VASARI, Giorgio
(b. 1511, Arezzo, d. 1574, Firenze)

Portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent

Oil on wood, 90 x 72 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Giorgio Vasari, one of the most famous interpreters of the second period of Mannerism, experimented with just about all genres, from portraits to religious and mythological themes. This painting of Lorenzo the Magnificent is distinguished by its intensely plastic colour, although the chiaroscuro is understated. The form is rendered with decision, almost with hardness, a quality discernible in the hands with their protruding veins and rather woody knuckles. Unlike Bronzino, who always placed his characters in an abstract fixity, Vasari seeks to introduce in his Lorenzo the idea of movement, positioning the figure obliquely and breaking the outlines, as can be seen in the ermine trimmings of the tunic.