Bronzino at the Met

After posing for Sharon Sprung’s painting class at the National Academy yesterday, I decided to head over to the Metropolitan Museum and catch the “Drawings of Bronzino” exhibit currently on view. I can sum up my impressions with one word: wow! Absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I dragged my sore, tired art model’s body over there to see it! What a brilliant, masterful artist Bronzino was. As I walked through the show, thoroughly awed and engrossed, I kept thinking, “This guy blows Michelangelo away!”. Now maybe that’s outrageous, even blasphemous, but I don’t care. Bronzino rocks! The sculptural quality of his forms, the volume and anatomical perfection he achieves is simply stunning. It almost takes your breath away.

According to the wall texts, most of Bronzino’s drawings were done directly from life, with many of his studio assistants providing the modeling. Almost all of these drawings were preparatory works for later paintings, particularly a huge fresco commissioned by the Medicis.

As with all special exhibitions at the Met, no photography was allowed. Otherwise I would have been clicking my camera all over the place! So instead I’ll post one drawing from the show that appears on the Met Museum website. Credit link at the bottom clicks to this drawing’s entry in the Heilbrunn Timeline. The male model here is doing a terrifically contorted pose. Very powerful.

“Agnolo Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano Tori): Seated Male Nude (2005.354)”. In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art”

New Yorkers, art lovers, drawing aficionados, out of town visitors, students, teachers – go see Bronzino at the Met. It’s there until April 18th. I, for one, will definitely go back for a second look.

10 thoughts on “Bronzino at the Met

  1. Alex says:

    I’m not sure when I’ll make it over to the Met, but I certainly like Bronzino’s work. Thank you for sharing it. May all artists be as inspired and as skilled as Bronzino.

    They had a special exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago a few months back (October 2009 – January 2010) of Caravaggio’s “The Dinner at Emmaus” which was on loan from the National Gallery of London. Caravaggio is considered by many to be a master of figurative art yet when you look at “The Dinner at Emmaus” there is a glaring perspective error in it.

    If you look closely at the Apostle on the right side of the painting you’ll see that his right hand (furthest from the viewer) is the same size as his left hand in the foreground. I guess even the masters made errors from time to time…

    I still like Caravaggio’s work (even though his personal life was quite reprehensible.) Even his mistakes are still incredible works of art.

    May you inspire such wonderful works yourself, Muse!


    • artmodel says:


      I Googled “Dinner at Emmaus”, and saw the hand mistake you mentioned. It does look odd. But still that’s a very interesting painting. I wasn’t familiar with it, so thank you for introducing me to a new Caravaggio!

      Thanks also for your comments. Good to see you here again! Hope you’re doing well.


  2. scultore says:

    I too enjoyed the exhibit, but for me it was much more an educational show. I love being able to see the process of drawing. One thing I wondered about was the shoulder/necks of the males. As being studio assistants, I guess life was hard but they look as if they did some real serious physical labor of a specialized kind, masonry maybe.

    • artmodel says:


      Yes, the male figures were quite strapping and well-built. Just the way I like them! Woohoo! 😉

      But seriously, they were likely laborers of some kind. I know that a lot of Michelangelo’s male models were in fact stone masons.

      Thanks for your comment.


  3. Dave R says:

    Bronzino is one of my favorite artists so I absolutely must see this exhibit before it’s too late. I saw a number of his best known works in the Uffizi last year, so this show would be like the icing on the cake.

  4. Dave R says:

    Well, with an endorsement like that, I really can’t miss it – can I??? LOL

  5. Ken says:

    “This guy blows Michelangelo away!”. I’ve had those thoughts, too.

    My daughter is a talented artist that drew a Red Tailed Hawk that I think is simply wonderful. I checked out a “double elephant” (really big) book of Audubon drawings, to show her how hers compared to the master himself.

    Hers was better.

    Proud father.

    • artmodel says:


      And you should be proud! Wonderful to hear that your daughter draws. How old is she and how long has she been drawing?

      The red tail hawks are making their presence known here around the city, for quite some time actually. They adapt amazingly well. Fascinating birds. But I’m personally very fascinated by all raptors. Can’t get enough of them!


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