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

A Young Woman and Her Little Boy

c. 1540
Oil on panel, 100 x 76 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

This noblewoman is most likely a member of the court of Cosimo I de' Medici, Duke of Florence in the mid-sixteenth century. Her ornate and costly attire establish her as an aristocrat. She holds herself rigidly with the controlled demeanour that distinguishes portraits of members of Cosimo's court.

Tucked in the corner of the panel, the small blond boy was an afterthought, added by Bronzino in a second campaign of painting. X-radiography has revealed that the woman had first stood alone with her proper right hand placed against her dress.