Bust of Grand Duchess Vittoria della Rovere
Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725)
Vittoria, daughter of Federico Ubaldo della Rovere and Claudia de' Medici, was born in Pesaro and educated in Florence by Grand Duchess Christine of Lorraine and Marie Madeleine of Austria. She was engaged in 1623 to Grand Duke Ferdinand II, whom she married in 1637, becoming the fifth Grand Duchess of Tuscany. They had four children: two died prematurely, while the third governed the Duchy in the name of Cosimo II. The youngest son, Francesco Maria, was made cardinal and, inclined to a life of excess, was divested by papal dispensation in order to marry and try to avoid the extinction of the della Rovere lineage, behaving in accordance with what he had taken on, leading an austere Christian life. Giovan Battista Foggini, among the most skillful sculptors in Florence, was entrusted with the production of a bust in marble in addition to a cenotaph. The predilection for Foggini, who made Vittoria’s effigy first in her youth and later, when she was older, led to a portrayal of the distinctive beauty of a strong woman, who participates, in this depiction, in the dignity of the role.