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Photographer's Note

The rape of the Sabine Woman:
Giambologna became well known for a fine sense of action and movement, and a refined, differentiated surface finish. Among his most famous works are the Mercury (of which he did four versions), poised on one foot, supported by a zephyr. The god raises one arm to point heavenwards, in a gesture borrowed from the repertory of classical rhetoric[2] that is characteristic of Giambologna's maniera.

Giambologna's several depictions of Venus established a canon of proportions and set models for the goddess's representation that were influential for two generations of sculptors, in Italy and in the North. He created allegories strongly promoting Medicean political propaganda, such as Florence defeating Pisa and, less overtly, Samson Slaying a Philistine, for Francesco de' Medici (1562)[3]

He delighted in solving the complex spatial problems of three intertwined figures in his famous Rape of the Sabine Women (1574-82). The subject was not finally determined until after it had been set up in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence's Piazza della Signoria. Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus (1599) is also a conscious tour de force.[4] It is also in the Loggia dei Lanzi.


Hercules and Nessus (1599), FlorenceThe equestrian statue of Cosimo I de' Medici also in Florence, was completed by his studio assistant Pietro Tacca.

Giambologna provided as well as many sculptures for garden grottos and fountains in the Boboli Gardens of Florence and at Pratolino, and the bronze doors of the cathedral of Pisa. For the grotto of the Villa Medicea of Castello he sculpted a series of studies of individual animals, from life, which may now be viewed at the Bargello. Small bronze reductions of many of his sculptures were prized by connoisseurs at the time and ever since, for Giambologna's reputation has never suffered eclipse.

Giambologna was an important influence on later sculptors through his pupils Adriaen de Vries and Pietro Francavilla who left his atelier for Paris in 1601, as well as Pierre Puget who spread Giambologna's influence throughout Northern Europe, and in Italy on Pietro Tacca, who assumed Giambologna's workshop in Florence, and in Rome on Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Alessandro Algardi.

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Additional Photos by Albrecht Bijvank (Albrecht) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1667 W: 141 N: 895] (11283)
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