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Giovanni de' Medici
Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

Giovanni de' Medici c. 1550–1551

Agnolo Bronzino (1503–1572)

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

(b Monticelli, nr. Florence, 17 Nov. 1503; d Florence, 23 Nov. 1572). Florentine Mannerist painter, the pupil of Pontormo, who virtually adopted him as a son and introduced his portrait as a child into his painting Joseph in Egypt (c.1518, NG, London). The origin of Bronzino's nickname (literally ‘bronze-coloured’) is uncertain, but possibly derived from his having a dark complexion. He was deeply attached to Pontormo and his style was heavily indebted to his master (in paintings of c.1530 it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the hand of one from the other). However, Bronzino lacked the emotional intensity that was such a characteristic of Pontormo's work, his colouring and brushwork were typically harder, and he excelled as a portraitist rather than a religious painter.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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