Francis Bernasconi

Francis Bernasconi (aka Francisco Bernasconi) (1762 – 1 January 1841) was an English ornamental carver and plasterer of Italian descent. He became one of the the most successful ornamental carvers and plasterers in Georgian Britain.

Early life

Francis Bernasconi was the son of ornamental plasterer Bernardo Bernasconi who lived in Buckingham.


*Gothic stucco work for Cobham Hall, Kent (1800–1809)

*Mouldings, angels and heraldic shields in Windsor Castle (1805)

*Interior plasterwork in Laurieston House, 51-2 Carlton Place, Glasgow (1806). In this he worked for architect Peter Nicholson. His work here was of the Neo-Classical Adam Style and he collaborated with a team of Italian craftsmen. The recent excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii provided inspiration for the design of the figurative mouldings, reliefs and other decorative plasterwork. There are also references to classical mythology such as Castor and Pollux, Hector and Andromache, Aeneas carrying Anchises and The Temptations of Hercules. This is the finest intact Georgian house in the city and listed Grade A however it is boarded up and inaccessible. There is a statue of Minerva in this house, but it is not known if this is Bernasconi's work.

*Repairs to Trinity College in Cambridge, using Roman Cement to cover the east side of the great court (1810).

*Repairs to the choir screen in York Minster (1814-1818).

*Gothic ornaments at Chicksands Priory, Bedfordshire (1816).

*Carving of the canopy of the Cardinal Wolsley statue, Christ Church, Oxford (1819).

*The grand staircase in Buckingham Palace, for which he was employed by the Prince Regent to model four sculpture groups from designs by Alfred Joseph Stothard. (1820).

*The Altar-Piece, Westminster Abbey (1825).


He had two children, a son Bartholomew and a daughter Frances, both of whom survived him. His nephew, George Vincent Bernasconi (b. 25 December 1805), was employed in Francis Bernasconi's company. George Henry Bernasconi (24 November 1841 - 1916), (son of George Vincent Bernasconi) was a successful Birmingham illustrator and photographer.


He died on 1 January 1841 from asthma at his home of 19 Alfred Place, Bloomsbury, London.


* [ Glasgow, City of Scuplture]
*Copy of Francis Bernasconi's Death Certificate, St Giles in the Fields & St George Bloomsbury Registration district.
*Francis Bernasconi's Last Will and Testament, proved 10 July 1841
*George Henry Bernasconi Family Register.
*George Henry Bernasconi's marriage certificate.

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