CAVALORI, Mirabello
(b. 1535, Salincorno, d. 1572, Firenze)

Wool Factory

1570-72
Oil on slate, 117 x 85 cm
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

The Studiolo is a tiny chamber in the Palazzo dei Priori (Palazzo Vecchio), accessible by a hidden spiral staircase. It was dedicated to the geological, mineralogical and alchemical interest of Francesco I de' Medici, son and successor of Cosimo I. Its walls are lined with two tiers of oil paintings on slate or panel that act as doors for cupboards containing Francesco's scientific books, specimens, and instruments.

Mirabello Cavalori's contribution to the decoration of the Studiolo in the Palazzo Vecchio was the Wool Factory. Only four pictures by him are known, and all were painted in the last four years of his life. In the Studiolo, he was assigned a subject from daily life, to which his only possible addition appears to be the architectural setting, a severe Tuscan order.