PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
This painting portrays Francesco I de Medici, the eldest son of Cosimo I and Eleonora de Toledo, who became the second Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1574. Anguissola married Orazio Lomellini in 1579, after the death of her first husband, and it is believed that she painted this portrait of the Grand Duke when accompanying her spouse to Florence to 'pay his respects' to Francesco, the ruler and patroniser of his wife, as was customary at the time.
Anguissola's depiction of Francesco can be compared to her portrait of King Philip II of Spain, now in the Museo del Prado, not only in the strong, black fashion of the portrayed, but also in the execution of their facial features and the artist's apparent interest in the contained psychology of her sitters.
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