C. Avery, Giambologna – The Complete Sculpture, Oxford, 1987, no. 17, p. 25.
K. Lankheit, Die Modellsammlung der Porzellanmanufaktur Doccia, Bruckmann, Munich, 1982.
Further information:Hard-paste porcelain group depicting a naked woman, Virtue (Florence) kneeling triumphantly on the back of a bound, bearded man, Vice (Pisa). Iron inclusions in the paste of the porcelain and typical firing cracks in the base, with contemporary repair in gesso done at the factory after the firing.
In 1706 Soldani wrote to Prince Johann Adam von Liechtenstein in Vienna stating that he had completed a series of twelve bronzes mostly after the antique and famous statues of Florence. Among them was a small version of the allegorical marble group representing Florence Triumphant over Pisa, commissioned in 1565 by Francesco de'Medici from Giambologna for the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, and now in the Bargello. The personification of Florence, or an allegory of Virtue, overcomes a man cowering on the ground, and represents either Vice or the city of Pisa, depending on the interpretation. The triumph is expressed by a gesture of physical dominance. Although Soldani remained faithful to Giambologna's model, the bronze was produced on a large scale in several slightly different models and is known by various titles: Virtue Triumphant over Vice, Honour Overcoming Falsehood and Beauty Chaining Strength.
The model is one of the subjects listed in the inventory taken by the Doccia porcelain factory, which purchased numerous moulds from Soldani's son and heir in 1744. As Charles Avery has suggested, several casts from this series are known, and Soldani's workshop must have produced a number of series of these bronzes notable for the way the composition spirals upward, hence the name of 'figura serpentinata'. The wax model for this figure by Soldani is illustrated, no. 233, in the Inventory of models still kept in the Doccia factory, published by Klaus Lankheit.