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Pietro Tacca

Baroque Master of Bronze

Fountain in Piazza SS. Annunzia

Pietro Tacca (1580–1640) born in Carrara, was the most talented pupil of Giambologna. After his master's death in 1592, took over his workshop and completed his unfinished commissions, especially the equestrian statue of Ferdinand de' Medici in Piazza SS. Annunziata where he later added his delightful fountains featuring spitting monkey mermaids. The fountains that were actually originally designed for Livorno, where Tacca's Monument of the Four Moors featuring another statue of Ferdinand (by Baccio Bandinelli) is considered his one of his masterpieces.

Tacca is also behind what is probably the best loved statue in Florence, after Michelangelo's David: the bronze wild boar or Porcellino in the Mercato Nuovo (original now in the Museo Bardini).

Tacca's last work, a bronze equestrian statue of Philip IV (1640) for the Royal Palace in Madrid was one of the most daring of the age, with the king's horse rearing up on two legs — a tour de force that owes its balance to careful calculations by none other than Galileo.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Images by: Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License