Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano

Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano (Bronzino), “Portrait of a Young Man”, 1530s, Oil on Wood, 96 x 75 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

The sitter of this arresting portrait remains unknown, but he was part of Bronzino’s close circle of literary friends in Florence and probably holds a book of poetry. Bronzino was himself a poet, delighting as much in the beauty of language as he did in the witty and fanciful details of his paintings.

In this painting, viewers would have appreciated the carved grotesque heads on the table and chair, and the almost hidden, masklike face suggested in the folds of the youth’s breeches as comments on masks and disguises.

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