This site uses cookies to provide a better experience. Continuing navigation accept the use of cookies by us OK

BRONZINO- Allegorical Portrait of Dante



BRONZINO- Allegorical Portrait of Dante


When I was appointed Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in New York, I felt it was necessary to bring something that represents the best of my country and also of Florence, my city. 2015 celebrates 750 years of Dante’s birthday and at the Uffizi Gallery I saw his portrait painted by Bronzino. I thought there was no better way to remember this occasion than to show this extraordinary work, for the first time in the US. I am extremely proud of having succeeded in accomplishing it, with the invaluable support of my collaborators and sponsors. This is a unique occasion to present to New York, which so much loves Italian culture, an example of the richness of our artistic patrimony. Giorgio van Straten According to Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects (1568), around 1532, the Florentine merchant and banker Bartolomeo Bettini commissioned Agnolo Bronzino to paint the portraits of poets who sang about love in the Tuscan vernacular, as part of the decoration of a camera (room) in his Florentine residence, where the celebrated Venus and Cupid painted by Jacopo Pontormo, based on Michelangelo's cartoon, was to be placed. Bronzino's tribute to Dante, in a robe and crowned with a laurel wreath, celebrates the love for poetry, and alludes to the defense of the Tuscan vernacular as the language of Italy in the debates of contemporary erudite circles in which the artist - a poet himself and an ardent admirer and scholar of Dante- held a privileged place. Bronzino focused the viewer's attention on Dante's famous face seen in profile, which displays his notable aquiline nose and prominent chin. The poet's powerful figure is portrayed in a perspective as if seen from below; his statue-like posture echoes Michelangelo's marble sculptures. The Mount of Purgatory is carefully represented in the background, and Dante holds a copy of the Divine Comedy open to Canto XXV of Paradise. There, the poet expresses his longing for his city and his desire of returning from exile, a desire which, both, Michelangelo and Bettini, fervent champions of the Florentine Republic against the tyranny of the new duke Alessandro de' Medici, must have shared. Curated by Laura Carrara OPENING HOURS On view until January, 15 2016 Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. December 16, 2016 open from 10:00am to midnight on the occasion of the Dante Marathon readings of "Inferno". December 24 and 31, 2015 the exhibition will be closed at 2pm. December 25 and 26, 2015 and January 1, 2016 the office will be closed.


Date: Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Entrance : Free