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Plaster cast - Piero di Cosimo de'Medici
  • Piero di Cosimo de'Medici
    da Fiesole, Mino, born 1429 - died 1484
  • Enlarge image

Piero di Cosimo de'Medici

  • Object:

    Plaster cast

  • Place of origin:

    Florence (the original, sculpted)
    Florence (plaster cast, cast)

  • Date:

    1453 (sculpted)
    ca. 1899 (cast)

  • Artist/Maker:

    da Fiesole, Mino, born 1429 - died 1484 (sculptor)
    Lelli, Oronzio (cast)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Plaster Cast

  • Museum number:

    REPRO.1899-57

  • Gallery location:

    Cast Courts, Room 46b, The Weston Cast Court , case FS, shelf N

Piero di Medici, nicknamed 'the Gouty', was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and unofficial ruler of Florence from 1464 to 1469. The Latin inscription on the bust records that Piero was portrayed at the age of 37. The diamond rings on the borders of his tunic are a Medici device, symbolising strength and fidelity. The bust's original location may have been the Medici Palace in Florence, since a bust of Piero is recorded in the 1492 inventory. Portraits of great figures of the Florentine renaissance, both patrons and scholars, were much admired in Britain in the 19th century, since they symbolised the vibrant intellectual and cultural climate of the city during the quattrocento.

Plaster casts were especially sought after during the 19th century, when reproductions of great works of sculpture and architecture were thought crucial for the training of artists. A separating substance was applied to the surface of the work to be reproduced, and a plaster mould made from that. The mould would then be used to make any number of additional plaster copies. These were often sold to artists, and later in the century to art colleges for study purposes.

Physical description

Plaster Cast of the bust of Piero di Cosimo de 'Medici (1416-1469), after the marble original in the Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence. Signed: 'PETRVS LOS.AETATIS ANNO XXXVII OPVS MINI SCVLPTORIS'. The diamond rings on the borders of his tunic (gamurra) are a Medicean device, symbolising strength and fidelity.

Place of Origin

Florence (the original, sculpted)
Florence (plaster cast, cast)

Date

1453 (sculpted)
ca. 1899 (cast)

Artist/maker

da Fiesole, Mino, born 1429 - died 1484 (sculptor)
Lelli, Oronzio (cast)

Materials and Techniques

Plaster Cast

Marks and inscriptions

'PETRVS LOS.AETATIS ANNO XXXVII OPVS MINI SCVLPTORIS'
Signed

Dimensions

Height: 55 cm

Object history note

Acquired in exchange from the Berlin Museum in 1899.

Historical context note

Piero di Medici (1416-69), nicknamed "the Gouty", was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent, and unofficial ruler of Florence from 1464-69. The diamond rings on the borders of his tunic (gamurra) are a Medicean device, symbolising strength and fidelity. The original location of the bust may have been the Medici Palace, as a bust of Piero is recorded in the 1492 inventory.

Descriptive line

Plaster Cast, painted plaster, of a bust of Piero di Cosimo de' Medici (1416-1469), after the marble original in the Museo Nazionale (Bargello), Florence, by Mino da Fiesole, 1453, cast by Oronzio Lelli, Italy (Florence), ca. 1899

Labels and date

Portraits of great figures of the Renaissance were much admired in the 19th century, when this cast was made. Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici was the father of Lorenzo the Magnificent and the unofficial ruler of Florence. The diamond rings on the borders of his tunic are Medici family heraldry. The original bust may once have been in the Medici Palace in Florence. [2014]

Materials

Plaster

Techniques

Casting

Subjects depicted

Rulers; Busts

Categories

Ph_survey; Sculpture; Plaster Cast; Portraits

Collection

Sculpture Collection

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