Portrait of Cosimo the Elder Medici - Jacopo Pontormo. 86x65
In this early work of Jacopo Pontormo (1494-1557) there are already signs of mannerism, one of the founders of which he will become. It was the manner of the image, that is, the way it was written, that attracted the artist.
Portrait of Cosimo the Elder Medici was created more than half a century after the founder of the Medici dynasty, the banker and merchant, who became the ruler of Florence, passed away. In the posthumous image of a man, the master could give himself some will.
The portrait was ordered by the secretary of the Duke of Urbinsky, Lorenzo Medici, one of Cosimo's descendants, probably by the birth of his son. Cosimo sits in an armchair, in front of him there is a branch of a laurel tree, an emblem of the genus, around which a paper ribbon curls with verses from Virgil’s “3 Neida”. In the hunched, thin figure of the depicted and his face one feels fatigue from the turbulent years lived, his hands, as if accustomed to command and do not want to part with power, are compressed. Cosimo's red robe, standing out against a dark background, brings a disturbing note to the canvas and conveys the drama that marks the condition of a person.