Bronzino and the Supreme Poet. An allegorical portrait of Dante in Palazzo Vecchio
An unpublished painting that can be admired from February 12 to May 31, 2021, in the Salone dei Cinquecento of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence.
In the year in which the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri's death is celebrated, the City of Florence presents "Bronzino and the Supreme Poet. An allegorical portrait of Dante in Palazzo Vecchio", exhibiting in the Salone dei Cinquecento, the "Allegorical Portrait of Dante" by Agnolo Bronzino.
The exhibition of the painting, promoted by the Municipality of Florence, curated by Antonio Natali and Sergio Risaliti and realised by MUS.E, will be held from 12 February to 31 May 2021 and will be included in the museum itinerary of Palazzo Vecchio.
The story of this lunette is told by Giorgio Vasari in his Vita del Bronzino. According to Vasari's reconstruction, the portrait of Dante on display in Palazzo Vecchio, an oil on canvas dated 1532-1533, was commissioned from the painter together with portraits of Petrarch and Boccaccio to decorate a room in the home of the cultured Florentine banker Bartolomeo Bettini, with "poets who have sung of love in Tuscan verse and verse" in the lunettes of the walls and, in the centre, a panel with "Venus and Cupid" painted by Pontormo on a cartoon by Michelangelo Buonarroti, now in the Accademia Gallery.
Of the three portraits Bronzino was commissioned to paint, only the one of Dante has survived until it was discovered in a private Florentine collection and accepted by critics as the original of the portrait of Dante mentioned in Vasari's biography of the artist.