the La Giostra Box

In Boxes by Mark Evans




The La Giostra lenticular box is made of a lacquered wooden box with lenticular flips veneering the outside.

The images that flip back and forth are two masterpieces of renaissance portrait painting.  The woman is of Simonetta Vespucci painted in 1480 by Piero Di Cosimo and the man is of Giuliano Medici panted in 1478-1480 by Sandro Botticelli.  These two have a history.

The box measures approximately 8″X4.5″X4″H.  It is currently in my studio waiting to be shipped to one of my showrooms.  If you are interested contact me directly.

Jewelry for tables.

Simonetta Vespucci was a famous beauty in Florence. She was the model for many of the legendary artists of the time. Fra Filippo Lippi painted her as the Madonna in 1465.

Simonetta was used many times by Sandro Botticelli.  Here is a portrait from 1480.

Simonetta died of tuberculosis at the age of 22.  She was carried uncovered to her burial place so that the citizens of Florence could admire her beauty for the last time.

At La Giostra (a jousting tournament) in 1475, held at the Piazza Santa Croce , Giuliano entered the lists bearing a banner on which was a picture of Simonetta as a helmeted Pallas Athena painted by Botticelli, beneath which was the French inscription La Sans Pareille, meaning “The unparalleled one”.  It is clear that Simonetta had a reputation as an exceptional beauty in Florence, but the whole display should be considered within the conventions of courtly love; Simonetta was a married woman, a member of a powerful family allied to the Medici, and any actual affair would have been a huge political risk.

Giuliano won the tournament, and Simonetta was nominated “The Queen of Beauty” at that event. It is unknown, and unlikely, that they actually became lovers.

Simonetta Vespucci by Cosimo

Giuliano Medici by Bottecelli

Painting of a joust( La Giostra) in the Piazza Santa Croce by Jan Van der Straet( 1562-62).

Giuliano de Medici was co-ruler of Florence with his brother, Piero( “the Magnificant).  He was handsome and athletic and was nicknamed the Golden Boy.  Unfortunately he was stabbed 19 times to his death at the age of 25 during the Pazzi Conspiracy.

Giuliano was not handsome enough for the sculpture of him by Michelangelo located at his tomb in Florence.  Michelangelo made him into quite the hot guy as seen below.