Pietro Tacca terracotta bust to star in old master sale

A terracotta bust by acclaimed Italian artist Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) is to star in Sotheby’s Old Masters Evening Sale on July 5, in what is a first for the event.

The auction house has never before offered a sculpture in this annual sale.

Piettro Tacca bust

Tacca was a hugely accomplished modeler 

The piece, valued at £1m-2m ($1.2m-2.5m), is a depiction of Ferdinando II de' Medici, grand duke of Tuscany.

Tacca studied under the famous Flemish sculptor Giambologna, who was employed in the court of the Medici in Florence.

He would go on to lead Giambologna’s workshop when he died in 1608.

The lot dates to around 1628, when Ferdinando II took to the throne.

It's modelled from clay, which was Tacca’s preferred medium.

This passion was encouraged by Giambologna, who in his later years moved from working with marble to clay.

The auction house comments: “To model was one of Tacca’s boyhood passions.

“It was only when his parents found him modelling after he had been locked in a sculptor’s workshop accidentally in his hometown of Carrara that they decided to send him to Florence to study with Giambologna.”

The headline lot of the July 5 London sale is a landscape by JMW Turner titled Ehrenbreitstein (1835).

It's estimated at £15m-25m ($19.3m-32.3m)

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