The Union of Florence and Fiesole, ca. 1565
Pen and brown ink, brownish gray wash, over faint traces of black chalk
Purchased as the gift of Dr. Ruth Nanda Anshen, the Cremer Foundation, Gordon Getty, and Mrs. Carl Stern
Flemish by birth, Sustris was one of Vasari’s assistants in the decoration of Palazzo Vecchio from 1563 to 1567. This sheet is preparatory for one of three tapestries depicting events from the early history of Florence designed by Sustris for the apartments of Cosimo’s wife, Eleonora, in Palazzo Vecchio. This scene portrays the victory of Florence over Fiesole in 1010 and their ensuing union: the accord is being signed at left, beneath a standard with the Florentine lily and under the vigilant eye of a military commander in classical armor. The related tapestry is on deposit at Palazzo Pitti.