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

Portrait of Andrea Doria as Neptune

c. 1540
Oil on canvas, 115 x 53 cm
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

This painting of Andrea Doria, the Genoese condottiere who commanded the combined fleets of Venice, the Pope and the Emperor in their victory over the Turks, is a significant example of Bronzino's work as a portraitist of the aristocracy. Bronzino's more famous portraits of Lucrezia and Bartolomeo Panciatichi, Eleanora of Toledo and Laura Battiferri depict a class that was conscious of its nobility, set in immobile poses, with flawless alabaster skin and sumptuous clothes. In this painting, however, the allusion to ancient lineage had to be balanced by easily recognizable classicising elements, both in style and in the identification of the subject with the marine god. This explains the use of a pictorial repertory derived from Michelangelo as well as from the portraits of Doria by Bandinelli and by Sebastiano del Piombo.