The identity of this arrogant young man is unknown, but he must have belonged to Bronzino’s close circle of literary friends in Florence and probably holds a book of poetry. The artist was himself a poet, delighting as much in the beauty of language as he did in the witty and fanciful details of his paintings. Here, Bronzino employs the ancient Roman tradition of fantastical decorations known as grotesques in his rendering of heads on the table and chair, and the almost hidden, masklike face suggested in the folds of the youth’s breeches. While these monstrous faces contrast with the youth’s handsome looks, they may also imply that his carefully crafted appearance is similarly a kind of mask.
#5102. Portrait of a Young Man, Part 1
5102. Portrait of a Young Man, Part 1
2217. The Art of Dress: Portrait of a Young Man, Part 1
2231. The Art of Dress: Portrait of a Young Man, Part 2
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Fig. 1. Infrared reflectogram (overall)
Fig. 2. Infrared reflectogram (detail: face)
Fig. 3. Infrared reflectogram (detail: right hand and book)
Fig. 4. Infrared reflectogram (detail: left hand)
Fig. 5. Infrared reflectogram (detail: corbel)
Fig. 6. X-radiograph (overall)
Fig. 7. X-radiograph (detail: head)
Fig. 8. X-radiograph (detail: right hand and book)
Fig. 9. X-radiograph (detail: left hand)
Fig. 10. X-radiograph (detail: lower right)
Fig. 11. X-radiograph (detail: codpiece)
Fig. 12. X-radiograph (detail: table)
Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.
Fig. 13. Painting in frame: overall
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Fig. 14. Painting in frame: corner
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Fig. 15. Painting in frame: angled corner
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Fig. 16. Profile drawing of frame. W 5 3/4 in. 14.8 cm (T. Newbery)
Fig. 17. Back of panel, showing red wax seals
Fig. 18. Red wax seal on back of panel
Fig. 19. Red wax seals on back of panel
Fig. 20. Red wax seal on back of panel
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Title:Portrait of a Young Man
Artist:Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) (Italian, Monticelli 1503–1572 Florence)
Medium:Oil on wood
Dimensions:37 5/8 x 29 1/2 in. (95.6 x 74.9 cm)
Credit Line:H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
This arresting portrait of an unidentified young Florentine is dated by most scholars to the 1530s. During that decade Bronzino was often engaged in painting members of a close-knit circle of acquaintances with whom he shared literary interests, and this sitter—who so conspicuously holds open a book—may be from among that group. Vasari mentions the names of several of these sitters early in his biography of the artist and it has recently been suggested that this panel may portray Bonaccorso di Pietro Pinadori (born 1502), mentioned by the author alongside Ugolino Martelli and Lorenzo Lenzi, both of whose portraits have been identified. (An earlier hypothesis that the picture is a self-portrait has not been taken up in the literature.)
The elegant young man wears a black satin doublet, with fashionably slashed sleeves, over a white camicia with a ruffled collar, and with a brilliant blue belt. Both his hat and the ties supporting his codpiece are decorated with gold aglets, and he wears one ring. He stands between an elaborately decorated table and chair within an architectural setting meant to suggest a Florentine palace. Both pieces of furniture include grotesque masks; that of the remarkable table is stretched as if made of fabric rather than stone. As observed by Elizabeth Pilliod during a visit to the galleries in 1994, a third "mask" is suggested in an insistent pattern resembling a face within the drapery of the lower part of the costume. The meaning of these grotesque masks is debated; it may be that they are in some way analogous to poetic ideas of the time and refer to identity as a kind of mask. Bronzino was himself a poet. It is clear that they are meant to provide a contrast to the sitter's refined facial features and bearing.
Andrea Bayer 2010
The numerous and important changes made by the artist as he painted were documented in x-radiographs as early as 1930. These have been clarified, and Bronzino's artistic process further elucidated, through new x-radiography and infrared reflectography of 2009 revealing underdrawing (see figs. 1–12 above). Most conspicuously, the architectural setting was transformed: initially a straight molding ran at a diagonal behind the sitter (the underdrawing includes a corbel below that visible now at the left to coincide with this first idea for the setting). Two types of underdrawing have been revealed. The more unusual was done, probably with the butt end of a brush, directly into the panel's thick white imprimitura, or preparation layer. It was used vigorously to describe the draped grotesque mask at the left, outlining contours but also indicating shadows with diagonal hatching. Many of the artist's original compositional ideas are indicated in this type of drawing (these can be seen as well in the x-radiograph): they include the first position of the proper right hand and book, with the hand in stricter profile and the book shown with its spine facing the viewer and covers splayed; the placement of the proper left hand with the thumb tucked behind the waist; different contours of the sleeves, collar, and cuffs of the costume; and an elaboration in the area of the codpiece, into which an article of clothing—almost certainly gloves—was originally tucked. More traditional underdrawing in black chalk or charcoal and carbon-based ink or paint applied with a brush is found throughout the head and the hands. As seen in the x-radiograph as well, drawing of the head shows its initial shape to have been much narrower but with the features identically placed (dispelling the possibility that the final version is of a second sitter). The x-radiograph also indicates changes in the furniture at right that are not easily decipherable. Because of the extent of these changes, it has sometimes been speculated that the painting was begun at one time and then finished later—perhaps years later.
Charlotte Hale 2010
Lucien Bonaparte, Prince of Canino, Rome (by 1808–16; his sale, Stanley, London, May 14–16, 1816, no. 163, as "A Florentine Gentleman," by Sebastiano del Piombo); [Charles J. Nieuwenhuys, London, from 1816]; James Alexandre, comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier, Paris (by 1841–d. 1855; cat., 1841, no. 49; his estate sale, Paris, March 27ff., 1865, no. 114, as by Sebastiano del Piombo); baron Achille Seillière, Paris and Château de Mello (1865–d. 1873); Jeanne Marguérite Seillière, princesse de Sagan, later duchesse de Talleyrand-Périgord, Paris (from 1873); M. Bourdariat, Paris (until 1898; sold for Fr 140,000 to Durand-Ruel); [Durand-Ruel, Paris and New York, 1898; sold for $40,000 to Havemeyer]; Mr. and Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, New York (1898–his d. 1907); Mrs. H. O. (Louisine W.) Havemeyer, New York (1907–d. 1929)
Paris. Palais de la Présidence du Corps Législatif. "Ouvrages de peinture exposés au profit de la colonisation de l'Algérie par les Alsaciens-Lorrains," April 23–?, 1874, no. 19 (lent by the princesse de Sagan).
New York. M. Knoedler & Co. "Loan Exhibition of Masterpieces by Old and Modern Painters," April 6–24, 1915, no. 1 (as "Portrait of the Duke of Urbino," lent anonymously).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The H. O. Havemeyer Collection," March 10–November 2, 1930, no. 1 [2nd ed., 1958, no. 184, ill.].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Art Treasures of the Metropolitan," November 7, 1952–September 7, 1953, no. 108.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "Masterpieces of Painting in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 16–November 1, 1970, unnumbered cat. (p. 20).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 14, 1970–June 1, 1971, no. 214.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Splendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection," March 27–June 20, 1993, no. A45.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Drawings of Bronzino," January 20–April 18, 2010, no cat. number.
Florence. Palazzo Strozzi. "Bronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici," September 24, 2010–January 23, 2011, no. V.4 (as "Portrait of a Young Man with a Book").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570," June 26–October 11, 2021, no. 41.
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT.
Abate Guattani. Galleria del Senatore Luciano Bonaparte, Roma. 1808, vol. 1, p. 73, no. 40 [see Ref. Zeri and Gardner 1971], calls this picture a Portrait of a Young Duke of Urbino by Sebastiano del Piombo.
Choix de gravures à l'eau forte, d'après les peintures originales et les marbres de la galerie de Lucien Bonaparte. London, 1812, unpaginated, engraving marked stanza IV, no. 37, reproduces the engraving by Fontana as a duke of Urbino by Sebastiano del Piombo.
W[illiam]. Buchanan. Memoirs of Painting, with a Chronological History of the Importation of Pictures by the Great Masters into England since the French Revolution. London, 1824, vol. 2, pp. 270–71, no. 25. p. 289, no. 30, calls it a portrait of a Florentine gentleman by Sebastiano del Piombo.
J. J. Dubois. Description des tableaux faisant partie des collections de M. le comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier. Paris, 1841, p. 18, no. 49, retains the attribution to Sebastiano del Piombo from when the picture was in the collection of the Prince of Canino, but states that it is more likely by Andrea del Sarto; adds that the sitter is believed to be a duke of Urbino.
Emile Galichon. "La Galerie Pourtalès." Gazette des beaux-arts 18 (January 1865), pp. 10–11, ill. opp. p. 6 (engraving by Deveaux), attributes it to Bronzino.
Bernhard Berenson. The Florentine Painters of the Renaissance. 3rd ed. New York, 1909, p. 123, as "Youth in Black".
Hanns Schulze. Die Werke Angelo Bronzinos. Strasbourg, 1911, pp. 8, XXVI, pl. VIII, calls it a portrait of an unidentified young man by Bronzino in the Sagan collection, Paris, and dates it about 1535–40.
William Bode. "More Spurious Pictures Abroad Than in America." New York Times (December 31, 1911), p. SM4.
Mario Tinti. Bronzino. Florence, 1920, pl. 28, attributes it to Bronzino.
Hermann Voss. Die Malerei der Spätrenaissance in Rom und Florenz. Berlin, 1920, vol. 1, p. 230, attributes it to Bronzino.
Jean Alazard. Le portrait florentin de Botticelli à Bronzino. Paris, 1924, pp. 233–34, attributes it to Bronzino, dates it slightly later than the portrait of Ugolino Martelli, which he dates about 1535 or 1536, and calls it a young nobleman.
Arthur McComb. Agnolo Bronzino, His Life and Works. Cambridge, Mass., 1928, pp. 8, 73, pl. 9, calls it a portrait of an unidentified young man by Bronzino and dates it about 1535–40.
Georg Gronau. Letter to Bryson Burroughs. June 5, 1930, attributes it to Bronzino and considers it the portrait of a Florentine nobleman, not the Duke of Urbino.
Alan Burroughs. "Bronzino X-rayed." Creative Art 7 (September 1930), pp. 222–24, ill. (overall and x-ray details), discusses changes in the composition revealed by x-rays.
H. O. Havemeyer Collection: Catalogue of Paintings, Prints, Sculpture and Objects of Art. n.p., 1931, pp. 4–5, ill.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 115, lists it as a "Youth with hand on Book" by Bronzino.
Lionello Venturi. Italian Paintings in America. Vol. 3, Sixteenth to Eighteenth Century. New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 462.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 100.
Alan Burroughs. Art Criticism from a Laboratory. Boston, 1938, pp. 89–92, fig. 22.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 68–69, ill.
Luisa Becherucci. Manieristi toscani. Bergamo, 1944, p. 44, fig. 123, dates it to about the time of the portrait of Ugolino Martelli in the Berlin Museum, that is, about 1537–38.
Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (Summer 1946), ill. on cover (color detail).
Richard C. Jebb. "The Classical Renaissance." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (November 1946), ill. p. 76.
Millia Davenport. The Book of Costume. New York, 1948, vol. 2, p. 499, no. 1334, ill. (cropped).
A. Hyatt Mayor. "Change and Permanence in Men's Clothes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (May 1950), ill. p. 264.
Art Treasures of the Metropolitan: A Selection from the European and Asiatic Collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1952, p. 228, no. 108, colorpl. 108, says that this portrait may be the Duke of Urbino, possibly Guidobaldo II.
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 13.
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), ill. p. 20.
Craig Hugh Smyth. "Bronzino Studies." PhD diss., Princeton University, 1955, pp. 117–125, 127, 128, 222, 278, figs. 40, 42 (overall and detail), suggests that it may be a self-portrait, begun perhaps in 1530 and reworked about 1531–32.
Andrea Emiliani. Il Bronzino. Busto Arsizio, 1960, unpaginated, colorpl. 21, opp. pl. 72, does not consider it to depict Guidobaldo II, the Duke of Urbino, and dates it between 1535 and 1540.
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. New York, 1961, pp. 20, 111.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 43.
Kurt W. Forster. "Probleme um Pontormos Porträtmalerei (I)." Pantheon 22 (November–December 1964), p. 380, fig. 6, dates it about 1545.
Arthur Linksz. An Ophthalmologist Looks at Art and Artists. Malta, 1965, p. 11, fig. 7 [reprinted from "Proceedings of the American-Hungarian Medical Association," vol. 1, 1965].
Robert Rosenblum. Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. New York, 1967, p. 36, fig. 49, names Bronzino's portrait as a source of inspiration for Ingres's portraits of French aristocrats.
Calvin Tomkins. Merchants and Masterpieces: The Story of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 208 [rev., enl. ed., 1989].
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 201–2, ill. on cover (color) and p. 202, mention an engraving of this portrait by Piero Fontana published in 1812 bearing the title A Duke of Urbino by Sebastiano del Piombo [see Ref. Choix de gravures 1812]; call it however surely by Bronzino and does not resemble authenticated portraits of the Duke of Urbino; say it was certainly painted in Florence, possibly in the late 1530s and reflects the restoration of the aristocracy in Florence after the fall of the republic.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 36, 525, 607.
Edi Baccheschi. L'opera completa del Bronzino. Milan, 1973, p. 89, no. 25, ill. p. 89 and colorpl. XII.
David Robertson. Sir Charles Eastlake and the Victorian Art World. Princeton, 1978, p. 227, fig. 108.
Paul Barolsky. Infinite Jest: Wit and Humor in Italian Renaissance Art. Columbia, Mo., 1978, pp. 141–143, fig. 6-1, discusses the witty and ironic juxtapositioning of the serious, aloof sitter with the bizarre carved grotesque heads on the furniture; relates this irony to topics in contemporary literature.
Howard Hibbard. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1980, pp. 256–57, 266, fig. 478 (color).
Charles McCorquodale. Bronzino. New York, 1981, pp. 23, 25–27, colorpl. 16 and frontispiece (detail), agrees with Smyth that this painting is a self-portrait and compares the pose of the sitter with Pontormo's Portrait of a Halberdier (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles).
Janet Cox-Rearick. "Bronzino's 'Young Woman with her Little Boy'." Studies in the History of Art 12 (1982), pp. 67, 70, 78 nn. 2, 3, 5, 6, figs. 4–7 (overall, and x-rays, overall and details), calls it the most prominent example of a portrait by Bronzino altered during the course of execution; states that it was inspired by Pontormo's Halberdier (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles) and suggests that the source for the reworked hand was Pontormo's portrait of Niccolò Ardinghelli (also identified as Monsignor della Casa; National Gallery of Art, Washington; 1961.9.83); suggests that the painting was begun in the early 1530s, but worked over again at a later date, perhaps about 1540–45.
Frances Weitzenhoffer. The Havemeyers: Impressionism Comes to America. New York, 1986, pp. 176, 254.
Keith Christiansen. "Caravaggio and 'L'esempio davanti del naturale'." Art Bulletin 68 (September 1986), p. 426, fig. 7 (x-ray detail), observes that Bronzino has used a "blunt instrument, probably the butt of the brush, to sketch lightly into the damp preparation passages" of this portrait.
Luciano Berti. "L''Alabardiere' del Pontormo." Critica d'arte 55 (June–September 1990), p. 47, fig. 16, compares the painting to the Halberdier by Pontormo.
Alessandro Cecchi. "Il Bronzino, Benedetto Varchi e l'accademia fiorentina: ritratti di poeti, letterati e personaggi illustri della corte medicea." Antichità viva 30, nos. 1–2 (1991), p. 19, suggests that, although unidentified up to now, this sitter was probably one of Bronzino's literary friends.
Michel de Grèce. Portrait et séduction. [Paris], 1992, pp. 200–201, ill. in color (overall and detail).
Ann Tzeutschler Lurie. "Heemskerck's portrait of Machtelt Suijs at The Cleveland Museum of Art." Burlington Magazine 134 (November 1992), p. 704, compares the carved grotesque masks in this portrait with those on the chair in Bronzino's portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi (Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence).
Louisine W. Havemeyer. Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein. 3rd ed. [1st ed. 1930, repr. 1961]. New York, 1993, pp. 20, 111, 301, 310 n. 38, p. 321 n. 161.
Susan Alyson Stein inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 223.
Keith Christiansen inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 56–57, colorpl. 58.
Rebecca A. Rabinow inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, pp. 91, 95.
Gretchen Wold inSplendid Legacy: The Havemeyer Collection. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1993, p. 297, no. A45, ill.
Georges Vigne. Ingres. New York, 1995, p. 183.
Alain Laframboise. "Les portraits emblématiques de Bronzino, aux marges des pratiques symboliques consacrées dans les arts visuels." Analecta Husserliana 44 (1995), pp. 314–15, discusses the concept of "paragone" (comparison between the arts) in relation to the juxtaposition of the painted likeness of the sitter and the carved faces on the furniture in the painting, and the concept of masking as an emblem of illusion.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 37, ill. p. 36.
Alessandro Cecchi. Bronzino. New York, 1996, p. 21.
Elizabeth Cropper inL'officina della maniera: Varietà e fierezza nell'arte fiorentina del Cinquecento fra le due repubbliche 1494–1530. Exh. cat., Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Venice, 1996, p. 380, under no. 142, compares the architecture in this painting, especially as originally conceived and revealed in x-rays, to that in a portrait attributed to Pontormo (Barbara Piasecka Johnson collection) and believes the latter was a model for the MMA picture.
Eliot W. Rowlands. The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: Italian Paintings, 1300–1800. Kansas City, Mo., 1996, pp. 179, 186–87.
Janet Cox-Rearick inThe Dictionary of Art. Ed. Jane Turner. Vol. 4, New York, 1996, p. 856, cites it as a mature example of Bronzino's maniera portraits from the mid-sixteenth century.
Alain Laframboise. "Entre Galatée et Andromède, Méduse." Andromède ou le héros à l'épreuve de la beauté. Ed. Françoise Siguret and Alain Laframboise. Paris, 1996, pp. 33–34, fig. 15.
Elizabeth Cropper. "Pontormo's 'Halberdier'." Center: Record of Activities and Research Reports no. 16 (1996), p. 78, ill. p. 76 (gallery installation with Pontormo's "Halberdier").
Elizabeth Cropper. Pontormo: Portrait of a Halberdier. Los Angeles, 1997, pp. 100, 104–6, 120, nn. 146–47, p. 121, nn. 154–55, figs. 51 (color), 53 (x-radiograph), discusses the complicated relationship between this painting and Pontormo's portrait of a halberdier, arguing that Pontormo's portrait was the model for Bronzino's.
Hermann Voss. Painting of the Late Renaissance in Rome and Florence. Vol. 1, From the High Renaissance to Mannerism, 1520–1570. rev. ed. San Francisco, 1997, p. 190.
Jean Habert. "Le portrait de Melchior von Brauweiler par Calcar (vers 1510–vers 1546): Les leçons d'une restauration." Revue des musées de France: Revue du Louvre no. 3 (1999), p. 78, fig. 18, notes that the pose of the figure in this picture prefigures almost exactly that of Melchior von Brauweiler in Calcar's portrait in the Louvre.
Jonathan Brown inVelázquez, Rubens y Van Dyck: Pintores cortesanos del siglo XVII. Ed. Jonathan Brown. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, , p. 164, under no. 17.
Philip Conisbee inPortraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1999, p.124, n. 11.
Christopher Riopelle inPortraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1999, p. 252.
Andrew Carrington Shelton inPortraits by Ingres: Image of an Epoch. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Philip Conisbee. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1999, pp. 298–299 n. 17, fig. 174.
Marcia B. Hall. After Raphael: Painting in Central Italy in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge, 1999, p. 216, agrees with Smyth's dating of about 1529–30.
Deborah Parker. Bronzino: Renaissance Painter as Poet. Cambridge, 2000, pp. 159, 217 n. 31, fig. 28.
Impressionist & Modern Art. Phillips, New York. May 7, 2001, p. 132, fig. 1.
Elizabeth Cropper inVirtue and Beauty: Leonardo's "Ginevra de' Benci" and Renaissance Portraits of Women. Ed. David Alan Brown. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 2001, pp. 221, 228 n. 8, ill.
Elizabeth Cropper. "Preparing to Finish: Portraits by Pontormo and Bronzino around 1530." Opere e giorni: studi su mille anni di arte europea dedicati a Max Seidel. Ed. Klaus Bergdolt and Giorgio Bonsanti. Venice, 2001, pp. 499–501, 503–4 nn. 13, 14, 23, 25, figs. 1 (gallery installation with Pontormo's "Halberdier"), 2 (x-ray with overlay tracing of Pontormo's "Halberdier"), suggests that the sitter may be Bonaccorso Pinadori (born 1502), mentioned by Vasari as having been painted by Bronzino.
Maurice Brock. Bronzino. Paris, 2002, pp. 110–12, 114, 116, 124, 130, 132, 142, ill. opp. pp. 116 and 130 (color, overall and detail), suggests that the pose of the sitter is an "assemblage" of elements from Michelangelo's Giuliano de' Medici (New Sacristy chapel of San Lorenzo, Florence) and Pontormo's Halberdier.
Philippe Costamagna. "De l'idéal de beauté aux problèmes d'attribution. Vingt ans de recerche sur le portrait florentin au XVIe siècle." Studiolo: Revue de l'Académie de France à Rome 1 (2002), p. 207.
Maurizia Tazartes. Bronzino. Milan, 2003, p. 25–26, 106–107, ill. (color), dates it 1536–39.
Carl Brandon Strehlke inPontormo, Bronzino, and the Medici: The Transformation of the Renaissance Portrait in Florence. Ed. Carl Brandon Strehlke. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2004, p. 92, n. 2, cites it as evidence for the influence of Pontormo's "Portrait of a Halberdier"; dates it to the autumn of 1530 or after 1532.
Elizabeth Cropper inPontormo, Bronzino, and the Medici: The Transformation of the Renaissance Portrait in Florence. Ed. Carl Brandon Strehlke. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 2004, pp. 24–25, fig. 18.
Janet Cox-Rearick and Mary Westerman Bulgarella. "Public and Private Portraits of Cosimo de' Medici and Eleonora di Toledo: Bronzino's Paintings of His Ducal Patrons in Ottawa and Turin." Artibus et Historiae no. 49 (2004), p. 158 n. 136.
Philippe Costamagna. "Nouvelles considérations sur un 'Portrait d'homme' de Pontormo." Paragone 56 (January 2005), p. 70, compares it with Pontormo's portrait of Giovanni Della Casa (National Gallery of Art, Washington).
Laurent Langer. "Les tableaux italiens de James-Alexandre comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier." Le goût pour la peinture italienne autour de 1800, prédécesseurs, modèles et concurrents du cardinal Fesch. Ed. Olivier Bonfait et al. Ajaccio, 2006, pp. 269–70, calls it one of seven Italian pictures from the collection of the comte de Pourtalès-Gorgier that were formerly owned by Lucien Bonaparte.
Elizabeth Pilliod inThe Drawings of Bronzino. Ed. Carmen C. Bambach. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 6–7.
Carmen C. Bambach inThe Drawings of Bronzino. Ed. Carmen C. Bambach. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, pp. 47, 49 n. 99, figs. 8, 9 (infrared reflectogram, overall and detail), colorpl. 14, dates it about 1534–38; discusses the results of recent infrared reflectography examination.
Philippe Costamagna inThe Drawings of Bronzino. Ed. Carmen C. Bambach. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, p. 59.
Carmen C. Bambach et al. inBronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici. Ed. Carlo Falciani and Antonio Natali. Exh. cat., Palazzo Strozzi. Florence, 2010, pp. 200, 230, 246, 258, 262, no. V.4, ill. p. 263 (color), figs. 66 (color detail), 98 (IRR detail).
Walter Liedtke. "Frans Hals: Style and Substance." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 69 (Summer 2011), p. 5, fig. 2 (color).
Renaissance. Christie's, New York. January 29, 2014, p. 191, fig. 3 (color), under no. 166.
Michael J. Giordano. "Bronzino's Art of Emblazoning: 'The Young Man with a Book,' 'Lucrezia Panciatichi,' 'Saint Bartholomew,' and 'Laura Battiferri'." Agnolo Bronzino: The Muse of Florence. Ed. Liana De Girolami Cheney. Washington, 2014, pp. 342–48, 358, 361 n. 22, p. 362 n. 29, fig. 2.
Andrew C. Shelton inIngres. Ed. Vincent Pomarède and Carlos G. Navarro. Exh. cat., Museo Nacional del Prado. Madrid, 2015, p. 264, fig. 113 (color), under no. 50, states that this work served as the direct prototype for Ingres's portrait of the comte de Pastoret (1826, Art Institute of Chicago).
Bastian Eclercy inManiera: Pontormo, Bronzino and Medici Florence. Ed. Bastian Eclercy. Exh. cat., Städel Museum, Frankfurt. Munich, 2016, pp. 171–72 n. 18, fig. 62, under nos. 69–70.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 276, no. 182, ill. pp. 186, 276 (color).
Dorotheum, Vienna. Old Master Paintings, Part 1. June 9, 2020, pp. 70, 72, under nos. 21, 22.
Keith Christiansen inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 9, 86, 90, 96, 100.
Carlo Falciani inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 31, 37–38.
Elizabeth Cropper inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 49, 78.
Julia Siemon inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 162–63, 174, 184, 192, states that though the portrait is not inherently partisan, "a young man shown in the act of reading in a Florentine portrait of the 1530s implies a literary consciousness linking him to an intellectual community generally hostile to the reigning government".
Andrea Bayer inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 176–179, no. 41, ill. (color, overall and detail), as "Portrait of a Young Man with a Book"; lists possible identifications of the sitter as Benedetto Busini (b. 1513) or Antonio Lupi (b. 1527).
Linda Wolk-Simon inThe Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512–1570. Ed. Keith Christiansen and Carlo Falciani. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2021, pp. 182, 202–3, 270, describes the grotesque masks as "parodic, transgressive elements that mock or undermine the calm, composure, and serene beauty" the sitter strives to project.
Lelia Packer inFrans Hals: The Male Portrait. Exh. cat., Wallace Collection. London, 2021, p. 50, fig. 2.19 (color).
James Barron. "Talking Across the Centuries to the Medici Family." New York Times (May 19, 2021), ill. (color) [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/arts/medici-portraits-metropolitan-museum-exhibit.html].
Roberta Smith. "For the Medici, the Last Great Picture Show." New York Times (June 24, 2021), ill. (color) [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/arts/design/medici-portraits-met-museum.html].
Alexandre Lafore. "Un portrait de la Renaissance offert au Metropolitan Museum of Art." Tribune de l'art (February 9, 2023) [https://www.latribunedelart.com/un-portrait-de-bindo-altoviti-offert-au-metropolitan-museum-ot-art].
The frame is from Tuscany and dates to about 1560–80 (see figs. 13–16 above). This grand water gilded, carved frame is made of poplar. The boldly carved motifs emerge from a center clasp and include laurel leaves at the sight edge, a frieze of floral paterae, which may have been added later, a top edge of half cabled flutes and a serrated lotus carving at the outside forming the back edge. Though regilded and reduced at the corners to accommodate this painting, evidence reveals that the original surface included black painted areas.
Timothy Newbery with Cynthia Moyer 2016; further information on this frame can be found in the Department of European Paintings files
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