Bronzino, Crossing of the Red Sea, 1541-42

Agnolo Bronzino. Crossing of the Red Sea and Moses Appointing Joshua. 1540-1545. Fresco. Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.

This fresco was executed by Bronzino, court painter to the Medici during Cosimo I’s reign, for the Palazzo Vecchio chapel of Cosimo’s wife, Eleonora of Toledo.  The chapel is eighth in the series of rooms that comprise the chambers of Elenora. McCorquodale conjectures that the features of the central woman in green in the Deposition are probably those of the Duchess, and “throughout the Chapel decorations most of the heads have the appearance of portraits” (72).  Also included is Cosimo I’s secretary, Pierfrancesco Riccio, whose role was intermediary to the Duke and the artists he commissioned (Cecchi, 35).

References

Bronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici. Florence: Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, 2010. Exhibition catalog.

Cecchi, Alessandro. Bronzino. New York: Riverside Book Company, 1996.

Cox-Rearick, Janet. “Bronzino’s Crossing of the Red Sea and Moses Appointing Joshua: Prolegomena to the Chapel of Eleonora di Toledo.” The Art Bulletin 69, 1 (1987): 45-67.

Hartt, Frederick, and David G. Wilkins. History of Italian Renaissance Art. 5th ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2003.

McCorquodale, Charles. Bronzino. London: Jupiter Books, 1981.

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