He lived all his life in Florence, and from his late 30s was kept busy as the court painter of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. He was mainly a portraitist but also painted many religious subjects, and a few allegorical subjects, which include what is probably his best known work, Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, c. 1544–45, now in London (Above). Many portraits of the Medicis exist in several versions with varying degrees of participation by Bronzino himself, as Cosimo was a pioneer of the copied portrait sent as a diplomatic gift.
He trained with Pontormo, the leading Florentine painter of the first generation of Mannerism, and his style was greatly influenced by him, but his elegant and somewhat elongated figures always appear calm and somewhat reserved, lacking the agitation and emotion of those by his teacher. They have often been found cold and artificial, and his reputation suffered from the general critical disfavour attached to Mannerism in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Recent decades have been more appreciative of his art. More on Agnolo di Cosimo
Tommaso was probably active throughout much of his career in the workshop of Lorenzo di Credi. His artistic development unfolded during one of the most innovative and exciting periods in the history of Florentine painting - the dawn of the High Renaissance - and reflects not only the influence of Lorenzo di Credi, but also that of a number of other great Quattrocento masters, including Filippino Lippi, Piero di Cosimo, Verrocchio, and Leonardo da Vinci.
At times known as the 'Master of the Santo Spirito Sacra Conversazione', Tommaso's work also betrays the influence of Piero di Cosimo. A great number of his works are tondi and were in all likelihood produced for domestic settings. More on TOMMASO DI CREDI
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