By Alexis Culotta

A model of maniera: 17 November marks the birthday of Agnolo di Cosimo, better known as Bronzino, in 1503. Born in Florence, Bronzino’s early formative study took place in the studio of Pontormo, whose style Bronzino readily absorbed. At the same time, however, Bronzino charted his own artistic course that consciously negotiated between artifice and reality. This element is perhaps best expressed in his allegorical works, such as An Allegory of Venus and Cupid, but it also played into his portraits and religious compositions. 

Bronzino became an acclaimed portraitist, completing a number of commissions for Cosimo de’ Medici, including portraits of Eleonora da Toledo, his wife, and his children. Bronzino continued to paint well into the 1560s until shortly before his death in 1572

An Allegory with Venus and Cupid, oil on panel, 1540-45,National Gallery, London. 

Eleonora of Toledo and her Son Giovanni, oil on panel, 1545. Galleria deli Uffizi, Florence. 

Resurrection, oil on canvas, 1552. Santissima Annunziata, Florence. 

Martyrdom of St. Lawrence, fresco, 1569. San Lorenzo, Florence. 

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