The Italian banker and art patron Bindo Altoviti died on 22 January 1557 in his native Rome. The Altoviti were a wealthy merchant-banking family from Florence, and Bindo inherited the Roman branch of the family bank in Rome when he was only sixteen. Upon the closing of Agostino Chigi’s bank in 1528, Bindo became the most important banker in Rome, serving the papacy and other important clients. Though Florentine by ancestry, Bindo was no friend to the Medici, and his Roman palace became the center of activity for anti-Medicean exiles living in the Eternal City.

Bindo was a great art collector. His palace near the Tiber housed an impressive group of antiquities taken from Hadrian’s Villa as well as modern works by Raphael, Michelangelo, Benvenuto Cellini, Giorgio Vasari, Francesco Salviati, Jacopo Sansovino, and others.

References: David Alan Brown and Jane Van Nimmen, Raphael & the Beautiful Banker, New Haven and London, 2005; Clare Robertson. “Altoviti, Bindo.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. .

Raphael, Bindo Altoviti, c. 1515, oil on panel, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1943.4.33

Altoviti Family Coat of Arms

Raphael, Madonna dell’Impannata, 1513-14, oil on panel. Florence: Palazzo Pitti.

Benvenuto Cellini, Portrait of Bindo Altoviti, ca. 1550, bronze. Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, S26e21

Giorgio Vasari, Immaculate Conception, 1541, tempera on panel. Florence: Uffizi [copy after altarpiece, also painted by Vasari, for Altoviti Chapel, SS. Annunziata, Florence]

Domenico Poggini, Portrait Medal of Bindo Altoviti with Fortezza on reverse

Jacopino del Conte, Portrait of Bindo Altoviti, 1550s, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Purchase, Edward Cleghorn Memorial Fund, 2000.14

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