Cosimo de' Medici

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Angelo Bronzino 036.jpg
BronzinoCosimo de' Medici, 1545

Bronzino painted many portraits for the Medici family and worked as the court painter. The Medici family was rich and powerful in Florence, Italy at the time. Bronzino painted portraits with fine detail and extravagant clothing. The majority of his works are portraits of the Medici family and other members of the rich, ruling class. Bronzino only has a handful of mythological or religious paintings to his name.

This portrait is of Cosimo de' Medici, the head of the family.  Medici wanted a painting that showed not only his physical strength, but the strength of his rule. The light reflecting in the armor gives the metal a sense of reality and hardiness. The portrait is of Cosimo de' Medici as a young man to enhance the assertive image. The Medici family had just regained power in Florence after they had gotten rid of a Spanish garrison who had taken control. This painting was a message to anyone who doubted the power and fortitude of the Medici family.

Bronzino's figures are described as elegant yet stagnant.  No matter the content, the people in Bronzino's paintings show little emotion.  Instead, he focused most of his energy on the details of the clothing and other objects to bring them to life.  Bronzino's static style of painting was admired by the elite, and so they gave him many commissions.  His works influenced European portrait painting for many years.

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