Mini Biography: Agnolo di Cosimo/Agnolo Bronzino

Birth: Nov. 17, 1503
Death: Nov. 23, 1572
Movement: Mannerism
Agnolo Bronzino was born, trained, educated, lived, worked, and died in Florence, Italy. His actual name was Agnolo di Cosimo but he is often referred to as Agnolo Bronzino or sometimes just Bronzino – a nickname likely given to him because of his dark complexion. Bronzino was taught by both a prominent Renaissance painter as well as an influential Mannerist painter in his early years. He was involved in making the decorations for the wedding of Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1539 and became the court painter for Cosimo, the Duke of Florence, soon after. He painted many highly detailed portraits of the Duke and Duchess as well as several members of their court. One particular portrait of an elaborately dressed Duchess Eleonora (Eleonora di Toledo col figlio Giovanni, 1544–45) with her son Giovanni was reproduced many times by Bronzino and members of his workshop. Her dress, pictured in great detail in the portrait, has been the subject of rumors and academic debate. Bronzino also painted religious works and allegories. He was very involved with the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, an art academy started in 1563 by Cosimo I de’ Medici, at the time of his death.
Some of Bronzino’s notable artwork includes: Portrait of a Young Man (c. 1530), An Allegory with Venus and Cupid (1545), and Descent of Christ into Limbo pictured below and altered for the header image.


Bronzino, Agnolo. Descent of Christ Into Limbo (1552), Basilica of Santa Croce, Florence, Italy.


To see more work by Bronzino or to learn more about him visit:
The National Gallery
Virtual Uffizi Gallery