Agnolo Bronzino

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Agnolo Bronzino

Italian Mannerist artist

Born 1503 - Died 1572

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"Another cultural rein was taken into the ducal hand in 1563 when Cosimobecame president of the newly instituted Accademia del Designo in Florence.With a membership of some seventy painters, sculptors, and architects, withVasari, Bronzino, and B. Ammanti among the chief organizers, this was thefirst academy of art to be established in Europe. It had formal rules andwas governed by six consuls. It is likely that a majority of the members hadalready worked for Cosimo....After the markedly divergent styles that had characterized art in Florencein the first generation of the 16th century, a fairly widely shared styleemerged,relying more on gesture than anatomy, on the interrelationships offigures rather than on realization of the space that enclosed them...But once again, Cosimo did not call the academy and his headship of it intobeing; the initiative came from the artists themselves. When in 1564 theAcademy planned an elaborate funeral service for Michelangelo, the mostferociously independent of artists, they petitioned that it should be heldin the Medici church of San Lorenzo (although he was to be buried in S.Croce) and they did their utmost to identify the ceremony with the duke whomMichelangelo had consistantly refused to serve despite repeated invitations.The rein was slipped into Cosimo's hand by painters who wanted the preciseopposite of the demeaning guild system to which by law they had to belong.From this law, Cosimo released them in 1571, thus breaking one more linkwith the republican past from which both prince and painter wanted toescape.(J.R.Hale, "Florence and the Medici", 1977)

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