Agnolo Bronzino Deposition of Christ is a painting you can see twice, given you make a trip to Florence and another to Besançon in France. Bronzino, who was the official painter at the court of Cosimo I de Medici, was ordered the painting and then, again, he was asked to make another copy: why? Because the Medici family was anxious to consolidate the power it had conquered with difficulty, and needed powerful friends. Let’s move on and discover more on this strange story.
Agnolo Bronzino Deposition of Christ – Palazzo Vecchio
Agnolo Bronzino was an important Mannerism style painter from Florence Italy. Bronzino was appointed as painter at the court of the Medici family, which speaks volumes about his qualities as an artist. Mannerism is a style of painting which was given to painters who show great influences from the harmonious ideas that artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. Agnolo Bronzino Deposition of Christ is a painting that was ordered by Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici for his wife Eleonora of Toledo, who would later order the building of the Boboli gardens behind the Palazzo Pitti. So Eleonora got this painting by Bronzino, who created it between 1540 and 1545, and hang it in the Palazzo Vecchio.
Agnolo Bronzino Deposition of Christ is the altarpiece of the Chapel of Eleonora, which is one of the most admired rooms inside Palazzo Vecchio. Two more panels by Bronzino on the two sides of the altarpiece represent the Annunciation. The same painter also frescoed the walls of the chapel, with stories of Moses.
Later, her husband, who ordered the painting and gave it to his wife, gave the painting to the chancellor of the Holy Roman Emperor, called Nicolas Granvelle. Cosimo gave Nicolas the painting as a token of good will, or, as we would call it: a political move. Eleonora would probably not have been very pleased with this move by her husband and demanded a new painting. Cosimo asked Bronzino to make the painting again, and so he did between 1545 and 1553. This is why there are two versions of Agnolo Bronzino Deposition of Christ, there is a version of this painting in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Besançon in France and one in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence Italy.
More work by Agnolo Bronzino can be seen in this video: