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Agnolo Bronzino | Court Painter to Cosimo I de' Medici

Eleonora di Toledo by Agnolo Bronzino

Eleonora di Toledo and Her Son,
c. 1545, Oil on panel, 115 x 96 cm
Uffizi, Florence, Italy

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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.

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

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