Francesco Ghinghi


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(b Florence, 1689; d Naples, 29 Dec 1766). Italian gem-engraver and medallist. He was taught gem-engraving with the assistance of Ferdinando de’ Medici, and acquired a position in the Medici court as gem-engraver to the Grand Duke Cosimo III, establishing his reputation with a chalcedony cameo portrait of his patron (untraced). Among other portraits were those of the collector Baron Philipp von Stosch (c. 1717; Berlin, Antikenmus.) and of Cosimo's sons Ferdinando de’ Medici and Gian Gastone de’ Medici (untraced). For the Electress Palatine Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici he cut cameos of Hadrian and Trajan in large violet sapphires, and for Cardinal Gualtieri a copy of the Venus de’ Medici (Florence, Uffizi) in an amethyst (untraced). On the death of the last Medici in 1737 he moved to Naples in the employ of Charles VII (later Charles III of Spain). Charles, of whom he produced a chalcedony cameo portrait (untraced), appointed him director of the Real Laboratorio delle Pietre Dure, a post he retained until the end of his life. Several of his works were reproduced in the cast collection of James Tassie (Edinburgh, N.P.G., and St Petersburg, Hermitage).

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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