The large building, Palazzo Corsini, on the Lungarno, to the right
of Florence, is called “il Parione” because of its ample terraced
spaces. A maiolica tiled flooring was laid to frame another
undecorated floor (Berti 1999, p. 397 table 370) in the room known
as “the Pope’s alcove”, a bedroom named in honour of Clement XII,
formerly Lorenzo Corsini, who was pope from 1730-1740.
flooring, however, is attributed to the previous owner of the Parione,
Don Giovanni degli Albizzi (1567-1621).
Cosimo Ist and Eleonora degli Albizzi’s natural son, Giovanni could not
use his father’s surname but nonetheless had a brilliant career at Court
and was for a long time one of commanding army generals of the Granduchy.
Undeterred by his army profession Giovanni cultivated a great passion
for this Palazzo, which he transformed into an enormous majestic palace.
small tiled floor can be found in a room near the main hall on the
“noble floor” overlooking the Lungarno. It has a central rectangle in
red and white undecorated terracotta where the bed stood in a way that
the maiolica frame widened out at the sides to resemble a painted carpet
completely encircling it.
Repeating the terracotta structure, the painted portion is made up of
octagonal tiles laid in a horizontal line together with smaller tiles,
in rhombus and triangular shapes and more smaller pieces in the outside
reference to Don Giovanni is evident both in the small tiles containing
gem stones and where the capital letter “A” (Idem, pp. 398-99, tables
373-75) alludes to the Albizzi surname and to the bolt of lightening
held in a hand with the inscription “Iovi Uni” (Idem, p. 397, table 371)
painted in a hexagonal, bringing to mind Cosimo’s son’s military
Piastrella ottagonale con il
motto “Iovi uni”, 1610-21
Firenze, Palazzo Corsini (“il Parione”)
pictorial floor decoration has a naturalistic vegetation theme which
could be called “botanical”. Added to this schematic composition, formed
with wreaths of closed flowers in the four parts of the octagonal,
(Idem, p. 398, table 373), are a series of flowering plants in the
larger decorated tiles (Idem, pp. 399-400) depicting wild roses that
seem to have come straight out of a painted herbarium. This decoration
could be attributed to Jacopo Ligozzi, a Veronese artist, who was a
painter in the Medici Court and one of the most famous botanical
illustrators of that period.
attribution of this floor covering to the Montelupo workshops comes from
the discovery, in the Valdarno centre, of the finishing pieces and the
triangles found inserted in the design (Idem, p. 213, fig. 91).
this case the so called “Pope’s alcove” could be dated to the lifetime
of Don Giovanni, who we know died in 1621.
affinity between this room and the “tiled stove room” in Palazzo Pitti
classifies the work to the first twenty years of the 17th century, the
last years of Cosimo’s son.