Charles H. Cecil Studios occupies the most historic Florentine atelier still in active use. Located near the medieval Porta San Frediano, the Chiesa di San Raffaello Archangelo was adapted as a studio complex by Lorenzo Bartolini in the early nineteenth century.
Bartolini, pupil of Jacques-Louis David and colleague of J. A. D. Ingres, was one of the renowned sculptors of his day. The first American sculptor in marble Horatio Greenough received his training on these premises in the 1820’s.
By mid-century the atelier had passed to Bartolini’s assistant Pasquale Romanelli, and it has since witnessed generations of artistic activity. The vast nave of the former church, lo stanzone, houses the newly renovated Galleria Romanelli, an outstanding collection of casts and monumental statuary.
First and second year students work in the historic Romanelli Studios, which are particularly adapted for figure drawing, casts and portraiture.
Advanced students concentrate on large-scale portrait and figure compositions in spacious, north-lit studios designed in the 1870’s for painters who used the working methods that we have inherited.