The History of Art And The Curious Lives of Famous Painters

100 Greatest Painters  Artists Alphabetically  Artists by Country  Artists by Century   Artists by Movement

Agnolo Bronzino

1503 - 1571

Florentine Mannerist Painter

Influences:  Jacopo da Pontormo, Titian and Leonardo da Vinci

Education - Studied under Jacopo da Pontormo

Cause of Death -  Old Age

Angelo Bronzino art.

Agnolo Bronzino Biography

Bronzino, Pontormo’s close follower, had none of his master’s talent as a decorator, but happily much of his power as a portrait-painter. Would he had never attempted anything else! The nude without material or spiritual significance, with no beauty of design or colour, the nude simply because it was the nude, was Bronzino’s ideal in composition, and the result is his “Christ in Limbo.” But as a portrait-painter, he took up the note struck by his master and continued it, leaving behind him a series of portraits which not only had their effect in determining the character of Court painting all over Europe, but, what is more to the point, a series of portraits most of which are works of art. As painting, it is true, they are hard, and often timid; but their air of distinction, their interpretive qualities, have not often been surpassed. In his Uffizi portraits of Eleanora di Toledo, of Prince Ferdinand, of the Princess Maria, we seem to see the prototypes of Velasquez’ queens, princes, and princesses: and for a fine example of dignified rendering of character, look in the Sala Baroccio of the Uffizi at a bust of a young woman with a missal in her hand.

Description of the Mannerist Style

Originating in Italy, the term mannerism comes from the Italian 'maniera', which translates to 'style'. Mannerism is an artistic style that was born in the early 1500s.  The style originated in Italy and later widened to all of Europe. Mannerists paintings are characterized by elongated limbs, thin aquiline noses,  long tapering fingers, undersized heads,  garish colors and elaborately mannered, contorted postures. The Mannerists in Italy worked on commission for a restricted audience of Vatican powerbrokers and royalty. The subjects they were allowed to portray was controlled and restricted to Biblical themes, portraits and occasionally mythology.  El Greco spurned the sumptuous commissions in favor of artistic freedom went off to Spain and to pursue his own magnificent vision.

Masters of The Mannerist Style

Paolo Veronese

Jacopo da Pontormo

El Greco

Giorgio Vasari

Giovanni Rosso Fiorentino

Agnolo Bronzino



The Meaning of Sacred Symbols in Paintings. Most prominently featured  symbols and their meaning:

The  Serpent

Good Shepherd


Adam and Eve




Virgin Mary


The Anchor

The Apostles



The Cross

Architectural Elements



The Saints









Household Object

Clothing and Accessories


Important Words, People, Phrases, Characteristics related to the Italian Renaissance Art Movement - rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning, Medici Academy, publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspectiveHeliocentric Theory, Petrarch, Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier, liberal arts, civic humanism, Verrocchio, secularism, Leonardo Bruni, Lorenzo Valla, Neo-Platonism, nominalism, Giotto, Masaccio, Botticelli, Quattrocento, vanishing point, Savonarola, oligarchy spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscript idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  iconoclast,  Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology,  realistic use of colours and light Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parablesThe Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism. Paradise


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