Bronzino, Il

Bronzino, Il ēl brōntsē´nō [key], 1503–72, Florentine painter, an important mannerist (see mannerism), whose real name was Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano. Bronzino was a pupil and adopted son of Jacopo da Pontormo. Continuing the tradition of his master, he specialized and excelled in portraiture. He depicted many elegant and celebrated men and women of the time; his portraits included Cosimo I de' Medici and his wife Eleanor of Toledo (both: Uffizi); Lodovico Capponi (Frick Coll., New York City); and Portrait of a Young Man (Metropolitan Mus.). In 1540 he became court painter to Cosimo I. Bronzino's sophisticated portraits are cold, unemotionally analytical and painted in a superbly controlled technique. The long, chilly faces and postures of his aristocratic subjects express an undisguised arrogance popular in the mannerist period. Bronzino's work had an influence on court portraiture throughout Europe and extended even to Elizabethan England. His Venus, Cupid, Folly, and Time (National Gall., London) conveys an eroticism beneath a moralizing allegory. Of his religious works, The Descent of Christ into Limbo (Uffizi) is the most famous.

See study by C. H. Smyth (1972).

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