SEF/Art Resource, NY

Giambologna (1529-1608)—one of the great sculptors of the late Italian Renaissance, who was also known as Da Bologna and Jean Boulogne—lived briefly in Rome before moving to Florence. His bronze equestrian statues of the Medici grand-dukes Ferdinand I and his son Cosimo I owe much to the ancient Marcus Aurelius statue that he had earlier viewed in Rome.

The equestrian portrait of Ferdinand himself was sculpted by Giambologna in his old age, and was cast by his pupil Pietro Tacca. The statue was made from bronze melted down from Turkish cannons captured by the Knights of St. Stephen, a military order established by Cosimo I. It was erected in the Piazza SS. Annuziata in Florence six months after Giambologna’s death, where it still stands today.