Inventory number
E00296
Author
Giambologna
Title
Allegory of Francesco I de’Medici
Chronology
1560-1561
Technique
Carving
Material
Alabaster
Dimensions
31 cm x 45,8 cm x 5 cm - 12,6 kg
School
Italian
Theme
Allegory
On display
No
Provenance
Royal Collection (Royal Palace of La Granja de San Ildefonso, Segovia, 1746)

The protagonist of this relief is Francesco de’Medici (1541-1587). His is the figure at the right, whom the gods' messenger, Mercury, leads by the hand, towards a female figure that has been identified as an embodiment of the city of Florence. On the left of the composition are diverse mythological and allegorical figures, including a fluvial personification who probably represents the Arno River. There is also a representation of Saturn devouring one of his sons, and two groups of three figures, always with a clock in their hands. They are an allusion to the passage of time.

This relief, with its complicated and enigmatic iconography, was probably given to Francesco de Medici by the artist. It would have been intended to show Francesco's incipient power in the city of Florence. Giambologna employed the entire Renaissance esthetic in this work. Especially notable, here, is how he solved the architectural perspective on the right.

The work appears in the inventory of Queen Isabel Farnesio in 1746.

 
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