Friday, September 18, 2009

Wrongheaded

Ferdinando I de' Medici, LivornoLast week, in a comment, Julie of Sidney Eye asked me why there aren't preminent female figures in the statues and monuments of Livorno. I checked on books and lists and found a lonely statue inside our Library in “Villa Fabbricotti”, but something else I read made me blush.
In a post titled Four Musketeers I peddled my wishful thinking about four busts in the same park, which I wrongly identified as the Dumas characters.
Poring over the list of the statuary inside the park I found four entries of heads of Grand Dukes, salvaged from a “palazzo” in “via Grande” destroyed in the last war.
The Grand Dukes are: “Ferdinando I”, “Cosimo I”, “Cosimo II” and “Gian Gastone”, listed as marble busts by a Fancelli from Siena. I have matched a known portrait with the relative statue.
Ferdinando I de' Medici” (Porthos)
Cosimo II de' Medici” (Aramis)
Cosimo III de' Medici” (Athos)
Gian Gastone de' Medici” (d'Artagnan)

The supposed Musketeer's cross was simply the coat of arms of the Order of Saint Stephen, founded by “Cosimo I”, and clearly visible in the first image, the famous statue of “Ferdinando I” part of the “Four Moors” monument.
Please forgive my ignorance and have some fun at me, but I am very sad to have lost forever my unique and beloved Musketeers statues for some common heads of Florentine Grand Dukes.

21 comments:

Per Stromsjo said...

The fact that statues and monuments (like the rest of our history) tend to ignore women is hardly a local phenomenon in Livorno.

James said...

Maybe no female statues, but those portraits look pretty feminine to me. :-P

I love the top photo it's very impressive with the beautiful sky in the background.

Jacob said...

Hey, I've lost my head lots of times.

Sorry, but I smiled as I read your post. It was kind of funny.

And who knows, maybe you'll become such a famous Livorno photographer that they'll carve your head and put it up somewhere in your city!

Stefano will do it!

Clueless in Boston said...

Interesting tale of the Four Musketeers of Livorno. Very nice bit of detective work and scholarship.

Leif Hagen said...

Those Italian VIPs were bald or big-haired! Is there a statue of you in the park, yet?

Cezar and Léia said...

They all liked to wear a moustache!
I prefer keep my dream that they "are" handsome guys, like I see in romantic movies!
Congratulations, great post!
Léia

Unseen Rajasthan said...

Some really beautiful shots !! I loved them..Great..Unseen Rajasthan

Hilda said...

I sympathize with you. Swashbuckling Musketeers are so much more romantic than politicians, no matter what era! ;)

B SQUARED said...

Love the hair on Gian. It's very "Twisted Sister" like.

amatamari© said...

Again you did a beautiful post!
Long live the four musketeers, forever!
:-)

Halcyon said...

Hmmm... they need some ladies! I don't find those men particularly attractive.

Gunn White said...

It looks like a "bad hairday" for some of them! ;-)
Impressive paintings/statues.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

I do like seeing the busts beside the portraits!

Tinsie said...

All I'll say is, Cosimo II is the spitting image of Aramis!

Ilse said...

Well, I suppose there are statues of the Virgin Mary in Italian churches. How about female saints? Also, funeral monuments . . . I saw a lot of statues of weeping women in Milano. History is written by the victors & women are not the victors, hence, no statues. The French have Jean d'Arc.

tapirgal said...

For us, your statues will always be Musketeers! Actually, it's fascinating to see the portraits next to the sculptures. Nice sleuthing, and a great story.

Julie said...

VP this is appreciated so much. I do admire your extended stories of your city. The work you have done sourcing images to match your statues is inspiring.

Sad about the statues of women though. I suspect there are not many in my city, although I know of one in the very centre of the city opposite Town Hall. But she is a Queen of England from 100 years ago! Shall try to find another ...

Bravo! Such a good venture to have an extended post as you do.

Thérèse said...

Blogging is such a good way to learn more about one's town. lol
And the title remains "Four Musketeers."

JM said...

I agree with Per. If we think about the 36 portuguese reigning kings, for instance, only 3 were women, so the percentage of feminine statues, busts or paintings is very little compared to those of men.
You've done a fantastic work in this post, VP!

Andreea said...

Nice detective work. I actually think that they do look a bit like the Four Musketeer are usually depicted, so we can pretend that they were the right ones :)

Baruch said...

Very interesting & informative photos and info. Thank goodness we don't have to wear wigs like that today