Born Jean Boulogne in Flanders, Giambologna traveled to Italy in 1550 to study Renaissance art and newly excavated ancient sculptures. He settled in Florence, where he became court sculptor to the powerful Medici family and gained a reputation as one of the most influential sculptors in the latter half of the sixteenth century. In addition to large-scale works, he was known for his smaller statuettes, including sensitive portrayals of animals. His small bronzes, like this one of a bull, were frequently given as diplomatic gifts by the Medici. Several versions of the Bull were produced in Giambologna’s Florentine studio and later in the studio of his primary assistant, Antonio Susini (1580–1624), who was responsible for the casting of these works.
Workshop of Giambologna
Flemish (active in Italy), 1529‒1608
8 ½ x 11 x 3 ½ in. (21.6 x 27.9 x 8.9 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Gift of Herman B Wells, 61.14