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

Portrait of Pierantonio Bandini

1550-55
Oil on wood, 107 x 83 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

This painting belongs to an impressive series of later portraits, dating from the 1550s. Known as the Portrait of a Man with a Statuette of Venus, its sitter has recently been identified as Pierantonio Bandini (born 1514), one of the wealthiest and most prominent Florentine bankers living in Rome in the second half of the sixteenth century. The blue figure of a "Venus Pudica" (modest Venus) may refer to Pierantonio's collecting interests and to the antiquities recorded at his property at Monte Cavallo, Rome.