Giovanni Battista Foggini (1652-1725), First Sculptor and First Architect to Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici, had an extremely prolific activity as a sculptor, but also as a designer of decorative arts and stucco ornaments. Trained in Florence and in Rome, both in drawing and in sculpture, Foggini later provided a complete and erudite training to his own numerous pupils, who were not only sculptors. While a few of the artists he taught stayed in his workshop or became external collaborators, others such as Agostino Cornacchini or his nephew Filippo della Valle developed independent prestigious careers, often outside of Tuscany. His son Vincenzo, a sculptor himself, stayed in the paternal workshop after Foggini’s death and inherited the models and unfinished works. Foggini’s legacy can be observed in the imprint he left on the style of the younger generation of sculptors. His compositions also survived him through the production of Doccia porcelain statuettes.
Kira d’Alburquerque is Senior Curator of Sculpture at the Victoria and Albert Museum and a PSSA trustee. She is a well-published scholar of baroque Italian sculpture and drawing and received her PhD on court sculptor to the Medici Giovanni Battista Foggini in 2015 from the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris. Her dissertation is currently being published. Previously, Kira d’Alburquerque was a Research Fellow at the Fondazione Longhi in Florence, a Graduate Intern at the Getty Museum, worked at the Louvre, and with the Friends of the Bargello charity.