By Anne Leader
Painter Alessandro Allori was born on 31 May 1535 in Florence. Adopted by Agnolo Bronzino at age five, Allori developed into one of the leading second-generation Mannerists, working in Florence for the Medici court and other important patrons on a variety of projects including portraits, narrative frescoes, temporary decorations, and altarpieces.
One of his best-known works is the Pearl Fishers, painted around 1571 as part of the decorative program for the studiolo of Duke Francesco de’Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio. Working under Vasari, Allori created an image emblematic of late Florentine Mannerism with its complexly posed figures that show Allori’s appreciation of Michelangelo. Allori also did a number of important works for members of the Salviati family, including mythological scenes for Alamanno Salviati’s villa near Florence, scenes from the Odyssey for Jacopo Salviati’s Florentine palazzo, and works for the Chapel of St. Antoninus, which also served as the Salviati family chapel, at San Marco in Florence. He died 22 September in 1607 in Florence.
Reference: Jack J. Spalding IV and Miles L. Chappell. “Allori.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Further reading: Pontormo, Bronzino, and Allori: A Geneaology of Florentine Artby Elizabeth Pilliod (2001).
Pearl Fishers, 1570-72. Oil on slate. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio.
Self-Portrait, ca. 1555. Oil on panel. Florence: Galleria degli Uffizi.
The Abduction of Proserpine, 1570. Oil on panel. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 73.PB.73
Women on a Terrace, 1589. Fresco. Florence: Loggetta, Palazzo Pitti.