(b Milan, July 14, 1658; d Rome, Dec 9, 1728).
Italian sculptor. He was one of the last great Roman sculptors to practise in the Grand Manner. His career began in the late Baroque period and continued into the early Rococo or Barocchetto (as it came to be known for Italian art). There are elements of both periods in his style, yet he favoured the earlier, more dynamic and universalizing way of expressing artistic ideas.
Rusconi’s career followed a traditional and successful pattern. He was schooled in Milan by the Jesuits, and at the age of 15 he went to study with Giuseppe Rusnati (d 1713), a Milanese sculptor who had been part of Ercole Ferrata’s workshop in Rome. Rusconi had therefore felt the influence of Roman High Baroque sculpture before he went to Rome to work with his master’s master at the age of 28. Ferrata unfortunately died shortly afterwards, in 1686. Rusconi inherited from his masters the styles of Algardi and Bernini, the two most influential Roman sculptors of the previous generation. In particular he was influenced by Bernini’s copious forms and expansive gestures: although he did not tap the expressive energies of the Baroque in the same way as Bernini, the Grand Manner, revealing powerful human passions and depicting virtuous actions, remained prominent in his work. The most important influence on Rusconi was, however, that of the painter Carlo Maratti, who dismissed many of the more extreme conventions of Baroque composition in favour of ordered grouping and clear presentation of individual figures and narrative; his manner became the court style that dominated late Baroque art in Europe....