Allegory with Venus and Cupid

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Submitted By Reeses340
Words 1695
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Agnolo di Cosimo who was more commonly known as Bronzino created Allegory with Venus and Cupid around the mid 1540’s. This painting is considered one of the strangest paintings in the sixteenth century but is also a prime example of Mannerist art. The painting has also been identified as “Triumph of Venus” and “Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time”. It is an oil on panel painting measuring 57 ½ x 46”, and is housed in the national gallery in London, England today. Bronzino was born in Florence, Italy, and began his painting career first as the student of Raffaellino del Garbo, and later the apprenctice of Jacopo Pontormo. Pontormo’s mannerist style had a great influnece on Bronzino who worked by his side not only as his apprentice but also as his partner so to speak in the cloister at the Certosa di Galluzzo. While working with Pontormo, Bronzino developed a style of mannerism that was more literal and his response to the subject-matter less sensitive, unlike his master. During the 1530’s Bronzino achieved his greatest distinction as a portrait painter, and by the early 1540s he had become the leading exponent in Florence.
There are seven figures whose identities have left many scholars at great debate, two masks and a dove that takes up the foreground plane. When examined individually each figure exaggerates poses in a graceful almost dance like form, known as "figura serpentinata" (a 'serpentine' or spiralling) pose, which was ideal for mannerist artwork. Venus while being the most noticeable figure is painted off centered to the left. She sits with her legs turned sideways on a blue cloth or blanket. Her face is in profile view as she looks towards her son cupid. In her right hand she holds a golden apple as it rest on her right calf and her left arm is raised reaching behind cupid as she takes his arrow. Kneeling on a pink pillow in a somewhat awkward…...

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