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Portrait of a Woman

Portrait of a Woman

c. 1550

Agnolo Bronzino

(Italian, 1503-1572)

Oil on wood

Framed: 81.5 x 68.5 x 5 cm (32 1/16 x 26 15/16 x 1 15/16 in.); Unframed: 60 x 48.8 cm (23 5/8 x 19 3/16 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1972.121

Description

Bronzino was court painter to Cosimo I de’Medici, the Duke of Florence. Though the woman cannot be definitively identified, she was likely affiliated with the Medici court. As in most of the portraits in this gallery, Bronzino emphasizes wealth, status, and courtly refinement above personality or individualized expression. The plain background further accentuates the work’s monumentality and grandeur, despite its small scale. The hand placed against the chest with elegantly spread fingers extends back to an ancient Greek pose of modesty, here emphasizing the proper comportment of a woman of high status. The sitter wears a linen partlet (collar) delicately embroidered in matt stitch, part of which is, like her cuffs, trimmed in fine lace.

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