Romolo di Franceco Ferrucci del Tadda

Datesactive 1555 - 1621

Romolo di Francesco Ferrucci del Tadda learned stone carving from his father, a master credited with reviving this ancient art in the late 1500s. The Ferrucci family specialized in the rare field of hardstone carving and was known for its ability to work with porphyry, a material almost as hard as diamond. The flourishing Medici family, whose fondness for porphyry stemmed from its ancient association with Hellenistic royalty, was the Ferrucis' most important patrons.

Ferrucci Del Tadda worked in the Medici family's Galleria dei Lavori, a grand ducal workshop in which local craftsman trained in the commesso technique. Here he produced pietre dure portraits of King Henry IV and Pope Clement VIII in commemoration of the king's marriage to Marie de' Medici. He also executed a portrait of Cosimo I de' Medici, probably meant to decorate the prince's chapel. One contemporary writer thought these portraits in stone were more naturalistic than painting because the colors were not mixed; the artist had to use color just as it had been formed by nature. Ferrucci Del Tadda is best known for his animal sculptures for the Boboli Gardens in Florence.

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