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Follower of Bronzino, Portrait of a Lady

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Lady
Artist Follower of Bronzino
Artist dates 1503 - 1572
Date made probably 1575-85
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 58.7 × 48.6 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by the Misses Cohen as part of the John Samuel Collection, 1906
Inventory number NG2085
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Portrait of a Lady
Follower of Bronzino

We do not know who this lady is. Her costume suggests that she is a Florentine noblewoman of the late 1570s and 1580s and it is likely that the portrait dates from that time.

The style of the portrait is similar to those of Bronzino (1503–1572), who was court artist to Cosimo I de’ Medici (1519–1574), Duke of Florence and later Grand Duke of Tuscany. It may be that this lady is an invention based on several portraits of Medici ladies by Bronzino. The portrait also resembles those by Bronzino’s pupil Alessandro Allori (1535–1607), who painted court portraits for Cosimo I’s son, Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici (1541–1587).

The lady was formerly believed to be Bianca Cappello (1548–1587), Francesco’s mistress and later his wife. However, other than in the opulence of her costume, she does not especially resemble her.

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