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Portrait of Alessandro de' Medici

Before December 1535
Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci) (Italian (active Florence), 1494–1556/7)
Alessandro de’ Medici (born c. 1511), duke of Florence from 1530 until his assassination in 1537, is shown not as a powerful ruler, but in a private chamber making a drawing of a woman in metalpoint. At the time, drawing was considered an acceptable activity for a gentleman, but here the reference may be to love poetry. The fourteenth-century poet Petrarch, who enjoyed a revival in readership in the early sixteenth century, wrote sonnets about a metalpoint drawing he owned of his beloved Laura.

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