In the Loggia Dei Lanzi stands the impressive marble sculpture of a scene from Greek mythology – Hercules defeating the centaur Nessus. The sculpture is the work of the 16th century Mannerist sculptor Jean Boulogne Giambologna. Sculpted in 1599 from a single block of marble, the sculpture stands upon a marble plinth and depicts Hercules standing over the centaur. In Greek mythology, Nessus was killed by a poisoned arrow shot by Hercules and not defeated in the manner depicted.
Under the Loggia Dei Lanzi, flanking the steps, stands the sculpted Lion Medici. The sculpture is the work of the 16th century Italian sculptor Flaminio Vacca.
The marble sculpture was originally under the loggia of the Villa Medici in Rome and was moved to Florence in 1789 following the sale of the Villa by the Grand Duke of Tuscany.
The sculpture of Perseus holding the head of Medusa is the first statue to be placed under the Loggia Dei Lanzi in 1554.
The sculpture is the work of the Italian sculptor Benvenuto Cellini and depicts one of the first Greek Heroes in Greek mythology – Perseus. The sculpture shows Perseus holding the head of Medusa who was a gorgon monster. The sculpture was commissioned by the 16th century Duke of Florence, Cosimo I de Medici, and represents the eternal split with republican institutions.
The four bronze statuettes that decorate the marble pedestal are Danae, Jupiter, Mercurius and Minerva. Danae was the mother of Perseus in Greek mythology, Jupiter was the King of Gods, Mercurius (or Mercury) was a Roman God and Minerva was the Roman Goddess of Wisdom.