Agnolo Bronzino

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Agnolo Bronzino
Il Bronzino, original name Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori, Agnolo also spelled Agniolo (born Nov. 17, 1503, Florence—died Nov. 23, 1572, Florence [Italy]), Florentine painter whose polished and elegant portraits are outstanding examples of the Mannerist style. Classic embodiments of the courtly ideal under the Medici dukes of the mid-16th century, they influenced European court portraiture for the next century.

Bronzino studied separately under the Florentine painters Raffaellino del Garbo and Jacopo da Pontormo before beginning his career as an artist. His early work was greatly influenced by Pontormo. He adapted his master’s eccentric, expressive style (early Mannerism) to create a brilliant, precisely linear style of his own that was also partly influenced by Michelangelo and the late works of Raphael. Between 1523 and 1528, Bronzino and Pontormo collaborated on interior decorations for two Florentine churches. In 1530 Bronzino moved to Pesaro, where he briefly painted frescoes in the Villa Imperiale before returning to Florence in 1532.

From 1539 until his death in 1572, Bronzino served as the court painter to Cosimo I, duke of Florence. He was engaged in a variety of commissions, including decorations for the wedding of the duke to Eleanora of Toledo (1539) as well as a Florentine chapel in her honour (1540–45). Frescoes he painted there include Moses Striking the Rock, The Gathering of Manna, and St. John the Evangelist. He also created mythological paintings such as The Allegory of Luxury (also called Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time; c. 1544–45), which reveals his love of complex symbolism, contrived poses, and clear, brilliant colours. By the 1540s he was regarded as one of the premier portrait painters in Florence. His Eleanor of Toledo with Her Son Giovanni and Portrait of a Young Girl with a Prayer Book (1545) are preeminent examples of Mannerist portraiture: emotionally inexpressive, reserved, and noncommittal yet arrestingly elegant and decorative. Bronzino’s great technical proficiency and his stylized rounding of sinuous anatomical forms are also notable. His many other portraits of the royal family include Cosimo in Armour (1543), Giovanni with a Goldfinch (1545), and Cosimo at Age Thirty-Six (1555–56).

Bronzino’s last Mannerist painting was Noli me tangere (1561). As Italian artists abandoned Mannerism in the 1560s, Bronzino attempted to adjust his characteristic style by adding clarity to his work. This can be seen in his final paintings, including a Pietà (c. 1569) and Raising of the Daughter of Jairus (c. 1571–72), an altarpiece.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Adoration of the Shepherds
Oil on wood, 65 x 47 cm
Szйpmыvйszeti Mъzeum, Budapest

St John the Baptist
Oil on wood, 120 x 92 cm
Galleria Borghese, Rome

Oil on wood, 350 x 235 cm
Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

c. 1530
Oil on panel, 105 x 100 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Holy Family
Oil on wood, 124,5 x 99,5 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Holy Family
c. 1540
Oil on wood, 117 x 93 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Holy Family
Tempera. on wood, 117 x 99 cm
Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Noli me tangere
Oil on canvas, 291 x 195 cm
Musйe du Louvre, Paris

Oil on canvas
Santissima Annunziata, Florence

St Sebastian
Oil on panel, 87 x 77 cm
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid


Portrait of Ludovico Capponi
Oil on wood, 117 x 86 cm
Frick Collection, New York

Portrait of Stefano IV Colonna
Oil on panel, 125 x 95 cm
Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, Rome

Laura Battiferri
Oil on canvas, 83 x 60 cm
Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Ugolino Martelli
c. 1535
Oil on wood, 102 x 85 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Lorenzo Lenzi
c. 1532
Oil on panel, 90 x 71 cm
Castello Sforzesco, Milan

Portrait of Bartolomeo Panciatichi
c. 1540
Oil on wood, 104 x 84 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi
c. 1540
Oil on wood, 102 x 85 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of a Lady in Green
Oil on panel, 77 x 66 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

Portrait of a Lady
c. 1550
Oil on wood, 109 x 85 cm
Galleria Sabauda, Turin

Portrait of a Young Girl
Oil on wood, 58 x 46,5 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Portrait of a Young Man
c. 1540
Oil on wood, 96 x 75 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Portrait of Pope Clement VII
Oil on wood, 60 x 39 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Pope Leo X
Oil on tin, 15 x 12 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence