Bronzino

                  Bronzino is an Italian Mannerist painter from the 16th century. His “real name was Agnolo di Cosimo” (Artble), but he typically goes by Bronzino or II Bronzino. At a young age of eleven, he became a student to “Rafaelino del Garbo, a Florentine Renaissance painter” (Artble). But at the age of twelve, his art education took a drastic turn. He took an apprenticeship to Jacopo Carucci, who is also known as Pontormo. This is significant since Pontormo had a big influence over Bronzino’s painting and artistic career. Bronzino’s painting style was very similar to Pontormo because of how influential Pontormo was to Bronzino. It is only later on, where Bronzino started to develop his own painting style. Bronzino was born in Monticello, which was a town located outside of Florence. He had lived most of his life in Florence and did not travel much outside of Florence. In one case, Bronzino had to leave Florence because there was an outbreak of the plague. Therefore he and Pontormo traveled to Certosa di Galuzzo in order to work “on a series of Frescoes together” (Virtual Uffizi). Bronzino’s artistic style is influenced by Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, and Andrea del Sarto because Pontormo was also influenced by those artist. Bronzino “was court painter to Duke Cosimo I de Medici for most of his career” (Pioch). He was the “official portraitist for the” (Artble) Medici family and he was mainly known for painting many portraits for this family. The painting style of the Medici’s portraits had become Bronzino’s most influential “contribution to Mannerism” (Artble).

Three major works that Bronzino had painted would be Cosimo I de’ Medici in Armour, Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de’ Medici, and Deposition.

                          

Title: Cosimo I de' Medici in Armour                           Medium: Oil on wood, 74 x 58                           Date: 1545                           Location: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Title: Cosimo I de’ Medici in Armour
Medium: Oil on wood, 74 x 58
Date: 1545
Location: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

                          Title: Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de' Medici                           Medium: Oil on wood, 115 x 96 cm                           Date: 1544-1545                           Location: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Title: Eleanor of Toledo with her son Giovanni de’ Medici
Medium: Oil on wood, 115 x 96 cm
Date: 1544-1545
Location: Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

 

                       

   Title: Deposition                           Medium: Oil on wood, 350 x 235 cm                           Date: 1565                           Location: Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence

Title: Deposition
Medium: Oil on wood, 350 x 235 cm
Date: 1565
Location: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence

Visual Description:

One work that I will be focusing on will be Bronzino’s Cosimo I de’ Medici in Armour. This painting is a portrait of Cosimo I de’ Medici, who was the duke of Florence and the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was a very important and powerful person since he was the ruler of Tuscany. This portrait depicts Cosimo not looking directly at the audience. He is looking towards the left side of the portrait, as if he is staring far off into the distance. Bronzino painted Cosimo wearing full body armor, with his right hand effortlessly resting on his helmet. The illustration of Cosimo’s reflected armor just shows how skillful Bronzino’s painting abilities were. Bronzino wanted to convey how authoritative and confident Cosimo is because Cosimo was Bronzino’s patron. The dark curtain-like background was painted to emphasis and to put all of our attention on Cosimo.

Formal Analysis:

Within Cosimo I de’ Medici in Armour, Bronzino’s artistic style is distinctive in his painting of Cosimo. His Manneristic painting approach is illustrated in the portrait of Cosimo. The peaceful sophistication that is portrayed in Cosimo’s expression helps communicate this unique style that many of his portraits have in common. Bronzino’s attention to detail is very impressive because the way the light plays with the reflective surface of Cosimo’s armor seems real. The intricate detailing of the armor demonstrates the painstaking attention that Bronzino paid to his brush strokes. Another unique characteristic that Bronzino expresses, is his way of portraying Cosimo to be emotionally isolated from the audience. This is a trait that can be seen through many of Bronzino’s paintings.

The composition of Cosimo’s portrait shows Cosimo to be directly in the middle of the painting and he is the one taking up most of the space in this portrait. This is important because this reveals the significance of Cosimo when he is centered and taking up a majority of the space in the portrait. Cosimo’s head is tilted towards the left and the placement of his hand is casually resting on his helmet. This demonstrates the emotional detachment that he has with the audience since Cosimo seems to be in his own world and not paying much attention to what is happening around him. The colors that Bronzino uses are very muted and dark colors. His use of colors makes us want to focus more on Cosimo because the lighter parts of the painting is Cosimo himself, while everything around him is dark colors. The use of lines can be seen in the detailing of this artwork. Line can be seen everywhere, from the background of the curtains to the intricate details of the armor. There is also the line that Cosimo’s gaze makes. This unseen line directs our attention to our left and makes us wonder what he is looking at. Bronzino’s use of texture is very meticulous because of how intricate his attention to detail is. The texture of the armor that Cosimo is wearing almost seems realistic because of the reflective surface and the way the light shines on the armor. Scale is used to show how significant Cosimo is since he is taking up almost the whole portrait. The use of proportion shows Cosimo in a realistic nature, seeing as everything is proportionate to one another. Everything in this portrait seems balanced with how symmetrical Cosimo is and the way the colors go with one another. The only contrast in this painting is the reflection and the skin color of Cosimo. They both contrast with the dark colors and stand out more in order to have our attention focused on Cosimo. The rhythm of this painting makes our eyes focused on Cosimo because of how Bronzino made him stand out in this portrait. Therefore, the formal elements that Bronzino employs in this painting helps communicate his fine attention to detail and the emotional detachment in his portraits that he is well known for.

Stylistic Analysis:

This work that Bronzino painted can be characterized as Italian Renaissance because a lot of Bronzino’s works were from the 16th century and his painting styles is similar to the many realistic paintings from the Renaissance. The Renaissance started around the 14th century and lasted up until the 16th century. So many of Bronzino’s artworks are classified to be from the Renaissance period. His work is strictly Florentine though, since he had lived his whole life in Florence. Bronzino does have a Manneristic approach to his art work because many artist had started to deviate from High Renaissance paintings and began to go towards Mannerism. Even though Bronzino’s artwork are from the Italian Renaissance, his paintings are Manneristic in nature. His fine attention to detail, intricate textures, and the emotional detachment of the patrons in his portraits all help to distinguish Bronzino from many other artists during the Renaissance.

Works Cited

“Agnolo Bronzino.” Artble: The Home of Passionate Art Lovers. N.p., 2013. Web. 16 Aug.          2013. < http://www.artble.com/artists/agnolo_bronzino>

“Agnolo Bronzino Biography.” Artble: The Home of Passionate Art Lovers. N.p., 2013. Web. 16             Aug. 2013. < http://www.artble.com/artists/agnolo_bronzino/more_information/biography>

“Biography of Agnolo Bronzino by Uffizi Gallery Florence.” Agnolo Bronzino Biography •          Uffizi Gallery Florence. Web & Seo Agency, 2012. Web. 16 Aug. 2013.             <http://www.virtualuffizi.com/biography/Agnolo-Bronzino.htm&gt;.

Pioch, Nicolas. “Bronzino, Agnolo.” WebMuseum:. N.p., 15 Oct. 2002. Web. 16 Aug. 2013.         <http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/bronzino/&gt;.

 

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