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The Mattias De Medici Blue Boys. A pair of Florentine Baroque polychrome lacca wood sculptures with glass eyes attributed to Jacopo Maria Foggini (c.1620–1684). Florence, third quarter of the seventeenth century

Alternate Text

Jacopo Maria Foggini ( 1610\1620 - 1684 )

The Mattias De Medici Blue Boys. A pair of Florentine Baroque polychrome lacca wood sculptures with glass eyes attributed to Jacopo Maria Foggini (c.1620–1684). Florence, third quarter of the seventeenth century


Florence 1650s
brass Carved Gilt Giltwood Lacca Lapis Polychrome-painted Poplar Tempera Woods Glass
146 x 0 cm (57 ¹/₂ x 0 inches)

Provenance

Possibly Mattias De Medici apartments in Pitti Palace, Florence before 1659.
Pietro Accorsi collection in Turin before 1968
French private collection until 2021.

Literature

Alvar Gonzalez Palacios, Il tempio del gusto. Le arti decorative in Italia tra classicismi e barocco. La Toscana e l'Italia settentrionale, Milano 1986, p.193 e ASF, Depositeria, 431, c.109.
Enrico Colle, Gli inventari delle corti, Firenze, 2004
Enrico Colle, Il mobile in Italia dal Cinquecento all'Ottocento. Milano Electa 2009, p.70-71, t.58-59.
Enrico Colle, I mobili di palazzo Pitti. Il periodo dei Medici. 1537-1737. P.246-247, n.83.
The website of The National Gallery in London https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/research/research-partnerships/the-frame-blog
The frame blog. Il Volterrano and a Baroque Florentine frame:part of a thematic programme? Lynn Roberts, 2021. With thanks to Paul Mitchell and Cecilia Treves.
https://theframeblog.com/tag/baroque-frames/

Exhibition

Related slightly lower wood sculptures by Jacopo Maria Foggini are documented in the second half of the 'Seicento' and they are still esistent in Florentine Granducal residences and churches including the half-naked pair in the Volterrano apartments at Pitti Palace, a cuple of Turkish figures recognized by A.G.Palacios originally at Pratolino Villa, a couple of South American figures holding a Mexican Tonala jar created slightly later for the Ginori family and an important ecce homo certainly sculpted by Foggini and polychrome painted by Baldassare Franceschini called the Volterrano (see photos inside Pitti and Ginori Palace as in San Marco Church in Florence).

Detail Description

The present pair of sculptures was destined to hold lights, banners or spears. They are an example of a kind of furnishing popular in Italian palaces in the Baroque period. In particular, the liveries in cobalt blue and the feathers around the figures’ waist, the very naturalistic rendition of the livery with fringed sleeves from which emerge rolled-up shirt sleeves, the boots in silvered mecca, and the base carved in imitation of rocks, are consistent with other similar decorative sculptures  found in Florentine court residences in the seventeenth century.

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Jacopo Maria Foggini