Agnolo Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano)
Florence 1503—1572 Florence
Lodovico Capponi, 1550–55
Oil on panel
45 7/8 x 33 3/4 in. (116.5 x 85.7 cm)
The Frick Collection; Henry Clay Frick Bequest
Renowned as a painter of elegant and remarkably naturalistic portraits, Bronzino was also a prolific poet. For most of his career, he was associated with the Medici court in Florence, and the young subject of this portrait has traditionally been identified as Lodovico Capponi (b. 1533), who served as a page at the court. Bearing a cool, proud expression, Bronzino’s sitter holds in his left hand a pair of gloves and in his right a medallion or cameo, partially obscured by his finger, depicting what appears to be a bust of a woman and the word sorte (fate or fortune). As witty in his portraits as in his poems, Bronzino seems here to allude to the uncertainty of fate.