Morelli, Cosimo

Morelli, Cosimo an Italian architect of considerable note among those of the last century, deserves a place here because his life-labors were very largely devoted to ecclesiastical architecture. He was born at Imola in 1732, and was the son of Domenico Morelli (also an architect), and studied under Domenico Trifogli, who executed several works of merit at Imola. It was Cosimo's good fortune to obtain powerful patronage at the very outset of his professional career — first, that of Giovan-Carlo Bandi, bishop of Imola, for whom he made designs for rebuilding the cathedral of that city, and through him that of his nephew Giovanni Antonio Braschi, who was elevated to the papal throne in 1775, with the name of Pius VI. The new pontiff, who entertained a personal regard for Morelli obtained for him the appointment of city architect at Cesena (the pope's native town), and various other commissions. He died, after a severe paralytic attack, in February, 1812. The principal structures executed by him in the line in which we are interested are the cathedral of Imola, the metropolitan church at Fermo, the duomo at Macerata, and the conventual church at Fossombrone, St. Petronio at Castel Bolognese, a church at Barbiano, that of the nuns of St. Chiara at Imola, and St. Maria in regola in the same city, and another church at Lugo; also some alterations in the metropolitan church at Ravenna. See Tipaldo, Biogr. degli Italiani illustri; Engl. Cyclop. s.v.; Spooner, Biog. Dict. of the Fine Arts, 2:588.

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