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San Leopoldo - Carlo Reishammer

The Grand Duchy in Tuscany

Art in Tuscany under the rule of the Asburgo-Lorena family

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The Asburgo-Lorena family ruled the Grand Duchy of Tuscany for a little more than one hundred years, from 1737 (the year the last member of the Medici family, Gian Gastone, died) to 1859.
The arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte meant the rule of the Grand Dukes was interrupted for approximately twenty years. Most of the at produced in this period is decidedly Neo-Classic or Romanesque in style. Much evidence of the prevalence of these two styles remains today in the form of urban planning and architecture.

The ruling family was restored to power in 1814 and the region was governed by Ferdinando III who now controlled a larger area that included the principality of Piombino and the Island of Elba. Grand Duke Ferdinando III ruled as a monarch with absolute power although in Tuscany the idea of Illuminism was already starting to spread and so was the idea of regional independence – an idea introduced to the upper classes during the French rule.

The most important architecture to come out of this period is the Parish of San Leopoldo and the Foundry in Follonica.

In terms of sculpture, the most important monument to mention is the monument to Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo in the centre of Piazza Martiri in Pisa by Luigi Pampaloni.

In Piazza della Repubblica in Livorno there is a statue of Leopoldo II by Emilio Santarelli and the statue of Ferdinando III by Francesco Pozzi. Of all the sculptors of this period, Lorenzo Bartolini stands out for his use of more naturalistic and romantic elements, where as the Siena-born artist Giovanni Dupré distinguished himself in his creation of monuments and paintings inspired by classicism and realism.
The period between the end of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century saw a style of painting emerge which came from outside the region. The most noteworthy of the Romantic painters were Giuseppe Bezzuoli and Stefano Ussi.