In the world of the Medici rulers of Florence, the ritual of diplomatic gift-giving was vital to establishing and maintaining power. The perfect gift could turn foe into friend, strengthen alliances with foreign rulers, ensure the success of delicate political negotiations, and vouchsafe the continuing loyalty of one’s friends. But what to give the person who already has everything? Medici patronage gave
glorious rise to the creation of elegant portraits, powerful bronze sculptures, and luxurious objects in pietre dure. Ingeniously deployed to promote the Medici’s political and cultural aspirations both within Florence and across Europe, these treasured collectibles and diplomatic gifts express and reflect the magnificence and taste of Renaissance Italy’s most influential dynasty.
Watch our new video on Pietro Tacca’s Crucifixion, a masterpiece in bronze and pietre dure here.
Read an article by Carolyn H. Miner considering dialogues between painting and sculpture in Medici portraiture here.
Visit the recent exhibition on bronze sculpture at the Palazzo Pitti – the Robilant+Voena Crucifixion is mentioned in the catalogue here.
Learn about masterworks by Fontana from this pivotal period currently available at Robilant+Voena here.