For the first time in France, this exhibition catalogue offers a panorama of sixteenth-century Florentine portraiture. The reader is presented with the principle themes and aesthetic shifts from the austere, sober portraits of the Republic to depictions of Florentine society at the century’s end.

The volume first presents classic works from the beginning of the century, including paintings by Raphael, who brought new inspiration to portraiture and played a central role in the establishment of the maniera moderna, as defined by Giorgio Vasari. To have one’s portrait done – to have the cast of one’s face preserved for posterity, or as an expression of one’s inner thoughts – became increasingly common among the elite. Portraits included musical and literary references (above all Petrarchan themes), or simply featured settings laden with symbols that were a vibrant reflection of the myriad facets of the sitter’s life.

In this volume: masterworks from the golden age of the Medicis by artists such as Pontormo, Bronzino, Salviati, Allori, and so on.

Paris, Musée Jacquemart-André, 11 September 2015 – 25 January 2016

Have a look at the first 20 pages from the book here.