(b. 1547, Verona, d. 1627, Firenze)

Model for a pietre dure table top

Oil on paper, 78 x 88 cm
Museo dell'Opificio delle Pietre Dure, Florence

This oil painting is a full-scale model for one of the numerous table tops fashioned from semiprecious stones in the Grand Ducal Workshops founded by Ferdinando I de' Medici in 1588.

After a period under the employment of the Habsburg family in Vienna, Jacopo Ligozzi moved to Florence circa 1576 where, swiftly recognised for his exceptional talent, he was engaged by the Medici for the Grand-Ducal workshop. The artist was hired primarily as a draftsman, documenting flora and fauna from the gardens and menageries of the Medici with extraordinary naturalism and detail. Following the death of Giorgio Vasari however, he became capomaestro of the studio, serving Francesco I, Ferdinando I, Cosimo II and Ferdinando II, and was involved in the decoration of the Tribuna, Loggia and the rooms that later became the Uffizi Gallery. He remained in Florence under the patronage of the Medici family for the duration of his career.