Anonymous: Portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici (15th/ 16th century)

(National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., USA)

A bust made by an unknown 15th/ 16th century Italian artist. Show here is a portrait of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449 – 1492), also known as 'Lorenzo the Magnificent'. Lorenzo de' Medici was the Lord of Florence, banker, one of the wealthiest men in Europe, politician and diplomat. The rule of was a high mark of the Renaissance in Florence and the death of Lorenzo in 1492 marked the end of the Golden Age of Florence. Lorenzo is also known for being a patron of the arts and commissioned various pieces of art from artist such as Sandro Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. This bust is a copy of a wax figure which was made in 1478 to commemorate Lorenzo's survival in an assassination plot (the Pazzi conspiracy which took the life of his younger brother Giuliano de' Medici). Lorenzo is shown here in a rather simple costume, this reflects Lorenzo's claim to be merely a respected citizen rather than a prince. Notice the rather brooding face of Lorenzo, a reminder of his forceful intelligence. A terracotta bust from the 15th-16th century.