1551 Maria de' Medici by Agnolo Bronzino (Uffizi)

This is not the Marie de Medici of Louis XIII and Reubens fame. The Web Gallery of Art has this about her:  "First-born of Cosimo I de' Medici and Eleonora di Toledo, Maria was born in 1540 and died in 1557 at the age of seventeen. The picture is datable around 1551 as is mentioned in letter written in that year by Bronzino to Cosimo I. Once again the painter realized a portrait psychologically closed emphasizing just nobility, beauty and dignity of the person."

This is a charming portrait of a member of the Medici family wearing a modestly jeweled dress with a striking ribbed partlet. Her dress is suitably ornate for the member of an aristocratic family, but shows restraint. Her partlet is almost invisible and decorated with horizontal bands. Notice the partlet looks like it is sewn over the inner ornamental layer framing her square neckline. Also notice the rolled sleeves where the sleeves join the body, with slashed openings with cloth showing. The sleeves are decorated with spiral bands with puffed fabric that looks like velvet in between the bands. Her coiffure has a vee arrangement that will be seen in other portraits.

Keyword:  1551, Bronzino, Medici family, Italian, straight coiffure, jeweled headdress, vee neckline, partlet, neckline ruff, bateau neckline, rolled sleeves, puffed cloth ornaments, long puffed sleeves, cuffs, necklace, earrings, jeweled neckline, jeweled sleeves


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