Maria Maddalena Of Austria (Wife Of Duke Cosimo II De Medici) With Her Son, The Future Ferdinand II

Justus Sustermans

Flemish, 1597 - 1681

Maria Maddalena of Austria (Wife of Duke Cosimo II de Medici) with Her Son, the Future Ferdinand II, 1622

  • On View

Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 56 5/8 × 46 9/16 in. (143.8 × 118.3 cm)
Framed: 65 × 55 in. (165.1 × 139.7 cm)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William L. Richards, 1965.15

Two members of the famous Medici family are shown in this portrait: Maria Maddalena of Austria (1589–1631), wife of Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici (1590–1621), and her son Ferdinand (1610–1670). The Medici, a family that rose to prominence during the Italian Renaissance, made its fortune through banking and commerce. Their wealth, political influence, and generous patronage of the arts helped make the city of Florence a major cultural center of Europe. This double portrait was completed the year after Cosimo II died. During his lifetime, Flemish painter Justus Sustermans was considered one of the foremost portrait painters in Italy. In 1620, he traveled to Florence to serve as the court painter to Grand Duke Cosimo II de Medici (1590–1621). Sustermans spent the remainder of his career in the service of the Medici. His thorough and conventional portraits document three generations of the Medici family, as well as many of the most important and influential people of the time (including members of the Habsburg, Gonzaga, and d’Este families). He is perhaps best known, however, for his portrait of Galileo at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

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