Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (1535 – 1607)

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Venus and Cupid

Alessandro Allori was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school. Born in Florence, he was brought up and trained in art by his uncle, Angelo 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 worked with Fra Bartolomeo (as well as Leonardo Da Vinci), Pontormo briefly worked under Andrea, and trained Bronzino, who trained Allori. Subsequent generations in the city would be strongly influenced by the tide of Baroque styles preeminent in other parts of Italy.



Portrait of a Woman, 1570-1590


Portrait of a Noble Woman


Portrait of a Young Man

The art history writer, S.J. Freedberg, 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 and Michelangelo, 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 artists, it dared not stray from high themes or stray into high emotion.


Allegory of Human Life, 1570-1590


Pearl Fishers, 1570-1572

Among his collaborators was Giovanni Maria Butteri and his main pupil was Giovanni Bizzelli. Cristoforo del Altissimo, Cesare Dandini, Aurelio Lomi, John Mosnier, Giovanni Battista Vanni, 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.


The Body of Christ with Two Angels, 1600

He is the father of Cristofano Allori (1577-1621). Allori’s main works include:

• 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)
• 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, Montpellier)


Susanna and the Elders

Still wondering about an Italian painting in your family collection? Contact us…it could be by Alessandro Allori.