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Italian, Florentine: 'A Knight of S. Stefano'

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The sitter wears the cross of the military order of S. Stefano, founded in Pisa in 1561 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici. The letters and inkstand on the table, and the books and statue above, allude to his status and learned interests.

Independent life-size and full-length portraits are very rare in Tuscan 16th-century art. The painting has been attributed to Alessandro Allori, successor to Bronzino as painter to the Medici Court, but is closer in style to Girolamo Macchietti 1535-1592, who painted the Charity of Saint Nicholas also in the National Gallery.

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