Born in Carrara in 1577, Pietro Tacca entered the Florentine workshop of Giambologna, then probably the greatest sculptor in all Europe and court sculptor to the Medici Grand dukes, in 1592. There he became one of the closest collaborators of the great master together with Antonio Susini (1572–1624) who left to established his own workshop in 1600.
After Susini’s departure, he became the obvious choice to continue Giambologna’s workshop after his death in 1608. Pietro also inherited the role of court sculptor and had a fundamental role in further perfecting the casting technique developed by Giambologna. Tacca’s mastery in casting bronzes was evident in the numerous groups of Giambologna’s models commissioned from him to be sent as diplomatic gifts from the Medici court and still surviving.
He also created his own original models, characterised by a Mannerist style and by the taste for naturalistic details. Among them are the famous fountain of the Porcellino in Florence and the figures of Slaves at the base of the monument to Ferdinando I in Livorno.
His greatest accomplishment, particularly from a technical point of view, was probably the Equestrian statue of Philip IV of Spain in Madrid, executed between 1634 and 1640.