8. Romolo Ferrucci, also known as del Tadda
Statues of grotesque drawings or “caramogi”
Boboli Garden, court in front of the Island Pool, inv. Boboli nos. 227, 228, 229
Pietra Serena stone
Height of each sculpture: 190 cm
The peculiar figures of the Pietra Serena stone group, placed on a raised base, are defined by ancient sources also as Caramogi or Mattaccini, terms that recall the deformity of their bodies or characters of the Comedy of Art. The three stone statues are depicted in exaggerated attitudes, wearing extravagant clothes that recall acrobats’ or comedians’ costumes.
The group is traditionally referred to the activity of Romolo Ferrucci del Tadda, a specialist in carving stone and porphyry, who drew inspiration from the grotesque figures engraved by Jacques Callot in his Capricci (“Whims”) of 1617. Therefore, the three figures belong to that significant group of sculptures commissioned by Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici (1609-1621), which related back to the world of theater and a long literary tradition.
State of conservation
The sculptural group appears to be affected by a biological attack, particularly in the most exposed areas.
A growth of taller plants is also visible on the simple stone base.
At a first general glance, the group appears to be aesthetically damaged by widespread stains of biological origin, moss cushions on the base, and extensive old stucco work and additions made during previous restoration works that deteriorated over time. Moreover, visible cracks and exfoliation in the Pietra Serena stone are seen mainly in the lower part of the group (legs, feet).
Placed here from the beginning.
Cambiagi 1757, p. 59; Vascellini 1777, p. 6, tav. XIII; Soldini 1789, pp. 76, 81, tav. XX; Inghirami 1819, p. 83; Inghirami 1828, p. 133; Inghirami 1832, pp. 132-133; Gurrieri-Chatfield 1972, nn. 130-132, figg. 191-193; Caneva 1982, n. 114; Bellesi in Seicento fiorentino 1986, p. 432; Pizzorusso 1989, p. 110, figg. 103b, 103c; Montigiani in Giardino di Boboli 2003, p. 198; Pegazzano in Capecchi-Pegazzano-Faralli 2013, n. 13a, pp. 82-83, 151.
Drawings and engravings
Vascellini 1777, tab. XIII; Soldini 1789, tab. XX.
SGF 329205 (b/w photograph); SGF 151125 (b/w photograph); SGF 151126 (b/w photograph); SBAA 17870 (b/w photograph); SBAA 123840 (b/w photograph); SBAA 123845 (b/w photograph); SGF 329204 (b/w photograph); SGF 59645 (b/w photograph); SBAA 17872 (b/w photograph); SBAA 123843 (b/w photograph); SGF 329203 (b/w photograph); SBAA 17871 (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-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
Seicento fiorentino (Il): arte a Firenze da Ferdinando I a Cosimo III, Exhibition Catalogue (Firenze 1986), 3 voll., Firenze 1986
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.
Preliminary cleaning, carried out with brushes, soft brushes and aspirators.
Removal of weeds and taller plants with suitable herbicides. Elimination of any residual herbicide by appropriate 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 – localized compresses supplemented with solvents and/or mild surfactants, deionized water, sponges and scalpels.
Surface consolidation. Deep consolidation.
Static control. Where necessary, structural consolidation of stone elements.
Mechanical removal of old separated stucco work. Plastering and micro-plastering of cracks and micro-cracks.
Chromatic revision of any imbalances with lime and natural earth pigments.
Protection surface treatment of all the surfaces – to be assessed beforehand and provided when the restoration has been completed.