We are grateful to Dr Dimitrios Zikos for cataloguing this lot. \nThis impressive terracotta bust is a portrait of the young Ferdinando II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1610-1670, r. 1621) and is likely to have been made around 1628, when the prince came of age and assumed power. It is the work of Pietro Tacca (1577-1640), Giambolognas pupil and his successor as court sculptor to the Medici Grand Dukes of Tuscany, and it is the last portrait bust of a Medici Grand Duke made by Tacca inspired by a dynastic portrait type invented by Giambologna for his marble busts of Grand Dukes Francesco and Ferdinando I in the last quarter of the 16th century. The authorship and date of the terracotta can be established by means of comparison with Taccas documented portrait busts. In its vitality and the precise rendering of detail, the terracotta is a testimony to Taccas interest in the study and realistic representation of nature, to which constant reference is made in the sculptors first biography by Filippo Baldinucci, published posthumously in 1702. This pre-eminence of the study after life defines the sculptors art in accordance with the prominence of science under Galileo Galilei in Florence during Taccas lifetime and fundamentally informs the character of this bust.\nThe image of a young ruler: identifying Ferdinando II de' Medici\nThe terracotta represents the Florentine Grand Duke during whose reign Tacca became court sculptor and reached the peak of his career. In these years he completed the famous over life-size bronze Four Slaves for Livorno (1623-1626); the two bronze fountains in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Florence (1626-1629); the bronze Boar after the Antique of which innumerable copies were made around the world (c. 1633, Museo Bardini, Florence); and he began and partly completed the colossal bronze statues of Grand Dukes Ferdinando I and Cosimo II for the Cappella dei Principi, the mausoleum of the Medici family (post 1630). Finally, shortly before his death in 1640 he completed at the behest of Ferdinando II the monumental equestrian statue of King Philip IV of Spain on a rearing horse (Plaza de Oriente, Madrid) the work that secured his fame all over Europe. This close professional relationship was matched by close personal ties. Baldinucci says that Pietros son Ferdinando was named after the Grand Duke. For reasons of age it is however unlikely that Ferdinando II baptized the sculptors son as the writer also suggests.\nThat Tacca, as the court sculptor, should have portrayed the young monarch upon his assumption of power seems inevitable. And indeed Baldinucci mentions a now lost portrait bust of 'Grand Duke Ferdinando', begun but not completed for a famous Florentine poet, Giovanni Battista Strozzi. The material is not specified, but the fact that this portrait remained unfinished could imply that it was carved rather than cast. As he grew older, Tacca refrained from carving, which he delegated to specialized assistants. This might have been the reason why Tacca did not finish the portrait of Grand Duke Ferdinando for Strozzi. A marble bust of 'Grand Duke Ferdinando' registered 1686 in the estate of Pietros son Ferdinando could have been the bust begun for Strozzi since Ferdinando Tacca is not known to have made marbles. It might have been for this marble portrait that the present terracotta served as a model.\nSculptural portraits of the young Ferdinando II are extremely rare. And since Ferdinando II so closely resembled his father Cosimo II it would not have been easy to identify the sitter of this terracotta beyond doubt were it not for a small-scale silver and gilt bronze portrait bust inscribed: FER. II. M. D. ETRVRIAE. V. [= 'Ferdinand II, 5th Grand Duke of Etruria (= Tuscany)'], today with Galerie J. Kugel, Paris. This clearly shows the same person albeit somewhat older and wearing a moustache. The fact that the decorations of the armour are of the same design as those on the terracotta and that the sash is worn in the same manner is a proof that the smaller portrait depends on the larger and that this was a well-known image of the sovereign.\nFurthermore that the Grand Duke should be represented around 1628 is attested by a series of painted portraits, by Justus Sustermans (1597-1681), painter to the court of Tuscany. A full-length portrait of the young Ferdinando II in the Palazzo Pitti entered the Guardaroba on 23 January 1627, and offers therefore a reliable terminus ad quem. It was replicated in half-length on another canvas in the Palazzo Pitti, which in virtue of its format compares well to the terracotta bust (fig. 1).\nAlthough completed around 1650, a triple portrait of Ferdinando II, his father, and his mother Maria Maddalena of Austria, in the Galleria degli Uffizi (inv. 1890, no. 2402), is of special importance in this context, because the physiognomical differences between father and son are immediately perceptible. The forehead of Cosimo II is broader, his eyebrows less arched and his lips larger than Ferdinando's. The shape of Ferdinando's face is - contrary to that of his father's - distinctly oval.\nThe antecedents: the heritage of Giambologna\nThe oldest reference to a portrait bust of a Medici Grand Duke by Pietro Tacca is that to a bronze representing Grand Duke Francesco de Medici (1541-1587, r. 1574), today in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (fig. 2, inv. 1983.450). This bust was a gift the sculptor made to Francescos daughter, Maria, the Dowager Queen of France. In 1611 it was dispatched to Paris with the bronze equestrian statue of her husband, Henry IV, which Taccas teacher, Giambologna, had begun before his death in 1608 and which was completed by Tacca. The statue was destroyed during the French Revolution but fragments of it are preserved in the Musée du Louvre (inv. 3449-3451, 3453). In a letter dated 10 October 1614 and first published by Baldinucci, Maria thanked the sculptor for his gift and informed him that she had sent him 300 scudi as a recompense for the bust.\nTacca could not have known Grand Duke Francesco who died when the sculptor was ten and still living in his hometown Carrara. Since his bronze portrait of the Grand Duke in New York resembles closely the marble portrait by Giambologna in the Uffizi, it is likely to have been fashioned after it or after a lost model for it. Such a model would have come into Taccas possession after the death of his teacher, as indeed happened with other parts of Giambolognas estate. Giambologna had chosen to represent the Grand Duke in contemporary and not allantica armour. The arms are truncated at a higher level than the torso. The armour has scalloped pauldrons. Over it a sword sash is worn. The blank surface of the armour and the sharp edges of the sash contrast to the detailed rendering of the head which is turned slightly to one side. This marble was based on close study from life, but the sculptor wanted also to create an official image of an absolute monarch. The date of this bust has not been established with certainty but it has been assumed by Karla Langedijk who first published it that it was made around 1585, two years before Francescos death. A similar marble bust of Francescos successor Ferdinando I is dated 1603 and was placed over the entrance of Giambolognas house in Borgo Pinti. This is also a veritable court portrait. In 1603 Giambologna was in his mid-seventies and it is possible that it was at least in part carved by one of his assistants. Tacca was born, raised, and received his earliest training in Carrara the capital of a small principality that corresponds to an area where Italys finest marble is still quarried. He is therefore a likely candidate for having made (or assisted in making) this marble bust.\nTacca made at least three more bronze busts besides that of Francesco I in New York, all based on this type of dynastic portrait established by his teacher: that of Grand Duke Cosimo I (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, inv. Sculture 50) and that of Grand Duke Ferdinando I, successor to Francesco. The latter is known in two casts: one in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello already by 1879 (inv. 100 B) and one on the art market. Werner Gramberg first published the bronze bust of Cosimo I as an early work by Giambologna, dated until recently to the last quarter of the 16th century. Ferdinandos bust in the Bargello was attributed to Tacca already by Igino Benvenuto Supino in 1898. However, a recent archival discovery has shown that both busts in Florence were made at the same moment and by the same sculptor: Pietro Tacca. Before this discovery it was only known that the two busts were owned by a son of Ferdinando II, Don Lorenzo de Medici, and that they entered the Guardaroba of the Medici Grand Dukes in 1648, the year of Don Lorenzos death. Thus they became part of the Grand Ducal collections and later ended up in two separate Florentine museums. According to the newly discovered documents, however, on 19 April 1622 the sculptors Felice Palma and Baccio Lupicini valued two bronze busts Tacca had made as a pair for Don Lorenzos uncle, Don Giovanni, for the price of two hundred scudi 'nel grado che sono oggi', 'in the state in which they are today'. As the busts entered the Medici Guardaroba from the Palazzo del Parione, which was owned by Don Giovanni and later by his heir Don Lorenzo, the two bronzes commissioned by Don Giovanni from Tacca are the two busts today in Florence. That each was valued only one third of what the Dowager Queen of France had given the sculptor for a similar work can be accounted for by their incomplete condition, hence the expression 'in the state in which they are today'. In all likelihood then the busts were commissioned from Tacca before Don Giovanni moved to Venice in 1615 where he died in 1621 without paying for them or paying for them completely - the reason why they remained unfinished. Therefore Tacca asked the administrators of Don Giovannis estate to have them valued in order to be reimbursed for his work, and for the valuation they resorted to Palma and Lupicini.\nThat Tacca made comparable busts representing two Medici Grand Dukes of which he could have known only the second, albeit that under the latter's reign he was subordinate to Giambologna, is in itself proof that when he received the commission from Don Giovanni, he resorted to his masters models. However, compared to Giambolognas stylized depiction of the Medici Grand Dukes Tacca's bronze portrait busts appear more realistic than not only Giambologna's marble busts mentioned above, but also his earlier one of Grand Duke Francesco, his marble statues of Cosimo I and Ferdinando I in Arezzo and Pisa, as well as in his bronze equestrian monuments to Cosimo I in the Piazza della Signoria and Ferdinando I in the Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, Florence. This is of course partly due to the unfinished condition of the two Florentine bronze busts, but it could have also been a deliberate artistic choice, perhaps reflecting the request of the patron: Don Giovanni was the son of Cosimo I and the brother of Ferdinando I, and the busts were made for the interior of his palace not as official portraits destined for the public domain.\nFor the present portrait of the young Ferdinando II, Tacca opted for the same type of bust as the other dynastic portraits. He used the same manner of defining each detail, such as the way the eyes and the eyebrows are engraved in the terracotta, which compares with the same details in the bronze busts. Moreover, the remarkably delicate low relief of the heraldic Capricorns on the armour of Cosimo I anticipates that of the decorations on the armour of Ferdinando II's terracotta bust. But Tacca's unmatched observation is epitomized by a detail that strikes the viewer: the naturalistic texture of the lips, which is identical and handled with consummate skill both on his large bronze statue of Cosimo II for the Cappella dei Principi (as can be evinced by a rare close-up image; fig. 3) and the terracotta of Ferdinando II. Finally, one other key detail compares to other dynastic portraits by Tacca: the combination of the plain collar with the armour is also used on the small equestrian monument to Louis XIII in the Bargello and in Tacca's opus magnum, the large equestrian monument to Philip IV of Spain in Madrid.\nCompared to Tacca's older bronze busts, the terracotta is more animated, thanks to a higher degree of asymmetry in the position and direction of the arms. It is likely to have been preparatory for a bronze bust similar to those of the three first Medici Grand Dukes. However, it should be pointed out that Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici - a brother of Cosimo II - owned, according to a list of objects that entered the Grand Ducal Guardaroba from his estate, 'sei teste di terracotta' ('six terracotta heads'), which included a bust of Cosimo II with a Spanish collar ('una testa di terracotta del Serenissimo Gran Duca Cosimo secondo, con collarino alla spagnola'). The terracotta bust of the young Ferdinando II might have been commissioned as an independent work, to be kept for its own sake. Alternatively, it could, as mentioned above, also have served as a model for the marble bust of Ferdinando II that Tacca is known to have left unfinished.\nAfter the rather aloof posthumous portrait of Francesco I in the Metropolitan Museum, which adheres to the bust type invented by his teacher, Tacca developed his own ideas in the posthumous busts of Cosimo I and Ferdinando I. But it was only when the mature Tacca portrayed from life the last Grand Duke he was to serve and under whose reign his fame was consecrated that his championship of realism - one of the principal characteristics of his uvre - bears fruit in that most realistic of sculptural genres, the portrait bust.\nPietro Tacca's pre-eminence as a modeller: modellò benissimo con gran faciltà e bravura\nThe correct identification of the sitter of this terracotta bust has far-reaching consequences for defining and understanding Taccas portraiture. The present terracotta represents the same person as another terracotta bust, which was first ascribed to Tacca in the 1950s and has, since then, been widely accepted as the sculptors work. It is preserved in the J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky (fig. 4, inv. 58.4) and has a Florentine provenance. According to Paul S. Harris, the museums director who first published it in 1962, John Pope-Hennessy, identified it around 1956 'from a photograph' as a portrait of Cosimo II, and ascribed it to Tacca. Both the identification and the attribution were accepted by Ulrich Middeldorf, in 1957, who recognized in the bust in Kentucky 'the freshness in the observation of that sitter [Cosimo II]'. The bust was considered by Victor Karl Hammer, its owner previous to its sale to the J. B. Speed Art Museum, 'a study from life' for two 'official portraits', a marble bust representing Cosimo II in the Palazzo Pitti (inv. Oggetti d'Arte, no. 672), commonly attributed to Tacca, and Tacca's colossal bronze effigy of the same Grand Duke in the Cappella dei Principi, San Lorenzo, Florence (fig. 3). Towards the end of his article Harris mentions the only documented portrait bust of Cosimo II by Tacca, a marble that decorates the façade of the Palazzo dei Cavalieri, Pisa. For this 'the Museum's terracotta may have been a preliminary study from life' but 'detailed comparisons' were 'not feasible'. Nor do they seem to have been ever undertaken, yet the terracotta in Louisville and a handful of replicas of the same portrait are still commonly identified as Tacca portraits of Cosimo II. But if we compare it with Taccas documented marble bust of Cosimo II in Pisa, it immediately becomes evident that the former is not a portrait of Cosimo II but of his young son Ferdinando II. And this can be confirmed through the comparison of the Louisville terracotta with the colossal bronze statue of Cosimo II in the Cappella dei Principi.\nWhy then have two great scholars identified the Louisville bust with an image of Cosimo II And why have they attributed it to Tacca The answer to these two questions lies in a passage of Taccas biography by Baldinucci. According to Baldinucci, Tacca took delight in making polychrome wax busts. His close relation to Cosimo II on which he expands - was the prerequisite for making such a portrait bust ('testa con busto') of the Grand Duke from life ('al vivo') and life-size ('grande quanto il naturale'). Eyebrows, beard, and hair were made of true hair; and the eyes were 'of crystal so that they seemed to be his own and the whole portrait not that of a fake person but true and alive' ('e tutto il ritratto non persona finta ma viva e vera'). This so resembled the sitter that after his death the deceased Grand Duke's mother, Christine of Lorraine, prayed the sculptor to remove it before she visited his workshop whenever she happened to be nearby as 'her heart did not bear to see her dear son returned to life in a silent statue' ('non soffrendole il cuore di tornare a veder vivo, ma però in una muta Statua il caro figliuolo già fatto preda della morte').\nIt must be this anecdote so emblematic of Taccas love for realistic representation that drove two great scholars to see in the expressive bust of the J. B. Speed Art Museum a reflection of that lost polychrome wax. The physiognomical similarity of father and son made this erroneous identification easier. Taccas marble bust of Cosimo II in Pisa is the only documented portrait bust of this Grand Duke by the sculptor and the only work that should be considered as a reflection of the lost wax bust praised by Baldinucci. The discovery of the present terracotta of the young Ferdinando II not only makes it possible to identify correctly the sitter of the Louisville bust, it inevitably casts doubts - owing to the difference in quality - on the latters authorship.\nA leitmotif of Baldinucci's Life of Tacca is the sculptor's prowess in the making of wax and clay models. To model was one of Taccas boyhood passions. It was only when his parents found him modelling after he had been locked in a sculptor's workshop accidentally in his hometown of Carrara on Maundy Thursday that they decided to send him to Florence to study with Giambologna.\nAs he entered Giambolognas workshop at a moment when the great Flemish sculptor had abandoned marble carving almost exclusively to dedicate himself to modelling for bronze casting, Tacca must have been greatly influenced by his master to become a modeller. It is of special interest in our context that the first sculpture by Giambologna completed by Tacca was a portrait: the bronze equestrian monument of Ferdinando I, erected in the Piazza Santissima Annunziata months after Giambologna's death.\nBy 1636 - four years before his death - he was, in the words again of Baldunucci, 'tutto dedito al modellare', 'totally devoted to modelling' - carving was delegated to assistants. For someone who grew up among the marble quarries of the Apuan Alps this was a significant and symptomatic new depature. Tacca understood modelling as modelling from nature. This association between a traditional sculptural practice and a fundamental interest in the study of nature seems to have been linked to the new interest in science that marked the reigns of Cosimo II and Ferdinando II. The name that immediately comes to mind is that of Galileo, and it is a name that appears also in Baldinucci's biography of Tacca. It is a connection that cannot be stressed enough if we are to comprehend Tacca's personal artistic achievement.\nTacca's adherence to nature is exemplified by many anecdotes told by Baldinucci. For instance, for his famous bronze Boar in Florence - which is a copy after the Antique - Tacca is said to have copied a true boar sent to him by Grand Duke Cosimo II. And he studied intensively the movements of horses for the bronze equestrian statues he made thanks to the help of one of the Grand Duke's equerries. This practice brought him so far as to rely on life casts, as those made of Turkish slaves and employed as models for his famous Four Slaves in Livorno. These life casts were made with the assistance of Tacca's pupil Cosimo Cappelli. In his workshop Tacca kept plaster models made from the moulds he took from the Turkish slaves. So intensive must have been this practice in his studio that he was accused of making moulds after his own son in order to produce a model for two marbles for a water basin in the Boboli Gardens. Thanks to the intervention of Grand Duke Ferdinando II, who demanded that the sculptor's detractors should recompense him, he was freed from this accusation.\nTacca's belief in the importance of the constant practice of making models from nature was so great that instead of making preparatory drawings he only modelled, and this he advised his pupils to do. Baldinucci's description of Tacca's dedication to modelling certainly reflects the lesson of Giambologna. But if we are to believe his biographer, Tacca made it completely his own, and he advanced to become a master modeller. Baldinucci writes: 'modellò benissimo con gran faciltà e bravura, non senza grande applicazione al naturale - 'he modelled extremely well with great ease and prowess, not without a great dedication to the [study of] nature'.\nUntil the present outstanding terracotta bust appeared, we could only imagine how a model by Tacca after nature would have looked like from his bronzes. In particular, his crucifixes - of which also versions in cartapesta exist, made probably by employing the same moulds as for the bronzes - have been rightly considered as proofs of Tacca's passion for the study of nature and the realization of naturalistic images. Now, at last, we have a proof for Baldinucci's praise of Tacca's command of the art of making models in malleable materials in the exact yet free treatment of the surface of this unique portrait bust of Grand Duke Ferdinando II de Medici.\n F. Baldinucci, Notizie dei professori del disegno da Cimabue in qua, vol. 5, Florence 1702, Pietro Tacca, p. 366.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 362.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 358.\n D. Zikos, Giambolognas Kleinbronzen und ihre Rezeption in der florentinischen Bronzeplastik des 17. Jahrhunderts, Freiburg i. Br, 2010, p. 276. This was said to be 2 Florentine braccia high, that is c. 120 cm.\n K. Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici 15th-18th Centuries, vol. II, Florence 1983, p. 778, no. 31.\n Langedijk , 1983, p. 775, no. 29.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p.357.\n T. Mozzati, in: Giambologna: gli dei, gli eroi, exhib. cat, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence 2006, B. Paolozzi Strozzi and D. Zikos (eds.), p. 220, n. 29.\n W. Gramberg, Giovanni Bologna: eine Untersuchung ueber die Werke seiner Wanderjahre, Berlin 1936, pp. 61-64.\n I. B. Supino, Catalogo del R. Museo Nazionale del Bargello (Palazzo del Podestà), Roma 1898, p. 400.\n P. Barocchi/G. G. Bertelà, Collezionismo mediceo e storia artistica, vol. IV, Il cardinale Leopoldo e Cosimo III, Florence 2014, pp. 474ff.\n The other is a portrait bust of Giambologna in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.\n P. S. Harris, Cosimo II de' Medici by Tacca, in The J. B. Speed Art Museum Bulletin, XXIII, 3 (March, 1962), not paginated.\n K. Langedijk, The Portraits of the Medici 15th-18th Centuries, vol. I, Florence 1983, p. 567, no. 90.\n The most recent study of this bust is J. Mack-Andrick, Pietro Tacca Hofbildhauer der Medici (1577-1640), Weimar 2005, pp.64-66. The latter, however, does not take into account previously published documents, which are summed up in: E. Bartolotti, Regesto documentario. In: Pietro Tacca. Carrara, la Toscana, le grandi corti europee, exhib. cat., F. Falletti (ed.), Carrara 2007, Florence 2007, pp. 207-218 & 212-213.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 367.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 354.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 355.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, pp. 355f.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 359.\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 360\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 360\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 359\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 362\n Baldinucci, 1702, Tacca, p. 366\n V. Montigiani, La 'grande applicazione al naturale' nei 'Crocifissi' di Pietro Tacca. In: Pietro Tacca. Carrara, la Toscana, le grandi corti europee, exhib. cat., F. Falletti (ed.), Carrara 2007, Florence 2007, pp. 75-101.