The famous Italian artist nicknamed Bronzino, a recognized master of mannerism, was born in 1503 in Florence, the capital of Tuscany. He came from an educated intelligentsia, had great knowledge of literature, read a lot, was familiar with the works of Dante and Petrarch, who were his contemporaries and tribesmen. Bronzino was a member of the Florentine Academy, it is also known that he successfully wrote poetry.
As a student of Raffaelino del Garbo and Jacopo Pontormo, the artist adopted their style, masterfully rethought and improved it. As a result, Bronzino became one of the most prominent representatives of the current called mannerism. Pictures in this style are often distinguished by the bizarre composition, the complexity of the work, the elaborate lines and the richness of the color scheme. Being an early stage of Baroque, mannerism carries some of its features, which are clearly reflected in the ceremonial portraits and multi-figure compositions on antique and religious themes.
The artist created murals, paintings for altars and decor of churches and monasteries, paintings on mythological, allegorical, religious themes. But the best that Bronzino created and what became the subject of his pride and glory are portraits. They are distinguished by the particular thoughtfulness of the composition, the refinement of the drawing, the richness of the cold color scheme and the abundance of precisely painted details.
At 27, he was invited to serve as a court artist at the Duke of Urbino. He was one of the craftsmen engaged in large-scale work at the Villa Imperial in the city of Pesaro, located in the historical province of Marche, in eastern Italy. Here for Guidobaldo II he painted the painting “The Contest of Apollo and Marsyas”, as well as a portrait of the duke himself. As a result, it was these two canvases that became the basis for the heyday of Bronzino's career, creating him the glory of a skilled and talented painter.
At the age of 30, the artist leaves Urbino and becomes the Medici court painter in Florence. Here concentrated the entire intellectual and artistic elite of the then Tuscany. Four years later, he becomes a member of the Guild of St. Luke (the evangelist Luke is considered an artist and patron of art, he was named after the guild of masters in medieval and Renaissance Europe), and also enters the Florence Academy.
The master went for a short time to Rome and Pisa. During his travels, he was able to get acquainted with the works of the great masters of the Renaissance, in particular, with Michelangelo, taking on many new things from his works. The rest of his life was completely devoted to his native Florence.
Bronzino worked a lot with frescoes, he owns a number of famous murals, for example, the chapel of Eleanor of Toledo in the Palazzo Vecchio. During his life, he created many theatrical and festive decorations, as well as cardboards for creating trellises. Most of these works, due to the peculiarities of the materials, have not reached our days, but works by other well-known masters of Europe were created according to tapestry sketches.
One of Bronzino's allegorical paintings, “The Allegory of Love”, was donated to King Francis I of France. This indicates how much the Florentine Duke Cosimo Medici spoiled the talented artists. In those same years, Bronzino painted many other allegorical paintings commissioned by the Duke, as well as numerous altar images for the churches of the city.
His own nephew Alessandro also became an artist, a representative of the school of mannerism. He was strongly influenced by the work of Michelangelo, his religious and mythological canvases are a bit harsh in form and color, but the portraits, like those of his uncle, are soft and picturesque. Interestingly, his nephew often called himself the nickname of his uncle, but did not reach such a level of fame and fame as Bronzino himself. In the portraits of Agnolo's brush, one can feel the beating of life and the soul of the portrayed, with all the restraint and some coldness of the composition.
The artist died in 1563 and was modestly buried under a stone with the wonderful epitaph “The one who lived like Bronzino does not die”.