Tiberio di Titi (1573-1627)
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Tiberio di Titi (1573-1627)

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Full length portrait of Caterina di Ferdinando I de' Medici as a little girl dressed in a richly embroidered gold frock and surcoat, holding a chain, her right arm resting on a table; her puppy jumps up at her side.


Inscribed upper center with her age, 18 months (Aetatis Suae XVIII Mens)


Painted 1595


Oil painting on canvas 104 x 72 cm / 41 x 28 inches. Contained in a fine period carved and gilt frame


Provenance: Private collection in Rome.


Tiberio di Titi was the son of the Florentine painter Santo di Tito, who died in 1603, and whose tonal range and workshop practices he emulated. He was extensively patronised by the Medici in Florence. Along with Christofano Allori, he seems to have been the favourite portraitist at court prior to the arrival of Justus Sustermans. His career, though, as a Medici portraitist lasted until at least 1618/19 when he again painted Caterina di Ferdinando I, now Duchess of Mantua. The resulting portrait (Uffizi no. 2291) was not to the Duchess's taste according to surviving letters.

His best-known portraits of children, now in the Uffizi, are those painted in 1597 of the Medici: Carlo (1596-1666); Eleonora (1591-1617) and Francesco (1594-1614) . These have very strong analogies, both technically and compositionally, with the present painting.

Caterina di Ferdinando I de' Medici was bom in Florence in 1593 the daughter of Ferdinando I and the grand-daughter of Cosimo I de' Medici. In 1617 she left Florence for Mantua, where she married Ferdinando Gonzaga, who died nine years later in 1626. The following year she returned to Florence before being installed as the Governess of Siena. She died in 1629