CACCINI, Giovanni Battista
(b. 1556, Roma, d. 1613, Firenze)

Temperance

1583-84
Marble, height 177 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The identity of the statue can be determined by the items she holds: a bridle in one hand and dividers and ruler in the other. Clutching the bit with its bold bosses and its strap wrapped around her forearm like a defensive weapon, she admonishes us with pointed finger to follow her lead. The two mathematical instruments stand for the restraint of reason, which shapes a life measured by intellect, in contrast to the bridle, which signifies control over physical urges. Befitting her character, Temperance is poised and contained, her body tightly wrapped in thick drapery, her hair carefully braided. Her look is stern, and her gesture suitable simple and direct.

Caccini was one of Giambologna's closest followers, his Temperance is based on Giambologna's lifesize bronze Temperance made for the chapel of Luca Grimaldi in the church of San Francesco in Genoa.

Originally the statue was placed in the small garden of a Florentine house.