“I expect nothing but perfection.”
“Yes, my lord.”
Perfection. But, of course. Nothing is too perfect for one such as my principal patron. After all, he is Cosimo I de’ Medici, the second Duke of Florence! Son of the famous condottiere, Giovanni dalle Bande Nere from Forli and the Madame Maria Salviati. He comes from a prestigious and grand bloodline, so it makes perfect sense that this painting must be perfection.
In a way, I am also quite honoured that he ensures that I am the one to deliver this perfection. I am a painter, and under the tutelage and guidance of Jacopio Pontormo, I will paint perfection. After all, that is expected from an artist, is it not? To strive for and capture perfection
After all, that is expected from an artist, is it not? To strive for and capture perfection.
There he stood before me. Tall, proud and majestic. His dark armour glistening while a hand was on his helmet. His dark eyes are focusing seriously to the side. A true warrior he is – strong, dignified and resolute.
He was from a lower branch of his family and had lived in Mugello. However, he came to power at seventeen when the Grand Duke, Alessandro de’ Medici, was assassinated a few years ago for having an illegitimate boy. A long fight would ensue where my patron would reject the clause he had signed, which would ensure much power to a council of forty-eight.
In that same year after his first victory, he had sent Bernardo Antonio de’ Medici to Charles V to gain recognition as head of the Florentine state. Needless to say, that went successfully.
And here I am, meticulously applying gentle yet firm strokes to the canvas. The colours swirling around on my palette as I knit my brow. His shining dark armour however, was the thing that needed the most care on. Such detail
Such detail needs to be captured. All of it. The little dapples of glowing light upon the surface, the intricate patternings, and the shadows that danced upon its lower surfaces. It strikes me as a curious thing with how there are a lot of dark tints and shades, but my patron was adamant in not wanting to be bathed in too much light or having a vibrantly coloured drape behind him.
But it matters not to me if someone is in the light or in the dark. If they are bathed in brightness or in shadow.
My job is to just capture perfection.
Agnolo Bronzino, Cosimo I de’ Medici (1540’s)