The portrait commemorates Emilio Pucci’s twenty-five years of participation in the Calcio Storcio. Majestically attired as Maggior General Sergente delle Milizie, the marquis confronts us in full The portrait commemorates Emilio Pucci’s twenty-five years of participation in this annual event. Majestically attired as Maggior General Sergente delle Milizie, the marquis confronts us in full Renaissance regalia. Pucci himself felt that Durand had approached the portrait’s composition with an originality that differed from the traditional approach to equestrian portraiture.

- Image ID: JXD8GW
The portrait commemorates Emilio Pucci’s twenty-five years of participation in the Calcio Storcio. Majestically attired as Maggior General Sergente delle Milizie, the marquis confronts us in full The portrait commemorates Emilio Pucci’s twenty-five years of participation in this annual event. Majestically attired as Maggior General Sergente delle Milizie, the marquis confronts us in full Renaissance regalia. Pucci himself felt that Durand had approached the portrait’s composition with an originality that differed from the traditional approach to equestrian portraiture.
André Durand / Alamy Stock Photo
Image ID: JXD8GW
THE PORTRAIT: “a stroke of genius” In January 1990 while living in Florence,André Durand received a telephone call from Emilio Pucci, during which the Italian couturier announced, "Maestro, I am disposed to pose for you." A few days later, Durand visited the marquis at the Palazzo Pucci, Florence, where the sittings took place. The result is a magnificent portrait depicting Pucci sitting proudly astride his Hungarian stallion, a recent acquisition of only ten days. For the past twenty-five years he had ridden in the Calcio Storcio di Firenze, a procession celebrating the feast of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of Florence. The painting commemorates Pucci’s continued contribution to this annual event. Majestically attired in fifteenth century armour, he confronts us in full Renaissance regalia. Pucci himself felt that Durand had approached the portrait’s composition with an originality that differed from the time-honoured tradition of equestrian portraiture. He dubbed the artist’s decision to depict the top half of the white stallion in counterpart to the bottom half of Giambologna’s equestrian sculpture of Cosimo I (see Addendum A) as ‘a stroke of genius.’ Accompanying Pucci in the foreground is his page in ostrich plumage and behind the horse the master of artisans of Florence decked in black robes. A white cow, the prize of the football team who wins the violent match held when the procession is over, is in the extreme left hand background. Even though Pucci was terminally ill he insisted on posing in his courtyard on a rainy day. He was very clear about the kind of image he wanted to project and first saw the picture half completed in May 1990. However, Durand had to bring the painting from Florence to London to complete it, which he did in January 1993. .Marchese Emilio Pucci di Barsento died ten days after the work was finished and signed. It is a poignant testimony to his dignity and nobility, the only portrait for which he posed.
Location: Firenze Florence, Metropolitan City of Florence, Italy