mounted on ivory paper; architectural element with scrolls; putto at left sitting on architectural element; tiny putto in URQ

Putti with the Impresa of Pope Leo X, 1585-1587

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Jacopo Zucchi trained in Florence under Giorgio Vasari and spent most of his career in Rome working for members of the Medici family in residence there. This study relates to decoration in the Villa Medici on the Pincian Hill in Rome, where Zucchi worked on several projects. This frecoed frieze, designed by Zucchi and executed by members of his shop in 1587, survives in the Villa's Chambre des imprese. It represents putti playing among garlands of fruit and elaborately sculpted volutes and cartouches with the personal emblems of illustrious members of the Medici family. This study features the impresa of the former Medici pope, Leo X (reigned 1513–1521)–a yoke with the motto "SVAVE"–which Zucchi inscribed on the banderole in the shield and placed below a papal crown supported by a small putto. "Suave" or "soave" means sweet, delicate, or easy, and alludes to the biblical passage "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light" (Matthew II:30).

Details
Title
Putti with the Impresa of Pope Leo X
Artist Life
Florence c. 1541-1590 Rome
Role
Artist
Accession Number
2012.58.55
Provenance
Sale, Sotheby's, London, December 14, 1992, no. 163, as "Roman School, 16th century," for £990, to Ormond]; [Flavia Ormond Fine Arts, London, 1992-93; sold, July 11, for £2,500, to Moir]; Alfred Moir, Santa Barbara (1993-d. 2010; bequeathed to Mia)
Curator Approved

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mounted on ivory paper; architectural element with scrolls; putto at left sitting on architectural element; tiny putto in URQ