Florence Triumphant over Pisa
The large Florence Triumphant over Pisa was commissioned to Giambologna in around 1565 by Francesco de' Medici, when he was still regent. The intention was to place the piece in the Salone dei Cinquecento, opposite the Victory by Michelangelo, much esteemed by both Francesco de' Medici and Giambologna.
Michelangelo's work, plausibly intended for the tomb of Giulio II, was given to the Medici family as a gift by Leonardo Buonarroti, nephew of the great artist. It seems that Giambologna, first of all excited by the possibility to be compared with the artist he considered a legend, came to dread this very comparison to the extent that he tried to slow down and then avoid the placement of the marble piece showing Florence Triumphant over Pisa in Palazzo Vecchio, which only took place in 1589.
What you see in the Salone dei Cinquecento is the clay, horsehair and plaster model placed there before the marble version in 1565. It is one of the rare full scale models that we are able to use to study marbleworking in the 16th century. The finished piece is in the Bargello Museum.