The Romanelli family's artistic heritage originates in Florence, home to some of the most influential individuals in the history of the arts.
Pasquale Romanelli (1812-1897) was the first in an impressive family line of artists and sculptors. He was trained at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze and worked as a sculptor with Lorenzo Bartolini. At Bartolini's death, Pasquale acquired his mentor's studio. That studio is today's Studio Romanelli; a unique working artist studio on the left bank of the Arno river in Florence.
Statues of Pasquale Romanelli include Ruth e la Delusa, currently in the Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg); monument to Vittorio Fossombroni in Piazza San Francesco (Arezzo); monument to Alessandro Masi in the Certosa di Pavia; a portrait of Lorenzo Bartolini in the Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Milan).
Pasquale's son Raffaello Romanelli (1856 – 1928) trained both with his father and at the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Firenze, where he subsequently ended up teaching.
Among his most famous works are: the equestrian monument to Garibaldi (Siena); the monument to Donatello in the church of San Lorenzo in Florence; the bust of Benvenuto Cellini on the Ponte Vecchio (Florence); the monument to Carlo Alberto di Savoia in the gardens of via delle Quattro Fontane (Rome); the Cristo Redentore in the Museum of Sorgey Possad Lavra (Russia); the monument to King Carol I of Romania in the Peleş Castle (Romania); a monument to John Wister in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania); the pedestal fountain for the Romanelli Gardens in Kansas City (Missouri); the bronze statue of General Louis Botha, statesman and soldier which stands outside the Parliament in Cape Town (South Africa) as well as numerous bronze portraits of personalities, such as the one of John Flood France now in the Ashmolean Museum of Art (Oxford).
And third in the line of Romanelli artists was Romano Romanelli (1882 – 1968), son of Raffaello. Romano Romanelli created both large-scale works and smaller pieces. He was named an Accademico d'Italia in 1930. His most salient works include Ercole e il Leone in Piazza Ognissanti (Florence); a Christ for the monument to Luigi Cadorna in Pallanza (Lago Maggiore); the monumental marble statue La Giustizia di Traiano in the Palazzo di Giustizia near the Piazza Cinque Giornate (Milan); a bronze crucifix for the 1934 Crypt for the Fallen at Santa Caterina a Magnanapoli (Rome).
The Romanelli workshop was also involved in the development of the historical friezes for the Voortrekker Monument in 1928 (South Africa), with the creation of the equestrian monument to Skanderberg in 1938, the national hero of Albania, in Piazza Albania (Rome), and the Monumento al Legionario (Siracusa) in 1939.
The Studio Galleria Romanelli in Florence is now in the hands of the 5th generation of Romanelli artists and sculptors. In addition to the sale of valuable sculptures in marble, bronze and plaster, the Gallery is unique in that it also offers commissioned art-pieces, from portraits to large monumental works. Sculpture classes are also held there throughout the year.