Coat of Arms of the Boni Family, ca. 1457

  • Donatello, Italian, 1386-1466
  • Desiderio da Settignano, Italian, 1429/32 - 1464

Sandstone (pietra serena)

  • Overall: 85 × 29 1/4 inches (215.9 × 74.3 cm)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel B. Ford

41.124

On View

  • European: Medieval and Renaissance W241

Department

European Sculpture and Dec Arts

  • Carving
  • Sandstone
  • Ribbon
  • Sculpture
  • Coat of arms elements
  • Shield (motif)
  • Putto
  • Tuscany

While still an apprentice, Desiderio, who probably trained in the Florentine workshop of Donatello, received a commission to carve the coat of arms of the Gianfigliazzi family. This relief, which hung above the entrance of the Palazzo Gianfigliazzi in Florence until 1906, depicts a smiling putto holding the Gianfigliazzi symbol, a large heraldic shield with the lion rampant, by a ribbon. The lion supports a second shield, bearing the arms of the Minerbetti family (originally ornamented with three swords). This coat of arms is thought to commemorate the marriage between Andrea Tommaso Minerbetti and Costanza Gianfigliazzi in 1427.

until 1792, Palazzo Boni [ later called Palazzo Boni Minerbetti, via de' Boni] (Florence, Italy

by 1913, Pilade Merlotti (Siena, Italy)

Stefano Berdini (Florence, Italy)

1913-1927, Elia Volpi and Palazzo Davanzati (Florence, Italy)

1927, Edsel B. Ford (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

1941-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Bocchi, F., ed. and G. Cinelli. Le belleze della citta di Firenze. Florence, 1677, p. 214. Vasari, G. Le vite de'piu eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed archettori, 9 vols. Florence, 1878-1885, 2: 418. [ed. G. Milanesi] Bode, W. von. “Newly Discovered works by Donatello.” The Burlington Magazine 49, pp. 4-5. Kennedy, C. "Documenti inediti su Desiderio da Settignano e la sua famiglia." Revista d'Arte 12 (1930): p. 271. Bulletin of the DIA 21, 4 (1942): pp. 26-27. Valentiner, W.R. "The Coat of Arms of the Minerbetti Family by Donatello." Bulletin of the DIA 21, 4 (January 1942): pp. 26 -27 (cover ill.). Richardson, E.P. "The Coat of Arms of the Minerbetti Family by Donatello." Bulletin of the DIA 26, 1 (1947): p. 21 (ill.). "L'insegna della famiglia Minerbetti." Le Vie del Mondo 16, 4 (April 1954): p. 360 (ill.). Janson, H.W. and Jeno Lanyi. The Sculpture of Donatello. 1957, p. 43. Sterne, M. The Passionate Eye, The Life of William R. Valentiner. Detroit, 1980, p. 272. Darr, A.P. "A Valentiner Legacy: Italian Sculpture in Detroit." Apollo 124 (December 1986): pp. 479, 484, no. 12 (fig. 4). Darr, A.P. & G. Bonsanti, eds. Donatello e i Suoi: Scultura florentina del primo Rinascimento. Exh. cat., Forte di Belvedere. Florence, 1986, p. 143, no. 31. Pope-Hennessy, J. Donatello: sculptor. New York, 1993, p. 351. Ferrazza, R. Palazzo Davanzanti e le colleziono di Elia Volpi. Florence, 1994, pp. 128, 130. Bellandi, A. "Una stemma di Desidero da Settignano." Nuovi Studi II, 4 (1997): p.3 (fig. 42). Darr, A. P., and B. Preyer. "Donatello, Desidero da Settignano and His Brothers and Macigno Sculpture for a Boni Palace in Florence." The Burlington Magazine 141 (December 1999): pp. 720-731. G. Bonsanti. "Stemma Martelli." Rivista dell'Opifico delle Pietre Dure e Laboratori di Restauro di Firenze XII (2000): pp. 232-235. Darr, A.P., P. Barnet, A. Boström, with contributions by C. Avery... [et. al.]. Catalogue of Italian Sculpture in the Detroit Institute of Arts. London, 2002, 2 vols., cat. 54. Darr, A.P. "Donatello, Desiderio, and Geri da Settignano, and Sculpture in Pietra Serena for a Boni Palace and Elsewhere in Florence: A Reassessment." Desiderio da Settignano. Venice, 2011.

Donatello; Desiderio da Settignano, Coat of Arms of the Boni Family, ca. 1457, sandstone (Pietra serena). Detroit Institute of Arts, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel B. Ford, 41.124.