5. Francesco Camilliani (attr.)
Statue of Picus King of Ausonia (or Augur)
Boboli Gardens, Cypress Avenue, inv. Boboli no. 138
Height with base: 225 cm
This figure is referred to as an “augur” in 18th century sources, due to the left hand raised to the sky and the presence of a bird, considered to be a crow, perched on the support trunk. Alessandro Nesi (in Giardino di Boboli 2003, p. 187) attributed the sculpture to Francesco Camilliani and interpreted the long-beaked and thin bird as a woodpecker, and identified the male figure as Picus, the king of Ausonia, who had been transformed into that bird by Circe, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Instead, Donatella Pegazzano (in Capecchi-Pegazzano-Faralli 2013, n. 5a) linked the sculpture to the Apollo or Victorious David of Domenico Pieratti.
State of conservation
The white marble statue is placed on a Pietra Serena stone base, with sponge decorations. The biological attack is very extensive. The surface is characterized by the presence of biological stains. The compact but rough surface tends to disruption due to the erosion and dissolution of acid rainwater and to the action of lichens.
Black crusts caused by atmospheric pollution have appeared in the areas that are less exposed to the leaching of rainwater.
Even the Pietra Serena base is subject to biological attack and has cracks of different sizes, exfoliation, detachments and localised loss of material. Old oxidized metal pins have caused the detachment of portions of Pietra Serena and the cracking of the surrounding material.
The original location of this work is unknown. It may have been part of the sculptural decoration of the green niches around the basin of the islet. It was quoted along the Viottolone in 1757, but more upstream than today’s position, where it was already positioned in 1789 (Soldani 1789, p. 55).
Cambiagi 1757, p. 46; Vascellini 1777, p. 4, tav. V; Vascellini 1779, p. 26; Soldini 1789, p. 55, tav. XXV ds; Inghirami 1819, p. 71; Inghirami 1828, p. 120; Inghirami 1832, p. 123; Gurrieri-Chatfield 1972, n. 61 fig. 124; Caneva 1982, n. 61; A. Nesi in Giardino di Boboli 2003, p. 187; Capecchi 2008, p. 53, fig. 58; Pegazzano in Capecchi-Pegazzano-Faralli 2013, n. 5a, pp. 66-67, 124-125.
Drawings and engravings
Vascellini 1777, tav. V; Soldini 1789, tav. XXV ds.
SGF 329165 (b/w photograph); SBAA 17085 (b/w photograph); SBAA 17343 (b/w photograph); SBAA 33546 (b/w photograph); SBAA 33547 (b/w photograph).
G. Cambiagi, Descrizione dell’Imperiale Giardino di Boboli fatta da Gaetano Cambiagi custode delle pubbliche biblioteche Magliabechiana e Marucelliana alla nobilissima dama la signora marchesa Maria Teresa Ginori in Marucelli, Firenze 1757
C. Caneva, Il Giardino di Boboli, Firenze 1982
G. Capecchi, Cosimo II e le arti a Boboli: committenza, iconografia e scultura, Firenze 2008
G. Capecchi-D. Pegazzano-S. Faralli, Visitare Boboli all’epoca dei lumi: il giardino e le sue sculture nelle incisioni delle ‘Statue di Firenze’, Firenze 2013
Giardino di Boboli (Il), curated by L.M. Medri, Milano 2003
F. Inghirami, Descrizione dell’Imp. E R. Palazzo Pitti di Firenze, Firenze 1819
F. Inghirami, L’Imperiale e Reale Palazzo Pitti descritto, Fiesole 1828
F. Inghirami, Description de l’Imp. et R. Palais Pitti et du R. Jardin de Boboli, Fiesole 1832
F. Gurrieri-J. Chatfield, Boboli Gardens, Firenze 1972
F.M. Soldini, Reale Giardino di Boboli nella sua pianta e nelle sue statue, Firenze
G. Vascellini, Statue e gruppi di marmo esistenti in Firenze entro il Real Giardino di Boboli, disegnate e intagliate da Gaetano Vascellini bolognese, volume I, Firenze 1777
G. Vascellini, Statue e gruppi di marmo esistenti in Firenze entro il Real Giardino di Boboli, disegnate e intagliate da Gaetano Vascellini bolognese, volume II, Firenze 1779
Description of required work
Testing and sampling sessions for cleaning, consolidation, plastering and protection operations.
Disinfesting treatment to remove autotrophic biodeteriogenic organisms (mosses, algae patinas and films, lichen growth), after reducing the thickness of the deposits with a fixed blade scalpel or brushes.
Surface cleaning with compresses with solvents and/or mild surfactants, deionized water, sponges and scalpels.
Treatment of oxidized metal parts.
Deep consolidation. Re-adhesion of small parts already detached or about to detach by using bicomponent epoxy adhesives, where necessary.
Static control. Where necessary, structural consolidation.
Mechanical removal of old separated stucco work. Plastering and micro-plastering of cracks and micro-cracks, stucco filling and resting of raised flakes.
Chromatic revision of any imbalances with lime and natural earth pigments.
Final surface protection, to be assessed beforehand and provided when the restoration has been completed.