Agnolo Bronzino | Court Painter to Cosimo I de' Medici
Florentine Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) painted in the mannerist style as the primary court artist of
Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, in the middle of the sixteenth century of the Italian
Renaissance. Bronzino was apprenticed to Jacopo Pontormo from whom he learned fresco painting. Under
Pontormo's mannerist influence Bronzino developed a style rich in color often
featuring acidic hues like icy-blue and raspberry-red.
Eleonora di Toledo and Her Son,
c. 1545, Oil on panel, 115 x 96 cm
Uffizi, Florence, Italy
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Bronzino was particularly interested in the female figure as evidenced by his religious and allegorical works rich with detail, symbolism and
erotic content. Bronzino's nudes are pale, elegant, and elongated, and the artist appears to be detached from his subject. Of particular note is
his portrait of Eleanora di Toledo, Cosimo's wife, whom Bronzino depicts sumptuously dressed with an aristocratic demeanor of arrogance that
typifies his work.
Brenda Harness, Art Historian