St. John the Baptist

Object Details


St. John the Baptist


Agnolo Bronzino (Italian, 1503 - 1572)




about 1542 - 1545


Oil on panel


154 × 53 cm (60 5/8 × 20 7/8 in.)

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Saint John the Baptist's artificially posed figure is confined in a space that seems too small to contain his muscular frame. His torso twists to bring it parallel with his bent leg and arm, thus exposing a portion of his back. Although unnaturally posed, Agnolo Bronzino's serpentine figure of Saint John achieves a graceful fluidity typical of the style called Mannerism.

The unusually tall format of this work results from its original position as the left panel of the altarpiece in the private chapel of Eleonora da Toldeo in the Palazzo Vecchio. Representing the patron saint of Florence, this panel was paired with one of Saint Cosmas, the name saint of Eleonora's husband, Cosimo de' Medici.

about 1542/1545 - still in 1560

Palazzo della Signoria (Florence, Italy), commissioned from the artist by Eleanora da Toledo for the Cappella di Eleonora da Toledo; from 1553 located in the Guardaroba Granducale Mediceo.

by 1948 -

Dudley Wallis (London, England)

1950 - 1973

Neuhaus (Lima, Peru), sold to Gilberto Algranti, 1973.


Gilberto Algranti (Milan, Italy), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1973.

Fontainebleau e la Maniera Italiana (July 26 to October 12, 1952) (Cat. 12)
  • Museo di Palazzo Reale (Napili), July 26 to October 12, 1952
Selezione 1973 (1973) (No cat. no.)
  • Palazzo Vigoni-Mainopi (Milan)
Bronzino: Artist and Poet at the Court of the Medici (September 24, 2010 to January 23, 2011) (Cat. II.4)
  • Palazzo Strozzi (Florence)
Maniera: Mannerism in Medici Florence (February 24 to June 5, 2016)
  • Städel Museum (Frankfurt am Main), February 24 to June 5, 2016