode. Additionally, yoga can help you heal emotionally from traumatic events in your past by addressing them mentally in a calm environment. Another added benefit is the mental peace you achieve with yourself. Try taking a break from the hassle of your day and spending a few minutes practicing yoga. 


Zumba is a stimulating aerobic activity. It’s been increasingly popular in the past few years, and for good reason. The activity is usually practiced in a group setting, such as a class, with a combination of music and exercise, cultivating a positive environment that can boost mood. Both of these things have also been proven to relieve symptoms of mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. Practicing something with happy music, along with the group effort of accomplishing a common goal, can have incredibly benefits on your mental health as well. Many gyms and fitness centers offer Zumba classes for every level and age group. 

Weight Training

Lifting is also incredibly important for a well-rounded exercise regimen. It also assists your body in building muscle. Not only has regular weight lifting been shown to alleviate both anxiety and depression, but in addition, it can have positive impact on your self-esteem. Studies have revealed that it also improves cognitive function when combined with brain exercises. If you want to improve your self-image, feel better about yourself and your life, and gain muscle while you are at it, consider a gym membership to lift weights regularly.

There are many types of exercise that can improve your mental health. With these tips, you’re guaranteed to start feeling better, both physically and mentally. 

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