Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (Florence, 31 May 1535 – 22 September 1607) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school. In 1540, after the death of his father, he was brought up and trained in art by a close friend, often referred to as his 'uncle', the mannerist painter Agnolo Bronzino, whose name he sometimes assumed in his pictures. In some ways, Allori is the last of the line of prominent Florentine painters, of generally undiluted Tuscan artistic heritage: Andrea del Sarto worked with Fra Bartolomeo (as well as Leonardo da Vinci), Pontormo briefly worked under Andrea, and trained Bronzino, who trained Allori. Subsequent generations in the city would be strongly influenced by the tide of Baroque styles pre-eminent in other parts of Italy.
Freedberg derides Allori as derivative, claiming he illustrates "the ideal of Maniera by which art (and style) are generated out of pre-existing art." The polish of figures has an unnatural marble-like form as if he aimed for cold statuary. It can be said of late phase mannerist painting in Florence, that the city that had early breathed life into statuary with the works of masters like Donatello and Michelangelo, was still so awed by them that it petrified the poses of figures in painting. While by 1600 the Baroque elsewhere was beginning to give life to painted figures, Florence was painting two-dimensional statues. Furthermore, in general, with the exception of the Counter-Maniera (Counter-Mannerism) artists, it dared not stray from high themes or stray into high emotion.
Among his collaborators was Giovanni Maria Butteri and his main pupil was Giovanni Bizzelli. Cristoforo del Altissimo, Cesare Dandini, Aurelio Lomi, John Mosnier, Alessandro Pieroni, Giovanni Battista Vanni, and Monanni also were his pupils. Allori was one of the artists, working under Vasari, included in the decoration of the Studiola of Francesco I.
He was the father of the painter Cristofano Allori (1577–1621).
Christ with Mary and Martha, oil on wood, 125 x 118 cm
Portrait of a Young Man (1561; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford)
Christ and the Samaritan Woman (Altarpiece, 1575, Santa Maria Novella, now Prato)
Road to Calvary (1604, Rome)
Dead Christ and Angels, (Museum Fine Arts, Budapest)
Portrait of Piero de Médici, (São Paulo Art Museum, São Paulo)
Pearl Fishing (1570–72, Studiolo of Francesco I, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence)image
Sussana and the Elders (202 × 117 cm, musée Magnin, Dijon)
Allegory of Human Life
The Miracle of St. Peter Walking on Water
Venus and Cupid, (musée Fabre, Montpellier)
In 2006 the BBC foreign correspondent Sir Charles Wheeler returned an original Alessandro Allori painting to the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin. He had been given it in Germany in 1952, but only recently realized its origin and that it must have been looted in the wake of World War II. The work is possibly a portrait of Eleonora (Dianora) di Toledo de' Medici, niece of Eleonora di Toledo, and measures 12 cm x 16 cm.
Hobbes J.R. page 5
Web Gallery of Art, image collection, virtual museum, searchable database of European fine arts (1100-1850)
"Reporter returns looted portrait". BBC. 1 June 2006.
This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Allori, Alessandro". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
Alessandro Allori in the "History of Art"
Painting in Italy 1500-1600, Freedberg, S.J. (Penguin History of Art, 2nd Edition, 1983).
Hobbes, James R. (1849). The Picture Collector's Manual: Dictionary of names. T. & W. Boone.
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