Italian painting

Allegory with Venus and Cupid, Agnolo Bronzino

  • Author: Agnolo Bronzino
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: Between 1540-1550
  • Click image for larger version

Description of the picture:

Allegory with Venus and Cupid - Agnolo Bronzino. Between 1540-1550

Bronzino served as court painter in Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany. The painting, written around 1540-1550, is a masterpiece of diversity and intrigue, since here male and female figures of all ages are placed in a shallow run across the entire canvas, which causes the eye to zigzag off from one part of the composition to another. Together, these figures form an allegory dedicated to the destructive power of love.
In the center, nude Venus squeezes the golden apple in her left hand - the award that caused the Trojan War; she disarms Cupid with her right hand, erotic hugging her and the dove of peace almost crushing her with her right foot. On the right, a playful little boy is about to shower them with rose petals, not noticing that he is stepping on thorns, one of whom has already pierced his right foot. Behind him, a beautiful girl stretches her honeycomb, but her generous gesture is a deception, as she holds the sting of her snake-tail in her other hand.
In the background, the Starets-Time, for which a figure in a mask is watching, carries his hourglass on his back and tries to either hide this group of figures, or to detect the harmful forces hidden in them before the viewer; and on the left a man wrapped his head in his hands and groans in pain, tormented by madness.
DECEPTION. In the allegorical picture of Bronzino, the Deception, or Sell, appears in the form of a beautiful young girl, the lower part of a reptile body and the legs of a lion. Cheating can also be depicted in painting with the help of a mask - for example, in the form of an old woman who has put on the guise of a young girl.
Stupidity. In the Middle Ages, fools were recognized as "fools" under monarchs and nobles. In the painting by Giotto Foolishness (c. 1310) she is depicted as a fat young man in a crown of feathers and a torn tunic holding a baton. In Bronzino, Stupidity is personified by a smiling boy with bells around his ankle, like a jester, who is about to shower Venus with petals. In the book of satirical poems Ship of Fools (1494) of the German poet Sebastian Brant (1458-1521), it is described how a bunch of all kinds of fools sail to the Land of Fools without a pilot and maps. This satire on human sinfulness and stupidity has become the theme of many allegorical works, including the Ship of Fools of Bosch (c. 1495).

Other paintings by Agnolo Bronzino

Portrait of Biya Medici
Portrait of Eleanor of Toledo with her son
Portrait of a young man
Holy family
Portrait of Lucretia Panchatica
Portrait of Giovanni Medici as a child
Portrait of Cosimo I de Medici in armor

Watch the video: Bronzino, An Allegory with Venus and Cupid (April 2020).