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Giovanni Battista Foggini (Florence 1652 - Florence 1725)

Portrait of Marguerite Louise of Orléans, Grand Duchess of Tuscany


Marble
Height: 77 cm (30 ¹/₄ inches)
c. 1690
This work is a shining if hitherto little-known example of the technical mastery of its maker, the sculptor Giovan Battista Foggini (Florence, 25 April 1652 – 12 April 1725), which resurfaced a few years ago in an exhibition entitled “The Wise Princess” at Palazzo Pitti. One of the strongpoints of the exhibition, curated by Stefano Casciu, was that it brought together a celebrated series of eight Medici portraits carved by Foggini, previously identified by Lankheit and to which the bust belongs. The series is split today between the National Gallery of Art in Washington (Ferdinando II and Vittoria della Rovere; figs. 7, 8), the Metropolitan Museum in New York (Cosimo III and Grand Prince Ferdinando, figs. 5, 6), the Musée du Louvre in Paris (Cardinal Leopoldo, fig. 10), the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (Cardinal Giovan Carlo, fig. 9) and the Museo della Caccia e del Territorio in Cerreto Guidi (Cardinal Francesco Maria, fig. 11) which was formerly in the Contini Bonacossi Collection, leaving us with the bust of Marguerite Louise of Orléans.

Provenance: Cardinal Francesco Maria de’ Medici, Villa Lappeggi (Grassina, Florence), who commissioned it in 1683. The bust was delivered in 1687; Congregazione di Carità di San Giovanni Battista, Florence;
Capponi collection, Palazzo Capponi (later Covoni), Florence;
With Stefano Bardini, Florence;
Count Alessandro Contini Bonacossi, Florence;
Private collection, Florence.
 

Literature: K. Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici 15th-18th Centuries, II, Florence, 1983, p. 1234, n. 84/19a;
C. De Benedictis, La collezione di dipinti di Stefano Bardini o “Il ratto d’Europa”, in F. Scalia, C. De Benedictis, Il Museo Bardini a Firenze, Milan, 1984, (reproduced plate LXXVII);
M. Visonà, Un ritratto di Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici bambina e i lari del Poggio Imperiale (riflessioni sul Foggini), in
“Paragone”, xlix, III (n. 22), 585, 1998, pp. 25, 29 note 23 (reproduced figs. 27-29);
M. De Luca, in S. Casciu (ed.), La principessa saggia. L’eredità di Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici Elettrice Palatina,
exhibition catalogue, (Florence 2006-2007), Livorno, 2006, pp. 140-141, cat. n. 8;
R. Spinelli, La serie dei ritratti medicei di Giovan Battista Foggini: note d’archivio sulla committenza e la cronologia, in “Paragone”, forthcoming.