TITO, Tiberio di
(b. 1578, Firenze, d. 1637, Firenze)

Portrait of Caterina di Ferdinando I de' Medici

Oil on canvas, 104 x 72 cm
Private collection

This full-length portrait represents Caterina di Ferdinando I de' Medici as a little girl (age 18 months) dressed in a richly embroidered gold frock and surcoat, holding a chain, her right arm resting on a table; her puppy jumps up at her side.

Tiberio di Tito's best-known portraits of children, now in the Uffizi, are those painted in 1597 of the Medici: Carlo (1596-1666); Eleonora (1591-1617) and Francesco (1594-1614). These have very strong analogies, both technically and compositionally, with the present painting.

Caterina di Ferdinando I de' Medici (1593-1629) was the daughter of Ferdinando I and the grand-daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici. In 1617 she left Florence for Mantua, where she married Ferdinando Gonzaga, who died nine years later in 1626. The following year she returned to Florence before being installed as the Governess of Siena.

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