Apotheosis of the Medici

The male figures in the central group are members of the Medici family. The only one who has recognisable features is the figure in the centre who has the likeness of the aged Cosimo I. Above are Mars and Venus and the chariot of the Moon, preceded by Evening. At the left Saturn holds a scythe and devours one of his children. Apollo is riding the chariot of the Sun, accompanied by the Seasons and preceded by Aurora.

This painting is one of a group of 10 modelli, or elaborated oil studies, made in preparation for the fresco projects that Giordano created for the Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence. This painting was for the centre of the ceiling of the Galleria.

Key facts

Artist dates
1634 - 1705
Full title
Apotheosis of the Medici
Date made
early 1680s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
139 x 65.2 cm
Acquisition credit
Presented by the Trustees of Sir Denis Mahon's Charitable Trust through the Art Fund, 2013
Inventory number
Location in Gallery