This lecture was first delivered on December 10, 2010 at the British Institute, Florence, as the keynote address for the conference Agnolo Bronzino – Medici Court Artist in Context, a convegno that, in the words of its proposer, Prof. Andrea Gáldy, “sought to place the major exhibition of Bronzino’s work organised by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi into a broader artistic, historical, and economic context. Unlike a catalogue, the conference sessions will be organised thematically rather than focused exclusively on specific works by the artist, and will encourage specialists in other fields (such as tapestries or theatre) to bring new perspectives to bear on the artist and his world. We thus propose to anchor Bronzino in time, space, and the stylistic development of sixteenth century Italian art, without losing sight of trends in social and political history or patronage in Florence and Europe.” The speakers included Janet Cox-Rearick, Bruce Edelstein, Robert La France, Betty Talvacchia, Mary Westerman, and Andrea Gáldy. The proceedings, edited by Andrea Gáldy, will be published by Cambridge Scholars Press.

This lecture is in certain respects a response to the exhibition catalogue: Bronzino:Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici; and to the related catalogue from the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition: The Drawings of Bronzino. It can also be read as a meditation on some current methodologies applied to the historical study of Bronzino’s works, raising the issue of whether these are profitably illuminated by, or conversely, deformed by postmodernist approaches.

Date: Monday 23rd May, 6:30pm.

Venue: Room 150 Elisabeth Murdoch Building, University of Melbourne, Parkville

All Welcome

Drinks and nibbles provided (gold coin donation appreciated). The seminar will be followed by dinner in Lygon St. Please RSVP Mark Shepheard ( if you plan to join us for dinner.

For a list of past papers click here.