Drawing for a fountain with a statue of Aesculapius. Louvre, Paris.
MEANWHILE, by the favor of him who was Treasurer to his Excellency, and at the commission of Bertoldo Corsini, the proveditor for the fortress which was being built at that time, out of three escutcheons that were to be made by order of the Duke for placing on the bastions, one on each, one four braccia in height was given to Tribolo to execute, with two nude figures representing Victories; which escutcheon, finished by him with great diligence and promptitude, with the addition of three great masks that support the escutcheon and the figures, so pleased the Duke, that he conceived a very great love for Tribolo. Now shortly afterwards the Duke went to Naples to defend himself before the Emperor Charles V, who had just returned from Tunis, against many calumnies that had been laid upon him by some of his citizens; and, having not only defended himself, but also obtained from his Majesty his daughter Signora Margherita of Austria for wife, he wrote to Florence that four men should be appointed who might cause vast and splendid decorations to be prepared throughout the city, in order to receive the Emperor, who was coming to Florence, with proper magnificence. And I, having to distribute the various works at the commission of his Excellency,who ordained that I should act in company with the said four men, who were Giovanni Corsi, Luigi Guicciardini, Palla Rucellai, and Alessandro Corsini,gave the greatest and most difficult labors for that festival to Tribolo to execute, which were four large statues. The first was a Hercules that has just killed the Hydra, six braccia in height, in the round and overlaid with silver, which was placed at that corner of the Piazza di San Felice that is at the end of the Via Maggio, with the following inscription in letters of silver on the base:
UT HERCULES LABORE ET AERUMNIS MONSTRA EDOMUIT , ITA CAESAR VIRTUTE ET CLEMENTIA, HOSTIBUS VICTIS SEU PLACATIS, PACEM ORBI TERRARUM ET QUIETEM RESTITUIT.
Two others were colossal figures eight braccia high, one representing the River Bagrada, which was resting upon the skin of the serpent that was brought to Rome, and the other representing the Ebro, with the horn of Amaltheia in one hand and in the other the helm of a ship; both colored in imitation of bronze, with inscriptions on the bases; below the Ebro, HIBERUS EX HISPANIA, and below the other, BAGRADAS EX AFRICA. The fourth was a statue five braccia in height, on the Canto de' Medici, representing Peace, who had in one hand an olive branch and in the other a lighted torch, with which she was setting fire to a pile of arms heaped up on the base on which she was placed; with the following words: FIAT PAX IN VIRTUTE TUA. He did not finish, as he had hoped to do, the horse seven braccia in length that was set up on the Piazza di S. Trinita, upon which was to be placed the statue of the Emperor in armor, because Tasso the woodcarver, who was much his friend, did not show any promptitude in executing the base and the other things in the way of wood-carving that were to be included in the work, being a man who let time slip through his fingers in arguing and jesting; and there was only just time to cover the horse alone with tin-foil laid upon the still fresh clay. On the base were to be read the following words:
IMPERATORI CAROLO AUGUSTO VICTORIOSISSIMO POST DEVICTOS HOSTES, ITALIAE PACE RESTITUTA ET SALUTATO FERDIN. FRATRE, EXPULSIS ITERUM TURCIS AFRICAQUE PERDOMITA, ALEXANDER MED. DUX FLORENTIAE, D.D.
His Majesty having departed from Florence, a beginning was made with the preparations for the nuptials, in expectation of his daughter, and to the end that she and the Vice-Queen of Naples, who was in her company, might be commodiously lodged according to the orders of his Excellency in the house of M. Ottaviano de' Medici, an addition was made to his old house in four weeks, to the astonishment of everyone; and Tribolo, the painter Andrea di Cosimo , and I, in ten days, with the help of about ninety sculptors and painters of the city, what with masters and assistants, completed the preparations for the wedding in so far as appertained to the house and its decorations, painting the loggie, court yards, and other spaces in a manner suitable for nuptials of such importance. Among these decorations, Tribolo made, besides other things, two Victories in half-relief that were one on either side of the principal door , supported by two large terminal figures, which also upheld the escutcheon of the Emperor, pendent from the neck of a very beautiful eagle in the round. The same master also made certain boys, likewise in the round, and large in size, which were placed on either side of some heads over the pediments of various doors; and these were much extolled.
Meanwhile, as the nuptials were in progress, Tribolo received letters from Bologna, in which Messer Pietro del Magno, his devoted friend, besought him that he should consent to go to Bologna, in order to make for the Madonna di Galliera, where a most beautiful ornament of marble was already prepared, a scene likewise of marble three braccia and a half in extent. Whereupon Tribolo, happening to have nothing else to do at that time, went thither, and after making a model of a Madonna ascending into Heaven, with the Apostles below in various attitudes, which, being very beautiful, gave great satisfaction, he set his hand to executing it; but with little pleasure for himself, since the marble that he was carving was that Milanese marble, saline, full of emery, and bad in quality; and it seemed to him that he was wasting his time, without feeling a particle of that delight that men find in working those marbles which are a pleasure to carve, and which in the end, when brought to completion, show a surface that has the appearance of the living flesh itself. However, he did so much that it was already almost finished, when I, having persuaded Duke Alessandro to recall Michelangelo from Rome, and also the other masters, in order to finish the work of the sacristy begun by Clement, was arranging to give him something to do in Florence; and I would have succeeded, but in the meantime, by reason of the death of Alessandro, who was murdered by Lorenzo di Pier Francesco de' Medici , not only was this design frustrated, but the greatness and prosperity of art were thrown into utter ruin.
Having heard of the Duke's death, Tribolo condoled with me in his letters, beseeching me, after he had exhorted me to bear with resignation the death of that great Prince, my gracious master, that if I went to Rome, as he had heard that I, being wholly determined to abandon Courts and to pursue my studies, was intending to do, I should obtain some completion. mission for him, for the reason that, if assisted by my friends, he would do whatever I told him. But it so chanced that it became in no way necessary for him to seek commissions in Rome. For Signor Cosimo de'Medici, having been created Duke of Florence, as soon as he had freed himself from the troubles that he had in the first year of his rule by routing his enemies at Monte Murlo, began to take some diversion, and in particular to frequent not a little the villa of Castello, which is little more than two miles distant from Florence. There he began to do some building, in order that he might be able to live there comfortably with his Court, and little by little,being encouraged in this by Maestro Pietro da San Casciano, who was held to be a passing good master in those days, and was much in the service of Signora Maria, the mother of the Duke, and had also always been the master-builder and the former servant of Signor Giovanni,he resolved to conduct to that place certain waters that he had desired long before to bring thither.
Whereupon a beginning was made with building an aqueduct that was to receive all the waters from the hill of Castellina, which was at a distance of a quarter of a mile or more from Castello; and the work was pursued vigorously with a good number of men. But the Duke recognizing that Maestro Pietro had neither invention nor power of design enough to make in that place a beginning that might afterwards in time receive that ornamentation which the site and the waters required, one day that his Excellency was on the spot, speaking of this with such men as Messer Ottaviano de' Medici and Cristofano Rinieri, the friend of Tribolo and the old servant of Signora Maria and of the Duke, they extolled Tribolo in such a manner, as a man endowed with all those parts that were requisite in the head of such a fabric, that the Duke gave Cristofano a commission to make him come from Bologna. Which having been straightway done by Rinieri, Tribolo, who could not have received any better news than that he was to serve Duke Cosimo, set out immediately for Florence, and, arriving there, was taken to Castello, where his most illustrious Excellency, having heard from him what he thought should be done in the way of decorative fountains, gave him a commission to make the models. Whereupon he set his hand to these, and was engaged upon them, while Maestro Pietro da San Casciano was executing the aqueduct and bringing the waters to the place, when the Duke, who meanwhile had begun, for the security of the city, to surround with a very strong wall the bastions erected on the hill of San Miniato at the time of the siege after the designs of Michelangelo, ordained that Tribolo should make an escutcheon of hard stone, with two Victories, for an angle of the summit of a bastion that faces Florence. But Tribolo had scarcely finished the escutcheon, which was very large, and one of those Victories, a figure four braccia high, which was held to be a very beautiful thing, when he was obliged to leave that work incomplete, for the reason that, Maestro Pietro having carried well on the making of the aqueduct and the bringing of the waters, to the full satisfaction of the Duke, his Excellency wished that Tribolo should begin to put into execution, for the adornment of that place, the designs and models that he had already shown to him, ordaining him for the time being a salary of eight crowns a month, the same that was paid to San Casciano.
Now, in order that I may not become confused in describing the intricacies of the aqueducts and of the ornaments of the fountains, it may be well to say briefly some few words about the site and position of Castello. The villa of Castello stands at the roots of Monte Morello, below the Villa della Topaia, which is halfway up the slope; it has before it a plain that descends little by little, for the space of a mile and a half, down to the River Arno, and exactly where the ascent of the mountain begins stands the palace, which was built in past times by Pier Francesco de' Medici, after a very good design. The principal front faces straight towards the south, overlooking a vast lawn with two very large fish-ponds full of running water, which comes from an ancient aqueduct made by the Romans in order to conduct water from Valdimarina to Florence, and provided with a vaulted cistern under the ground; and so it has a very beautiful and very pleasing view. The fish-ponds in front are divided in the middle by a bridge twelve braccia wide, which leads to an avenue of the same width, bounded at the sides and covered above by an unbroken vault of ten braccia in height, thus making a covered avenue three hundred braccia in length, delightful for its shade, which opens on to the high road to Prato by a gate placed between two fountains that serve to give water to travelers and animals.
On the eastern side the same palace has a very beautiful pile of stable-buildings, and on the western side a private garden into which one goes from the courtyard of the stables, passing straight through the ground-floor of the palace by way of the loggie, halls, and chambers on the level of the ground; from which private garden one can enter by a door on the west side into another garden, very large and all filled with fruit-trees, and bounded by a forest of fir trees that conceals the houses of the laborers and others who live there, engaged in the service of the palace and of the gardens. Next, that part of the palace which faces north, towards the mountain, has in front of it a lawn as long as the palace, the stables, and the private garden altogether, and from this lawn one climbs by steps to the principal garden, a place enclosed by ordinary walls, which, rising in a gentle slope, stretches so well clear of the palace as it rises, that the mid-day sun searches it out and bathes it all with its rays, as if there were no palace in front; and at the upper end it stands so high that it commands a view not only of the whole palace, but also of the plain that is in front and around it, and likewise about the city.
In the middle of this garden is a forest of very tall and thickly-planted cypresses, laurels, and myrtles, which, laid out in a circular shape, have the form of a labyrinth , all surrounded by box-hedges two braccia and a half in height, so even and grown with such beautiful order that they have the appearance of a painting done with the brush; in the center of which labyrinth, at the desire of the Duke, Tribolo, as will be described below, made a very beautiful fountain of marble. At the principal entrance, where there is the first-mentioned lawn with the two fish-ponds and the avenue covered with mulberry-trees, Tribolo wished that the avenue should be so extended tended that it might stretch for a distance of more than a mile, covered and shaped in like manner, and might reach as far as the River Arno, and that the waters which ran away from all the fountains, flowing gently in pleasant channels at the sides of the avenue, and filled with various kinds of fishes and crayfish, might accompany it down to that river.
As for the palace,to describe what has still to be done as well as that which has been finished,he wished to make a loggia in front of it, which, passing by an open courtyard, was to have on the side where the stables are another palace as large as the old one, with the same pro portion of apartments, loggie, private garden, and the rest; which addition would have made it a vast palace, with a most beautiful facade. After passing the court from which one enters into the large garden of the labyrinth, at the main entrance, where there is a vast lawn, after climbing the steps that lead to that labyrinth, there came a level space thirty braccia square, on which there was to be, and has since been made, a very large fountain of white marble, which was to spout up wards above ornaments fourteen braccia in height, while from the mouth of a statue at the highest point was to issue a jet of water rising to the height of six braccia. At either end of the lawn was to be a loggia, one opposite to the other, each thirty braccia in length and fifteen in breadth; and in the middle of each loggia was to be placed a marble table twelve braccia in length , and on the outside a basin of eight braccia, which was to receive the water from a vase held by two figures. In the middle of the above-mentioned labyrinth Tribolo had thought to achieve the most decorative effect with water by means of jets and a very beautiful seat round the fountain, the marble basin of which was to be, even as it was afterwards made, much smaller than that of the large principal fountain; and at the summit it was to have a figure of bronze spouting water. At the end of this garden, in the center, there was to be a gate with some children of marble on both sides spouting water, with a fountain on either side, and in the corners double niches in which statues were to be placed, as in the others that are in the walls at the sides, at the opposite ends of the avenues that cross the garden, which are all covered with greenery distributed in various ways.
Through the above-mentioned gate, which is at the upper end of this garden, above some steps, one enters into another garden, as wide as the first, but of no great depth in the direct line, in comparison with the mountain beyond. In this garden were to be two other loggie, one on either side, and in the wall opposite to the gate, which supports the soil of the mountain, there was to be in the center a grotto with three basins, with water playing into them in imitation of rain. The grotto was to be between two fountains placed in the same wall, and opposite to these, in the lower wall of the garden, were to be two others, one on either side of the gate; so that the fountains of this garden would have been equal in number to those of the other, which is below it, and receives its water from the first, which is higher. And this garden was to be all full of orange-trees, which would have had,and will have, whenever that may be, a most favorable situation, being defended by the walls and by the mountain from the north wind and other harmful winds.
From this garden one climbs by two staircases of flint, one on either side, to a forest of cypresses, fir-trees, holm-oaks, laurels, and other ever green trees, distributed with beautiful order, in the middle of which, according to Tribolo's design, there was to be a most lovely fish-pond, which has since been made. And because this part , gradually narrowing, forms an angle, that angle, to the end that it might be made flat, was to be blunted by the breadth of a loggia, from which, after climbing some steps, might be seen in front the palace, the gardens, the fountains, and all the plain below and about them, as far as the Ducal Villa of Poggio a Caiano, Florence, Prato, Siena, and all that is around for many miles.
Now the above-named Maestro Pietro da San Casciano, having carried his work of the aqueduct as far as Castello, and having turned into it all the waters of Castellina, was overtaken by a violent fever, and died in a few days. Whereupon Tribolo, undertaking the charge of directing all the building by himself, perceived that, although the waters brought to Castello were in great abundance, nevertheless they were not sufficient for all that he had made up his mind to do; not to mention that, coming from Castellina, they did not rise to the height that he required for his purposes. Having therefore obtained from the Lord Duke a commission to conduct thither the waters of Petraia, a place more than one hundred and fifty braccia above Castello, which are good and very abundant, he caused a conduit to be made, similar to the other, and so high that one can enter into it, to the end that thus those waters of Petraia might come to the fish-pond through another aqueduct with enough fall for the fish-pond and the great fountain.
This done, Tribolo began to build the above-mentioned grotto, pro posing to make it with three niches, in a beautiful architectural design, and likewise the two fountains that were one on either side of it. In one of these there was to be a large statue of stone, representing Monte Asinaio, which, pressing its beard, was to pour water from its mouth into a basin that was to be in front of it; from which basin the water, issuing by a hidden channel, and passing under the wall, was to flow to the fountain that there is at the present day behind the wall, at the end of the slope of the garden of the labyrinth, pouring into the vase on the shoulder of the figure of the River Mugnone, which is in a large niche of greystone decorated with most beautiful ornaments, and all covered with sponge-stone. This work if it had been finished in all its perfection , even as it is in part, would have had great similarity to the reality, since the Mugnone rises from Monte Asinaio.
For the Mugnone, then, to describe that which has been done, Tribolo made a figure of greystone, four braccia in length, and reclining in a very beautiful attitude, which has upon one shoulder a vase that pours water into a basin, and rests the other on the ground, leaning upon it, with the left leg crossed over the right. And behind this river is a woman representing Fiesole, wholly naked, issuing from among the sponge-stones and rocks in the middle of the niche, and holding in the hand a moon which is the ancient emblem of the people of Fiesole. Below this niche is a very large basin supported by two great Capricorns, which are one of the devices of the Duke; from which Capricorns hang some festoons and masks of great beauty, and from their lips issues the water from that basin, which is convex in the middle, and has outlets at the sides; and all the water that overflows pours away from the sides through the mouths of the Capricorns, and then, after falling into the hollow base of the vase, flows through the herb-beds that are round the walls of the garden of the labyrinth, where there are fountains between the niches, and between the fountains espaliers of oranges and pomegranates.
In the second garden described above, where Tribolo had intended that there should be made the Monte Asinaio that was to supply water to the Mugnone, there was to be on the other side, beyond the gate, a similar figure of the Monte della Falterona; and even as this mountain is the source of the River Arno, so the statue representing that river in the garden of the labyrinth, opposite to the Mugnone, was to receive the water from the Falterona. But since neither the figure of that mountain nor its fountain has ever been finished, let us speak of the fountain and figure of the River Arno, which were completed by Tribolo to perfection. This river, then, holds its vase upon one thigh, lying down and leaning with one arm on a lion, which holds a lily in its paw, and the vase receives its water through the perforated wall, behind which there was to be the Falterona, exactly in the manner in which, as has been described, the statue of the River Mugnone also receives its water; and since the long basin is in every way similar to that of the Mugnone, I shall say no more about it, save this, that it is a pity that the art and excellence of these works, which are truly most beautiful, are not embodied in marble.
Then, continuing the work of the conduit, Tribolo caused the water from the grotto to pass under the orange-garden and then under the next garden, and thus brought it into the labyrinth, where, forming a circle round all the middle of the labyrinth, in a good circumference round the center, he laid down the central pipe, through which the fountain was to spout water. After which, taking the waters from the Arno and the Mugnone, and bringing them together under the level of the labyrinth by means of certain bronze pipes that were distributed in beautiful order throughout that space, he filled that whole pavement with very fine jets, in such a manner that it was possible by turning a key to drench all those who came near to see the fountain. Nor is one able to escape either quickly or with ease, because Tribolo made round the fountain and the pavement, in which are the jets, a seat of grey stone supported by lion's paws, between which are sea monsters in low- relief; which was a difficult thing to do, because he chose, since the place was sloping and the square lay on the slant, to make it level, and the same with the seat.
Having then set his hand to the fountain of the labyrinth, he made on the shaft, in marble, an interwoven design of sea monsters cut out in full relief, with tails intertwined so well, that nothing better of that kind could be done. And this finished, he executed the tazza with a piece of marble brought long before to Castello, together with a large table, also of marble, from the Villa dell' Antella, which M. Ottaviano de' Medici formerly bought from Giuliano Salviati. By reason of this opportunity, then, Tribolo made that tazza sooner than he might otherwise have done, fashioning round it a dance of little children attached to the moulding which is beside the lip of the tazza; which children are holding festoons of products of the sea, cut out of the marble with beautiful art. And so also the shaft which he made over the tazza, he executed with much grace, with some very beautiful children and masks to spout water. Upon that shaft it was the intention of Tribolo to place a bronze statue three braccia high, representing Florence, in order to signify that from the above-named Mounts Asinaio and Falterona the waters of the Arno and Mugnone come to Florence; of which figure he had made a most beautiful model which, pressing the hair with the hands, caused water to pour forth.
Then, having brought the water as far as the space thirty braccia square, below the labyrinth, he made a beginning with the great fountain, which, made with eight sides, was to receive all the above- mentioned waters into its lowest basin, namely, those from the water-works of the labyrinth, and likewise those of the great conduit. Each of these eight sides, then, rises above a step one-fifth of a braccio in height, and each angle of the eight sides has a projection, as have also the steps, which, thus projecting, rise at each angle in a great step of two-fifths of a braccio, in such a way that the central face of the steps withdraws into the projections , and their straight line is thus broken, which produces a bizarre effect, and makes the ascent very easy. The edges of the fountain have the shape of a vase, and the body of the fountain,that is, the inner part where the water is, curves in the form of a circle. The shaft begins with eight sides, and continues with eight seats almost up to the base of the tazza, upon which are seated eight children of the size of life, all in the round and in various attitudes, who, linked together with the legs and arms, make a rich adornment and a most beautiful effect. And since the tazza, which is round, projects to the extent of six braccia, the water of the whole fountain, pouring equally over the edge on every side, sends a very beautiful rain, like the drippings from a roof, into the octagonal basin mentioned above, and those children that are on the shaft of the tazza are not wetted, and they appear to be there in order not to be wetted by the rain, almost like real children, full of delight and playing as they shelter under the lip of the tazza, which could not be equaled in its simplicity and beauty. Opposite to the four paths that intersect the garden are four children of bronze lying at play in various attitudes, which are after the designs of Tribolo, although they were executed afterwards by others. Above this tazza begins another shaft, which has at the foot, on some projections, four children of marble in the round, who are pressing the necks of some geese that spout water from their mouths; and this water is that of the principal conduit coming from the labyrinth, and rises exactly to this height. Above these children is the rest of the shaft of this pedestal, which is made with certain cartouches which spurt forth water in a most bizarre manner; and then, regaining a quadrangular form, it rises over some masks that are very well made. Above this, then, is a smaller tazza, on the lip of which, on all four sides, are fixed by the horns four heads of Capricorns, making a square, which spout water through their mouths into the large tazza, together with the children, in order to make the rain which falls, as has been told, into the first basin, which has eight sides.
Still higher there follows another shaft, adorned with other ornaments and with some children in half-relief, who, projecting outwards, form at the top a round space that serves as base to the figure of a Hercules who is crushing Antaeus, which was designed by Tribolo and executed afterwards by others, as will be related in the proper place. From the mouth of this Antaeus he intended that, instead of his spirit, there should gush out through a pipe water in great abundance, as indeed it does; which water is that of the great conduit of Petraia, which comes with much force, and rises sixteen braccia above the level where the steps are, and makes a marvelous effect in falling back into the greater tazza. In that same aqueduct, then, come not only those waters from Petraia, but also those that go to the fish-pond and the grotto, and these, uniting with those from Castellina, go to the fountains of the Falterona and Monte Asinaio , and thence to the fountains of the Arno and Mugnone, as has been related; after which, being reunited at the fountain of the labyrinth, they go to the center of the great fountain, where are the children with the geese. From there, according to the design of Tribolo, they were to flow through two distinct and separate conduits into the basins of the loggie, where the tables are, and then each into a separate private garden. The first of these gardens,that towards the west, is all filled with rare and medicinal plants; wherefore at the highest level of that water, in that garden of simples, in the niche of the fountain, and behind a basin of marble, there was to be a statue of Aesculapius.
The principal fountain described above, then, was completely finished in marble by Tribolo, and carried to the finest and greatest perfection that could be desired in a work of this kind. Wherefore I believe that it may be said with truth that it is the most beautiful fountain, the richest, the best proportioned, and the most pleasing that has ever been made, for the reason that in the figures, in the vases, in the tazze, and, in short, throughout the whole work, are proofs of extraordinary diligence and industry. After this, having made the model of the above-mentioned statue of Aesculapius, Tribolo began to execute it in marble, but, being hindered by other things, he did not finish that figure, which was completed afterwards by the sculptor Antonio di Gino, his disciple.
On the side towards the east, in a little lawn without the garden, Tribolo arranged an oak in a most ingenious manner, for, besides the circumstance that it is so thickly covered both above and all around with ivy intertwined among the branches, that it has the appearance of a very dense grove, one can climb up it by a convenient staircase of wood similarly covered with ivy, at the top of which, in the middle of the oak, there is a square chamber surrounded by seats, the backs of which are all of living verdure, and in the center is a little table of marble with a vase of variegated marble in the middle, from which, through a pipe, there flows and spurts into the air a strong jet of water, which, after falling, runs away through another pipe. These pipes mount upwards from the foot of the oak so well hidden by the ivy, that nothing is seen of them, and the water can be turned on or off at pleasure by means of certain keys; nor is it possible to describe in full in how many ways that water of the oak can be turned on, in order to drench anyone at pleasure with various instruments of copper, not to mention that with the same instruments one can cause the water to produce various sounds and whistlings.
Finally, all these waters, after having served so many different purposes, and supplied so many fountains, are collected together, and flow into the two fish ponds that are without the palace, at the beginning of the avenue, and thence to other uses of the villa. Nor will I omit to tell what was the intention of Tribolo with regard to the statues that were to be as ornaments in the great garden of the labyrinth, in the niches that may be seen regularly distributed there in various spaces. He proposed, then, acting in this on the judicious advice of M. Benedetto Varchi, who has been in our times most excellent as poet, orator, and philosopher,that at the upper and lower ends there should be placed the four Seasons of the year, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and that each should be set up in that part where its particular season is most felt. At the entrance, on the right hand, beside the Winter, and in that part of the wall which stretches upwards, were to go six figures that were to demonstrate the greatness and goodness of the house of Medici, and to denote that all the virtues are to be found in Duke Cosimo; and these were Justice, Compassion, Valor, Nobility, Wisdom, and Liberality, which have always dwelt in the house of Medici, and are all united together at the present day in the most excellent Lord Duke, in that he is just, compassionate, valorous, noble, wise, and liberal. And because these qualities have made the city of Florence, as they still do, strong in laws, peace, arms, science, wisdom, tongues, and arts, and also because the said Lord Duke is just in the laws, compassionate in peace, valorous in arms, noble through the sciences, wise in his encourage ment of tongues and other culture, and liberal to the arts, Tribolo wished that on the other side from the Justice, Compassion, Valour, Nobility, Wisdom, and Liberality, on the left hand, as will be seen below, there should be these other figures: Laws, Peace, Arms, Sciences, Tongues, and Arts.
And it was most appropriately arranged that in this manner these statues and images should be placed, as they would have been, above the Arno and Mugnone, in order to signify that they do honor to Florence. It was also proposed that in the pediments there should be placed portrait busts of men of the house of Medici, one in each,over Justice, for example, the portrait of his Excellency, that being his particular virtue, over Compassion that of the Magnificent Giuliano, over Valour Signor Giovanni, over Nobility the elder Lorenzo, over Wisdom the elder Cosimo or Clement VII, and over Liberality Pope Leo. And in the pediments on the other side it was suggested that there might be placed other heads from the house of Medici, or of persons of the city connected with that house. But since these names make the matter somewhat confused, they have been placed here in the following order:
SUMMER. THE MUGNONE, GATE. THE ARNO, SPRING. ARTS. LIBERALITY. TONGUES. WISDOM. SCIENCES. NOBILITY. ARMS. VALOR. PEACE. COMPASSION. LAWS. JUSTICE. AUTUMN. GATE. LOGGIA, GATE. WINTER.
All these ornaments would have made this in truth the richest, the most magnificent, and the most ornate garden in Europe; but these works were not carried to completion, for the reason that Tribolo was not able to take measures to have them finished while the Duke was in the mind to continue them, as he might have done in a short time, having men in abundance and the Duke ready to spend money, and not suffering from those hindrances that afterwards stopped him. The Duke, indeed, not being contented at that time with the great quantity of water that is to be seen there, was thinking of trying to obtain the water of Valcenni , which is very abundant, in order to join it with the rest, and then to conduct it from Castello by an aqueduct similar to the one which he had made to the Piazza in front of his Palace in Florence. And of a truth, if this work had been pressed forward by a man with greater energy and more desire of glory, it would have been carried at least well on; but since Tribolo, besides that he was much occupied with various affairs of the Duke's, had not much energy, nothing more was done. And in all the time that he worked at Castello, he did not execute with his own hand anything save the two fountains, with the two rivers, the Arno and the Mugnone, and the statue of Fiesole; this arising from no other cause, so far as one can see, but his being too much occupied, as has been related, with the many affairs of the Duke. Among other things, the Duke caused him to make a bridge over the River Mugnone on the high road that goes to Bologna, without the Porta a San Gallo. This bridge, since the river crosses the road obliquely, Tribolo caused to be built with an arch likewise oblique, in accordance with its oblique line across the river, which was a new thing, and much extolled, above all because he had the arch put together of stones cut on the slant on every side in such a manner that it proved to be very strong and very graceful; in short, this bridge was a very beautiful work.