Giovacchino Fortini (1671 - 1739)

Bust of Ferdinando de' Medici c1700

Marble, 139 (including base) x 90.3 x 59.5cm
Purchased by Lever, 1922
Accession Number LL203

Bust of Ferdinando de' Medici c1700

Please note: This piece is currently on loan to the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Read more about this loan on our blog|.

Prince Ferdinando de' Medici of Tuscany (1633 - 1713) was a great patron of the arts in Florence. He was particularly fond of sculpture. His emblem, lightning striking through clouds, has been carved into his breastplate in the form of a shield. The related motto, ET LUCET ET TERRET ('It casts both light and terror), is on the base.

Fortini was known for his tomb and church sculpture. He was also an accomplished sculptor of portrait busts and medals. His work is characterised by the subtle attention paid to fine details and textural distinctions. This is evident in this piece from the intricate curls of Ferdinando's wig and the contrast between smooth armour and fur wrap.