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A Monthly Culture Matrix For the Cosmopolitan Traveler

The Medici: Portraits & Politics, 1512–1570

Until Closing Soon
Metropolitan Museum of Art / New York / Art

If Florence’s 16th-century masterpieces had to be attributed to a single person, a good argument could be made for Cosimo I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. His predecessor’s seizure of power in 1512 marked the city’s return to Medicean rule (Florence had been under the family’s rule two centuries earlier, starting with the original Cosimo de’ Medici) and a renewed emphasis on art. During this period, and especially when Cosimo came to power in 1537, portraiture became an essential tool for the Medici, who used it to assert their political and cultural supremacy. Featuring over 90 works, this exhibition explores Medici commissions from artists such as Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, and Benvenuto Cellini, and the complex character these remarkable portraits deliver to present-day audiences. —Sabina Vitale

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