portrait of cosimo iii de medici c1646 studio of justus sustermans

Portrait of Cosimo III de Medici c.1646; Studio of Justus Sustermans.


| $14,501 USD | €13,174 EUR

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JUSTUS SUSTERMANS (1597-1681) was first recorded working for the Medici in Florence in October 1621. He then worked continuously for the Grand Dukes until his death 60 years later in 1681. Sustermans was particularly favoured by Cosimo III’s mother, Vittoria della Rovere whom he painted on multiple occasions, including a large double portrait of Vittoria with her young son Cosimo, from which this portrait was based (Image 7)).
Under the employment of the Medici, Sustermans ran a large studio to create official state portraits of the Grand Duke and Duchess and their family. This portrait, a particularly fine studio example, would almost certainly have been commissioned by the Grand Duke and gifted to an ally or relation. It has since been in the same private noble collection until now.
Cosimo III de Medici was the eldest son of Grand Duke Ferdinando II and his wife Vittoria Della Rovere and ruled as from 1670 to 1723, the longest reign of all the Medici Grand Dukes. He was married to Marguerite Louise d’Orléans, a granddaughter of Henri IV of France, by proxy on the 17th of April 1661, and his new wife entered Florence on the 20th June that year, however the marriage was unhappy from the start. In an attempt to distract Cosimo from his marital woes, his father sent him on a European tour travelling to Tyrol, Amsterdam and Hamburg.
Whilst in Amsterdam he met with Rembrandt and was well received by the artistic community. He returned to Florence in May of 1668.
On returning his marriage continued to deteriorate and in September that year, his father once again sent him to Europe. This time Cosimo went to Spain, Portugal and England where he met with Charles II and Samuel Pepys who described him as ‘a very jolly and good comely man’. On his return to Florence, he passed again through Amsterdam where he bought a self-portrait of Rembrandt and arrived back in Florence in November 1669. Sustermans painted many portraits of Cosimo III, many of which still remain in Florence (Image 8)). Although Cosimo was an educated and affable ruler, the dramatic economic decline seen in Florence in the 17th century and the fact his three children had failed to produce grandchildren, left the Grand Dukedom in a state of despair. He died in 1723 leaving Florence as one of the poorest states in Europe, his son Gian Gastone was the last Medici Grand Duke, dying only 15 years after his father.
SIZE: 29.5 x 25.5 inches canvas. 34 x 30.25 inches inc. frame.
PROVENANCE: Noble Collection, Italy.
Internal Ref: Medici


Height = 86.5 cm (34")
Width = 76.5 cm (30")
Depth = 6 cm (3")

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