Relevant categories: Bronzes,Fountains and Garden
( Above Photo: Medici Lions )
Medici Lions are a pair of marble lion sculptures at the Villa Medici in Rome. The first sculpture was produced in 2nd-century Rome, and the second in the 16th century. Since 1789, the lions have been displayed in Florence at the Loggia Dei Lanzi.
They depict upright male lions with a ball or sphere under one paw. Instead of facing forward, the lions look to the side. In addition to these sculptures, there are over 30 copies of Medici lions in other locations.
Some smaller lions feature various types of media. Therefore, any lion statue with a ball or sphere under a front foot is called a Medici lion.
( Above Photo: Pair Bronze Lions Monumental Cat Statues Gatekeepers Medici )
After acquiring the Villa Medici in 1576, the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando I de Medici, needed a pair of lions in the garden’s staircase. According to him, the lions would provide a more majestic look in the Loggia Dei Leoni.
The first lion is a 2nd-century marble production Ferdinando possessed by 1594. According to historical accounts, the sculpture originated outside Porta San Lorenzo via Prenestina.
Initially, it was a relief carved separately from its background. Ferdinando reworked it by Giovanni di Scherano, an avid but little-known artist.
Vacca created and signed the second Medici lions together with the 2nd-century sculpture from 1594 to 1598. By 1598, the Medici Lions were already installed 1598 at the Loggia Dei Leoni.
In 1737, the House of Lorraine inherited the Villa Medici, leading to the movement of the lions to Florence in 1789. Currently, they are on display at the Piazza Della Signoria on the Loggia Dei Lanzi steps.
After moving the Roman French Academy to Villa Medici in 1803, Napoleon ordered the production of copies of the lions. The brand-new Medici lions are the works of Augustin Pajou, a French sculptor.
( Above Photo: Pair Bronze Lions Medici Cat Casting Landseer )
Copies of the Medici Lions can be found in France, Sweden, Britain, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Germany, Cuba, the United States, Estonia, Lithuania, France, and Hungary. But why do people worldwide prefer displaying the lion to any other animal sculpture?
The lion symbolizes justice, courage, strength, and the military. It straddles lunar and solar and is the ultimate kind of beast. Sometimes people may use the lioness, symbolizing protection and the great mother.
( Above Photo: Pair Bronze Lion Gatekeeper Statues - Large Cat Castings )
You can buy miniature Medici lions created to mimic the original sculptures. While most of the Medici lions are made from marble, some feature materials like bronze, ormolu, and cast iron.
Several modern reproductions of antique Medici lions and original items were collected during the Grand Tour. They usually exist in pairs, just like the original. However, it is also possible to find single-lion statues.
For most people, viewing Medici lions in situ is enough to behold spectacular art pieces. However, for many, having these sculptures at home is all they want. No matter which group you belong to, these sculptures’ unique stature makes them highly desirable.
Pair Bronze Lions Medici Cat C...
Pair Bronze Lions Monumental C...
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Pair Large Bronze Lions - Recu...
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