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Possibly by Francesco Granacci, Portrait of a Man in Armour

Key facts
Full title Portrait of a Man in Armour
Artist Possibly by Francesco Granacci
Artist dates 1469/70 - 1543
Date made about 1510
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 70.5 × 51.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by wish of the late Sir Anthony Coningham Stirling, KCB, 1871
Inventory number NG895
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
Portrait of a Man in Armour
Possibly by Francesco Granacci

Au unidentified young man wearing plate armour stands before an open window that looks out onto the Piazza della Signoria in Florence. The Palazzo della Signoria, known as the Palazzo Vecchio, seat of the Florentine government, as well as the Loggia dei Lanzi, are depicted behind him. He appears about to withdraw his sword – perhaps to show his eagerness to defend the city. Depending on when the portrait was painted, he may be portrayed as defending the Florentine Republic, established in 1494, or the city’s long-time oligarchic rulers the Medici, who retook it In September 1512.

In the background is Michelangelo’s giant marble sculpture of David, unveiled on 8 September 1504 – a potent symbol of the Florentine Republic. The Loggia dei Lanzi appears in the picture very much as it does now, but the street between it and the Palazzo Vecchio has changed completely. This is now the location of the Uffizi galleries, housed in government offices begun by Giorgio Vasari in 1560.

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