Mary of Hungary, Catherine of Austria, Maximilian of Austria, Mary of Austria, Ferdinand of Austria and Philip II of Spain when they received the news of the death of Charles.


On this day in 1626, Giusto Sustermans delivered his painting The Senators of Florence Swearing Allegiance to the Grand Duke of Tuscany, considered a masterpiece by contemporaries. Several oil sketches and preparatory drawings survive as do prints after the great painting by Cosimo Mogalli (d. 1730). A native of Flanders (and known in his hometown Antwerp as Justus), Giusto moved to Florence as a young man to enter the service of Grand Duke Cosimo II de'Medici. His grand painting was commissioned to celebrate Ferdinando’s accession to lead the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. The reclining nude figure, following classical river god images, represents the Arno. Ferdinando sits between his mother Maria Maddalena of Austria and his grandmother Christine of Lorraine.

The Senators of Florence swearing Allegiance to Ferdinando II de’ Medici,  oil on canvas, Oxford, Ashmolean Museum of Art, Purchased with the assistance of the Museums & Galleries Commission/Victoria & Albert Museum Purchase Grant Fund and the Friends of the Ashmolean, 1974; WA1974.3

Cosimo Mogalli, prints after Giusto Sustermans, 1778

Print after portrait of Sustermans by Anthony Van Dyck


By Anne Leader

Giovanni Mannozzi, known as Giovanni da San Giovanni after his birthplace of San Giovanni Valdarno, was born there on 20 March 1592. He was the leading fresco painter of Baroque Florence, where he spent his career. He also painted large canvases and received important public and private commissions for the Casa Buonarroti, Ognissanti Church, the Palazzo dell’Antella, and the Palazzo Pitti, which had become the grand-ducal residence in the sixteenth century.

Mannozzi was called to Rome in 1623 by Florentine Cardinal Giovan Garzia Mellini, and he received commissions from several leading Roman patrons. He returned to Florence in 1628, where he continued to work and receive praise until his untimely death in 1636 at age 44.

Reference: Maria Pia Mannini. “Giovanni da San Giovanni.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T032509>.

Cancer (Self-Portrait), 1635-6, fresco. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, Sala Terreno painted for Duke Ferdinando II de’Medici

View of the apse and choir, 1622-24, fresco. Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome

Venus Combing Cupid’s Hair, c. 1630, oil on canvas. Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Sala Terreno, 1635-6, fresco. Florence, Palazzo Pitti, painted for Duke Ferdinando II de’Medici

Aurora and Tithonus, 1634-35, detached fresco. Museo Bardini, Florence