RICHTER, Franz Ferdinand
(b. 1693, Breslau, d. 1737)
Portrait of Gian Gastone de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany1737
Oil on canvas, 320 x 240 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence
Ferdinand Richter was a German painter, active in Italy. He worked for a time at the Medici court in Florence.
Gian Gastone was the last of the Medici grand dukes. He is portrayed in the year of his death, with his beloved Florence - symbolized by Brunelleschi's miraculous dome - in the background. Until his unexpected succession, he had quietly studied plants in the Boboli gardens or enjoyed his collection of decorative arts. He attempted to be an enlightened ruler, but succumbed to depression and alcoholism.