While still an apprentice, Desiderio, who probably trained in the Florentine workshop of Donatello, received a commission to carve the coat of arms of the Gianfigliazzi family. This relief, which hung above the entrance of the Palazzo Gianfigliazzi in Florence until 1906, depicts a smiling putto holding the Gianfigliazzi symbol, a large heraldic shield with the lion rampant, by a ribbon. The lion supports a second shield, bearing the arms of the Minerbetti family (originally ornamented with three swords). This coat of arms is thought to commemorate the marriage between Andrea Tommaso Minerbetti and Costanza Gianfigliazzi in 1427.
Artist Donatello, Italian, 1386-1466
Artist Desiderio da Settignano, Italian, 1429/32 - 1464
Title
  • Coat of Arms of the Boni Family
Date ca. 1457
Medium sandstone (Pietra serena)
Dimensions Overall: 85 × 29 1/4 inches (215.9 × 74.3 cm)
Credit Line Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edsel B. Ford
Accession Number 41.124
Department European Sculpture and Dec Arts
On View European: Medieval and Renaissance W241, Level 2 (see map)
until 1792, Palazzo Boni [ later called Palazzo Boni Minerbetti, via de' Boni] (Florence, Italy;
by 1913, Pilade Merlotti (Siena, Italy);
Stefano Berdini (Florence, Italy);
1913-1927, Elia Volpi and Palazzo Davanzati (Florence, Italy);
1927, Edsel B. Ford (Detroit, Michigan, USA);
1941-present, gift to the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
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