7. Giovanni Battista Capezzuoli
Game of the Pentolaccia
Boboli Garden, court in front of the Island Pool, inv. Boboli no. 148
Height: 143 cm.
The group of sculptures, commissioned to Giovan Battista Capezzuoli by Grand Duke Peter Leopold of Lorraine around 1775 and installed in the present location in 1780, was probably matched with the Saccomazzone Players, sculpted by Romolo Ferrucci del Tadda on the basis of an invention by Orazio Mochi. Capezzuoli has depicted one of the two young boys while, blindfolded, he tries to hit and break an earthenware pot resting on the ground with a stick; on his right, the other young boy, leaning on a trunk, has fun watching the first boy.
State of conservation
The white marble sculptural group rests on a base decorated with sponges and polychrome mosaics made of tiles of different marbles and vitreous pastes, in geometric shapes.
Experts notice alterations in the colour of the surfaces. In addition to that, a blackening of the biological patinas is visible, due to the deposit of atmospheric particles. The presence of biodeteriogenic agents makes it substantially difficult to fully understand the work.
Cracks and splitting is mainly visible in the support base of the figures and at the arms and legs of the same.
The base, affected by the same type of biological attack, lost some mosaic tesserae due to the deterioration of the mortar bed.
Placed here from the beginning.
Vascellini 1777, p. 5, tav. VII; Soldini 1789, pp. 56-57, tav. XXIX; Inghirami 1819, pp. 73-74; Inghirami 1828, n. 123; Inghirami 1832, p. 125; Gurrieri-Chatfield 1972, p. 118, figg. 132-134; Roani Villani 1979, pp. 47, 50; Caneva 1982, n. 67; Pizzorusso 1989, n. 67; Montigiani in Giardino di Boboli 2003, p. 202; Pegazzano in Capecchi-Pegazzano-Faralli 2013, n. 7b, pp. 70-71, 132-133.
Drawings and engravings
Vascellini 1777, tab. VII; Soldini 1789, tab. XXIX.
SGF 329293 (b/w photograph).
C. Caneva, Il Giardino di Boboli, Firenze 1982
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. Gurrieri-J. Chatfield, Boboli Gardens, Firenze 1972
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
C. Pizzorusso, A Boboli e altrove. Sculture e scultori fiorentini del Seicento, Firenze 1989
R. Roani Villani, Giovanni Battista Capezzuoli: due opere, in Florence et la France: rapports sous la Révolution et l’Empire, Conference Proceedings (Firenze 1977), Firenze 1979, pp. 39-50.
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
Description of required work
Testing and sampling sessions for cleaning, consolidation, plastering and protection operations.
Removal of weeds and taller plants with suitable herbicides, elimination of any residual herbicide from the surfaces by washing.
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 supplemented with solvents and/or mild surfactants, deionized water, sponges and scalpels.
Surface consolidation of the sculptures and of the base. Restoration of cohesion.
Deep consolidation. Re-adhesion of small parts or portions already detached or about to detach. Control and fixing of any detached mosaic tesserae, pebbles and sponges of the base decorations.
Static control of work in all its parts.
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.
Protection surface treatment – to be assessed beforehand and provided when the restoration has been completed.