BRONZINO, Agnolo
(b. 1503, Firenze, d. 1572, Firenze)

Don Garcia de' Medici

c. 1550
Oil on panel, 48 x 38 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

This portrait of García de'Medici (1547–1562), third son of Cosimo de'Medici and Eleonora di Toledo, is an excellent example of the scant interest in the depiction of children prior to the Enlightenment period. Bronzino offers a faithful rendering of a child's small, undefined features, but presents him with the same distant, impassive pose used for adult portraits of the Florentine court ambit. García is seen here above all as an heir to the dukedom of Tuscany and for this reason the artist omits any expression or gesture that may encourage us to see a child.

The portrait is a workshop production, a fact most clearly evident in the execution of the child's hands and clothing, which lack the precision and lustre typical of Bronzino's hand. He is very likely to have intervened on the face, in which, however, he seems to have used a stencil.