Onyx cameo of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and family by Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi
One of the most exquisite objects in a city full of exquisite objects is an onyx cameo of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and his family.
The cameo, which is some six by seven inches, was carved by Giovanni Antonio de' Rossi (1517-after 1575) and depicts Cosimo, his wife Eleonora da Toledo, and five of their sons (Francesco, Giovanni, Garzia, Ferdinando and Pietro). Towering above the group is a personification of Fame, winged and blowing his trumpet.
The tondo was once filled by a medallion (now lost), containing an allegorical image of Florence or Tuscany.
The cameo was commissioned by Cosimo I in 1557 and expresses the duke's triple pride as ruler, husband and father.
The cameo, which can be found in the Museo degli Argenti in the Palazzo Pitti, seems incomplete, since the bottom edge is clearly broken.