Giulio Mazzoni, Francesco del Nero

Author Giulio Mazzoni
Title Francesco del Nero
Date 1550-1560 (?)
Material bronze
Technique bronze casting
Workshop Objects Conservation

The bronze portrait of Francesco del Nero (1487-1563), a member of a rich Florentine family and a treasurer of pope Clement VII, was acquired by the museums of Berlin in Florence in 1895 in Palazzo Torrigiani (formerly Palazzo del Nero) with the help of the largest Florentine antiquarian Stefano Bardini. The bust closely repeats a marble portrait from Francesco del Nero’s tomb in a Roman church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva made by Giulio Mazzoni, a pupil of the famous Daniele da Volterra. According to the German researchers of the early 20th century, the bronze version was a prototype, the early work of Mazzoni, and the marble one was copied after it. The results of the comparisons of both portraits, together with a careful analysis of the documents relating to these works, as well as the discovery of another replica from the end of the 19th century in bronze (private collection), contradict this hypothesis.