One of the most exquisite objects in a city full of exquisite objects is an onyx cameo of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici (b. 1519/ r. 1537-74) and his family.
The cameo, which measures roughly six by seven inches (15-18 cm), was carved by Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi (1517-after 1575) and depicts Cosimo, his wife Eleonora da Toledo (1522-62), and five of their sons (Francesco, Giovanni, Garzia, Ferdinando and Pietro). The family group portrait is surmounted by the allegorical figure of Fame, winged and blowing his trumpet.
The cameo, which was commissioned by the duke in 1557, expressed his triple pride as ruler, husband and father. The tondo once contained a medallion (now lost), probably an allegorical image of Florence or Tuscany.
The cameo, which, sadly, has been broken at some point, is on display in the Tesoro dei Granduchi (formerly the Museo degli Argenti) in the Palazzo Pitti.
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