Alessandro Allori

Alessandro Allori

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Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (3 May 1535 – 22 September 1607) was an Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 portrait painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 of the late Mannerist
Mannerism is a period of European art that emerged from the later years of the Italian High Renaissance around 1520. It lasted until about 1580 in Italy, when a more Baroque style began to replace it, but Northern Mannerism continued into the early 17th century throughout much of Europe...

Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....


Born in Florence, 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
Andrea del Sarto
Andrea del Sarto was an Italian painter from Florence, whose career flourished during the High Renaissance and early Mannerism. Though highly regarded during his lifetime as an artist senza errori , his renown was eclipsed after his death by that of his contemporaries, Leonardo da Vinci,...

 worked with Fra Bartolomeo (as well as Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

), Pontormo
Jacopo Carucci , usually known as Jacopo da Pontormo, Jacopo Pontormo or simply Pontormo, was an Italian Mannerist painter and portraitist from the Florentine school. His work represents a profound stylistic shift from the calm perspectival regularity that characterized the art of the Florentine...

 briefly worked under Andrea, and trained Bronzino, who trained Allori. Subsequent generations in the city would be strongly influenced by the tide of Baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...

 styles pre-eminent in other parts of Italy.

Freedburg 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
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

 and Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

, 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 Contra Maniera (Counter-Mannerism
Counter-Mannerism is a general art historical term for a trend in painting, printmaking and interior decoration that originated as a sub-category of Mannerism. Contra-Maniera followed the general worldliness of the second generation of Mannerist painters...

) artists, it dared not stray from high themes or stray into high emotion.

Among his collaborators was Giovanni Maria Butteri
Giovanni Maria Butteri
Giovanni Maria Butteri , also known as Giovanmaria Butteri, was an Italian painter of the Mannerist period, active in his native Florence....

 and his main pupil was Giovanni Bizzelli
Giovanni Bizzelli
Giovanni Bizzelli was an Italian painter of the late-Mannerist period. He was a pupil of Alessandro Allori. He afterwards went to Rome. On his return to Florence he helped Antonio Tempesta in the decoration of the vaults of the Uffizi Corridor....

. Cristoforo del Altissimo, Cesare Dandini
Cesare Dandini
Cesare Dandini was an Italian painter of the Baroque period, active mainly in his native city of Florence....

, Aurelio Lomi
Aurelio Lomi
Aurelio Lomi was an Italian painter of the late-Renaissance and early-Baroque periods, active mainly in his native town of Pisa, Tuscany.He may have initially been trained by his father, Giovanni Battista Lomi, but soon he...

, John Mosnier, Giovanni Battista Vanni
Giovanni Battista Vanni
Giovanni Battista Vanni was an Italian painter and engraver of the Baroque period.He was born in either Pisa or Florence in 1599 ; he studied successively under Jacopo da Empoli, Aurelio Lomi, and Matteo Rosselli, and then became a disciple of Cristofano Allori. He is better known as an engraver...

, and Monanni also were his pupils. Allori was one of the artists, working under Vasari, included in the decoration of the Studiolo of Francesco I
Studiolo of Francesco I
The Studiolo was a small painting-encrusted barrel-vaulted room in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, commissioned by Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. It was completed for the duke from 1570-1572, by teams of artists under the supervision of Giorgio Vasari and the scholars Giovanni...


He is the father of Cristofano Allori
Cristofano Allori
Cristofano Allori was an Italian portrait painter of the late Florentine Mannerist school. Allori was born at Florence and received his first lessons in painting from his father, Alessandro Allori, but becoming dissatisfied with the hard anatomical drawing and cold coloring of the latter, he...


Main works

  • 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 Art Museum
    The São Paulo Museum of Art is an art museum located on Paulista Avenue in the city of São Paulo, Brazil...

    , São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

  • Pearl Fishing, (1570–72, Studiolo of Francesco I, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence)image
  • Sussana and the Elders
  • Allegory of Human Life
  • The Miracle of St. Peter Walking on Water
  • Venus and Cupid, (Musée Fabre
    Musée Fabre
    The Musée Fabre is a museum in the southern French city of Montpellier, capital of the Hérault département.The museum was founded by François-Xavier Fabre, a Montpellier painter, in 1825. Beginning in 2003, the museum underwent a 61.2 million euro renovation, which was completed in January 2007...

    , Montpellier
    -Neighbourhoods:Since 2001, Montpellier has been divided into seven official neighbourhoods, themselves divided into sub-neighbourhoods. Each of them possesses a neighbourhood council....


In 2006 the BBC foreign correspondent Sir Charles Wheeler
Charles Wheeler (journalist)
Sir Charles Cornelius Wheeler CMG was a British journalist and broadcaster. Having joined the BBC in 1947, he became the corporation's longest serving foreign correspondent, serving in the role until his death...

 returned an original Alessandro Allori painting to the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
Gemäldegalerie, Berlin
The Gemäldegalerie is an art museum in Berlin, Germany. It holds one of the world's leading collections of European art from the 13th to the 18th centuries. It is located on Kulturforum west of Potsdamer Platz. Its collection includes masterpieces from such artists as Albrecht Dürer, Lucas...

. 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
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The work is possibly a portrait of Eleonora (Dianora) di Toledo de' Medici, niece of Eleonora di Toledo
Eleonora di Toledo
Eleanor of Toledo Eleanor of Toledo Eleanor of Toledo (Italian: Eleonora di Toledo (1522 – 17 December 1562), born Doña Leonor Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, was a Spanish noblewoman who was Duchess of Florence from 1539. She is credited with being the first modern first lady, or consort...

, and measures 12 cm x 16 cm.

External links