16 Facts About Agnolo Bronzino


Agnolo di Cosimo, usually known as Bronzino or Agnolo Bronzino, was an Italian Mannerist painter from Florence.

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Agnolo Bronzino lived all his life in Florence, and from his late 30s was kept busy as the court painter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

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Many portraits of the Medicis exist in several versions with varying degrees of participation by Bronzino himself, as Cosimo was a pioneer of the copied portrait sent as a diplomatic gift.

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Agnolo Bronzino trained with Pontormo, the leading Florentine painter of the first generation of Mannerism, and his style was greatly influenced by him, but his elegant and somewhat elongated figures always appear calm and somewhat reserved, lacking the agitation and emotion of those by his teacher.

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Agnolo Bronzino was born in Florence, the son of a butcher.

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Pontormo exercised a dominant influence on Agnolo Bronzino's developing style, and the two were to remain collaborators for most of the former's life.

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An early example of Agnolo Bronzino's hand has often been detected in the Capponi Chapel in the church of Santa Felicita by the Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

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Agnolo Bronzino apparently was assigned the frescoes on the dome, which have not survived.

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Agnolo Bronzino's style is so similar to his master's that scholars still debate the specific attributions.

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Towards the end of his life, Agnolo Bronzino took a prominent part in the activities of the Florentine Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, of which he was a founding member in 1563.

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Painter Alessandro Allori was his favourite pupil, and Agnolo Bronzino was living in the Allori family house at the time of his death in Florence in 1572.

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Agnolo Bronzino first received Medici patronage in 1539, when he was one of the many artists chosen to execute the elaborate decorations for the wedding of Cosimo I de' Medici to Eleonora di Toledo, daughter of the Viceroy of Naples.

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Agnolo Bronzino's best known works comprise the aforementioned series of the duke and duchess, Cosimo and Eleonora, and figures of their court such as Bartolomeo Panciatichi and his wife Lucrezia.

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The elaborate gown has been rumored to be so beloved by the duchess that she was ultimately buried in it; when this myth was debunked, others suggested that perhaps the garment never existed at all and Agnolo Bronzino invented the entire thing, perhaps working only from a fabric swatch.

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Finally, in addition to being a painter, Agnolo Bronzino was a poet, and his most personal portraits are perhaps those of other literary figures such as that of his friend the poet Laura Battiferri.

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Many of Agnolo Bronzino's works are still in Florence but other examples can be found in the National Gallery, London, and elsewhere.

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