Pietro Tacca


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(bapt. Carrara, 6 Sept. 1577; d nr. Florence, 26 Oct. 1640).

Florentine sculptor, mainly in bronze, the chief pupil and follower of Giambologna. After his master's death in 1608, Tacca completed a number of his works and succeeded him as sculptor to the Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany. His works for them include his masterpieces, the four Slaves (c.1615–24) at the foot of the monument to Ferdinand I de' Medici in Livorno (Leghorn); the marble statue above is by Giovanni Bandini (1540–99). Tacca's last major project was an equestrian statue (1634–40) of Philip IV of Spain (see Habsburg) for the garden of the Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid (it is now in the Plaza de Oriente), in which the king is shown on a rearing horse. This Baroque pose was imposed on Tacca, having been already used in pictures of Philip by Rubens and Velázquez (a copy of a painting by one or the other of these artists was sent to Florence to act as a model). The smooth, generalized treatment of the work shows, however, that Tacca remained essentially a Mannerist sculptor. His son Ferdinando (1619–86) was also a sculptor; his best works are his graceful bronze statuettes.

Subjects: Art.

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