Ferdinando Tacca applied his artistic and engineering talents to a variety of projects. Trained as a sculptor, he also designed theaters, stage sets, machinery, and court spectacles. He received his first training from his father and in 1640 also assumed his father's position at the Medici court as sculptor to Ferdinand II, grand duke of Tuscany. As director of the sculpture workshop and foundry in Borgo Pinti, Tacca produced large bronze equestrian monuments, figural groups, and smaller-scale works for the Medicis in the 1640s.
When Medici patronage of sculptural works declined around 1650, Tacca embarked on a second successful career as a stage designer and engineer. On the request of Cardinal Giovanni Carlo de'Medici, he presented a design for the first theater in Florence. He also designed stage sets and theater machinery. His experience in the theater led naturally to designing spectacles for the court, and in 1656 he was appointed the designer for Medici festivities and religious rites. A few years later, still enjoying Medici patronage, Tacca was appointed engineer of the Medici buildings and fortifications.