The Biancone, the famous fountain of Neptune in Piazza della Signoria
Il capolavoro dell'Ammannati tornato all'antico splendore
Commissioned by Cosimo de 'Medici to celebrate the maritime supremacy of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, the gestation of the Fountain of Neptune was difficult from its inception. For the realization Cosimo wanted Cellini, Eleonora of Toledo his protected Baccio Bandinelli. She won, but Bandinelli died prematurely.
New competition from which finally came out the name of Bartolomeo Ammannati. Famous is the saying "Ammannato Ammannato what a beautiful marble you have wasted" that says a lot about the alternate fortunes of the Florentine Neptune. Placed in Piazza della Signoria in 1559, near the point where Girolamo Savonarola was hanged and burned at the stake in 1498, the statue depicts Neptune, Roman god of the sea surrounded by satyrs, tritons and nereids made of different materials, according to the taste of the customer: the god of the sea is made of precious Carrara marble, the whitest of all, so for the Florentines the statue has always been 'i Biancone'.
Neptune gets up from a cart pulled by four horses, and is surrounded by three young tritons and four figures representing Doride oceania with her black daughter Thetis and two sea gods. The chariot and the contour figures, completed 10 years later, have the signature of apprentices from Ammannati's workshop or other workshops. The object of a recent restoration strongly desired by the Maison Ferragamo, it was returned to the city in its maximum splendor in spring 2019.