Now, take some time to admire the statues up close and from all sides. Perseus, a magnificent bronze statue by Benvenuto Cellini, commissioned by Cosimo I de’ Medici and placed there in 1554. It took nine years to be cast and it shows the mythical Greek hero brandishing his sword in his right hand and holding up the Medusa’s head in the other hand. The richly decorated marble pedestal, also by Cellini, shows four bronze statuettes of Jupiter, Mercurius, Minerva and Danaë.
The Rape of the Sabine Women is an impressive marble group by Giambologna was installed here in 1583 at the behest of the son of Cosimo I, Francesco I de' Medici. The statue is over 4 metres high and is the first group of sculptures that represent more than a single figure in European sculptural history to be conceived without a dominant point of view: it can be equally admired from all sides. It's said it was made carving an imperfect block of white marble, the largest block ever been transported to Florence. There is a chalk copy in the Museo dell’Accademia. To protect it from deterioration due to pollution, in recent years the statue has gone through a series of renovation sessions.
The other sculptures represent Hercules beating the Centaur Nessus, a lesser-known sculpture of Giambologna, made in 1599 but placed where it is only in the nineteenth century; Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus, a marble group of Roman times which originally stood at the end of the Ponte Vecchio; The Rape of Polyxena is a nineteenth-century group of statues made by Pio Fedi.
At the bottom of the Loggia there are six marble female figures, probably coming from the Trajan’s Foro in Rome, discovered in 1541 and brought to Florence in 1789. On the right wall of the Loggia there's a Latin inscription from 1750 commemorating the change of the Florentine calendar (the Florentine calendar used to begin on March 25 instead of January 1 but since 1749 it started following the standards of the Roman calendar). A 1893 inscription remembers the stages of the Italian unification.