Beautiful 17th century bronze sculpture
Beautiful 17th century bronze sculpture copy of the Roman lion of Villa Medici, made of marble in 1594 by Flaminio Vacca (Rome 1538-1605) and subsequently brought to Florence by the Grand Duke of Tuscany Ferdinando, visible in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Piazza della Signoria.
The beast is roaring and showing its teeth and has its left front paw raised on a sphere
Size 9 x 9 x 8.5 cm
Weight 905 gr.
The Medici lions are a pair of marble sculptures of lions: one of which is Roman, dating to the 2nd century AD, and the other a 16th-century pendant. Both were by 1598 placed at the Villa Medici, Rome. Since 1789 they have been displayed at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. The sculptures depict standing male lions with a sphere or ball under one paw, looking to the side.
The first lion originates from a 2nd-century marble that was first mentioned in 1594, by the sculptor Flaminio Vacca, by which time it was already in the collection of Ferdinando; Vacca reported that it had been found in the via Prenestina, outside Porta San Lorenzo. According to Vacca, the lion had been a relief, which was carved free of its background and reworked by "Giovanni Sciarano" or Giovanni di Scherano Fancelli, of whom little is now known.
The second was made and signed by Vacca, also in marble, as a pendant to the ancient sculpture at a date variously reported as between 1594 and 1598 or between 1570 and 1590. The pair were in place at the Loggia dei Leoni in 1598 The pendant was made from a capital that had come from the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus.
Copies of the Medici lions have been made and publicly installed in over 30 other locations, and smaller versions made in a variety of media; Medici lion has become the term for the type.