Portrait of a Man with Wig
Giovacchino Fortini (1670-1736)
18th century, Marble
This portrait bust, executed with impeccable skill and undoubted technical virtuosity, presents a gentleman of high standing with a flowing wig of ringed locks of varying lengths, clad in a highly polished cuirass, over which we can see a simple jabot without lacework and a mantle with soft fur trim that drapes around his shoulders and chest. The character's face, on which we can detect a hint of haughtiness, is distinguished by the depth of the gaze and the great care taken in the rendering of the features, which radiate proud vitality. The definition of the character, the execution, and the stylistic features have led us to attribute the work, after it was initially, generically assigned simply to the Florentine School of the early 18th century, to Giovacchino Fortini. Son of the stonemason Pier Maria and brother of the painter Benedetto, Fortini was born in Settignano in 1670 and began studying sculpture at a very young age, under the guidance of Carlo Marcellini and then Giuseppe Piamontini, with whom he collaborated for some time. After contributing to the sculptural decoration of the Feroni Chapel at Santissima Annunziata in Florence in the early 1790s, under the direction of Giovan Battista Foggini, he began a promising and prolific solo career that was much appreciated by both the Medici family and the highest Tuscan nobility.