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

Lorenzo Lenzi

c. 1532
Oil on panel, 90 x 71 cm
Castello Sforzesco, Milan

The sitter of this portrait was identified as Lorenzo Lenzi, called il Lauro, the son of a prominent Florentine family. (Lauro is the masculine form of Laura, the ideal lady to whom Petrarch dedicated amatory verses.) The youth in the portrait holds an open book inscribed with sonnets by Petrarch on the right and Benedetto Varchi on the left - where the sitter's thumb suggestively overlaps the word "Poeta" bringing the viewer's attention to the verse and its author.