Susini’s bronzes were collected by kings and cardinals as well as artists on both sides of the Alps. In the foreground of Willem van Haecht’s (1593–1637) celebrated Gallery of Cornelis van Geest (Private collection, Scotland) the collectors gather round a table covered with Susini bronzes. Giambologna, or Jean de Boulogne, was the principal sculptor at the court of Ferdinando I de’ Medici, and owing to the extraordinary popularity of his works, as well as the laborious process of actually producing them, he established a workshop which functioned with almost industrial efficiency. Pietro Francavilla (1548–1615) helped Giambologna with carving the large marbles such as the Rape of the Sabines, while Antonio Susini who was introduced to Giambologna by an important patron, Jacopo Salviati in the 1580s, produced the vast majority of Giambologna’s bronzes, most notably the small bronzes which were collectibles and made very good diplomatic gifts.
Books on Antonio Susini
Anthony Radcliffe and Nicholas Penny, The Art of the Renaissance Bronze 1500-1650, London, 2004.
Charles Avery, Giambologna: The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1993.
Filippo Baldinucci, Notizie dei Professori del Disegno, 1688, Florence, 1846 edition.