Bust of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, ca. 1572

  • Giovanni Bandini, Italian, 1540-1599

Marble bust on green marble socle

  • Overall: 32 × 28 × 10 inches (81.3 × 71.1 × 25.4 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund


On View

  • European: Medieval and Renaissance W231


European Sculpture and Dec Arts

  • Marble
  • Green marble
  • Sculpture
  • Bust
  • Grand duke
  • Tuscany

The Medici, who had ruled Florence since the early fifteenth century, fell from power in 1529 following the siege of the city during the French Wars. A decade later, Cosimo I de’ Medici restored security and prosperity to the city, while undertaking a military campaign to unify Tuscany under Medici rule. Grand Duke Cosimo and his successors were active patrons of the arts, enriching Tuscan cities with works of art and architecture, and reestablishing the capital city of Florence as a major cultural center. Grand Duke Cosimo commissioned noted artists—the painter Bronzino and sculptors Giambologna and Bandini, among them—to create his official portraits. Giovanni Bandini executed five busts of Cosimo I to be placed above the portals of Florentine palaces as an honor granted to the important families who lived in them. In all examples, Cosimo is portrayed “all' antica,” wearing a mantle and cuirass in emulation of his ancient Roman Imperial antecedents. This bust epitomizes the dignified formal character of aristocratic portraiture in later sixteenth-century Italy.

possibly either for Giovanni Niccolini or for Bernardo Soderini (Florence, Italy). private collection (France)

Art Market (United Kingdom)

1992-1993, Osata Holdings (England)

1993, (Joanna Barnes Fine Arts)

1994-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Borghini, R. Il Riposo. Florence, 1584, pp. 637-638. Baldinucci, F. Notizie dei professori del disegno da Cimabue in qua, ed. F. Ranalli, 5 vols. Florence, 1846, pp. 3, 529. Langedijk, K. The Portraits of the Medici: 15th-18th centuries, 3 vols. Florence 1981-1987, I, p. 463, nos. 112-116. Avery, C. "Giovanni Bandini (1540-1599) Reconsidered." Antologia di Belle Arti 48-49 (1994): pp. 17-18. Vosilla in Florence. 1997, pp. 30-31. Darr, A.P. "An Early Renaissance Bronze attributed to Bartolomeo Bellano." Bulletin of the DIA 73, nos. 1/2 (1999): p. 6 (fig. 4). Darr A.P. and T. Albainy, "Acquisitions of European sculpture and decorative arts at the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1988 - 1999." The Burlington Magazine 142 (June 2000): p. 407 (fig. VII). Darr, A.P., P. Barnet, A. Bostrom, C. Avery, et al. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts, 2 vols. London, 2002, I, cat. 105.

Giovanni Bandini, Bust of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, ca. 1572, marble bust on green marble socle. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Robert H. Tannahill Foundation Fund, 1994.1.