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García de' Medici
Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo)
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Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo)

Florence, 1503 - Florence, 1572

See author's file

García de' Medici

Ca. 1550. Oil on panel.
Room 049

This portrait of García de’Medici (1547–1562), third son of Cosimo de’Medici and Leonor de Toledo, is an excellent example of the scant interest in the depiction of children prior to the Enlightenment period. Bronzino offers a faithful rendering of a child’s small, undefined features, but presents him with the same distant, impassive pose used for adult portraits of the Florentine court ambit. García is seen here above all as an heir to the dukedom of Tuscany and for this reason the artist omits any expression or gesture that may encourage us to see a child.This is quite the opposite approach to the relaxed portrait of Boy holding a Drawing by Caroto. García, whose status is reflected in his sumptuous red silk and gold jacket, richly adorned at the neck and wrists with pearl-sewn embroidery, does not therefore play with the costly trinket that he holds, but rather displays it as if aware of its value.This jewel, which has on occasions been incorrectly identified as a rattle, was an amulet intended to ward off the evil eye. It takes the form of a harpy resting on a horn from which hangs a precious stone.Amulets with harpies/mermaids were used by Neapolitan women for protection during pregnancy, and it may thus have been given to García by his mother, Leonor, or by his grandfather, Pedro de Toledo,Viceroy of Naples. In his other hand the child holds a recently opened orange blossom, a symbol of the purity and innocence characteristic of his age. The portrait has been attributed to Bronzino but it has been considered a workshop replica of a lost original. In fact, it is a workshop production, a fact most clearly evident in the execution of the child’s hands and clothing, which lack the precision and lustre typical of Bronzino’s hand. He is very likely to have intervened on the face, in which, however, he seems to have used a stencil. The painting can be dated to around 1549–1550 given that García was born in 1547 and cannot have been more than two or three years old here, to judge from his face.6 In addition, in the portrait of García in the palazzo Mansi in Lucca, documented in 1551, he appears to be one or two years older, confirming this hypothesis.7 It is known that Bronzino painted two portraits of García in 1550, one of which was received by Pope Julius III in June, while the other was finished in July on the occasion of his baptism. Given their importance, neither of these works is likely to be the Prado portrait, which was only partly executed by Bronzino himself.

Redin,G, 'Bronzino. Retrato de García de Medici' En:. El retrato del Renacimiento, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p.238-239 n.42

Technical data

Inventory number
Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo)
García de' Medici
Ca. 1550
Height: 48 cm; Width: 38 cm
Colección Real (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, tercera pieza de la Furriera, 1747, nº 197; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, paso de tribuna y trascuartos, 1772, nº 197; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera pieza de la obra nueva, 1794, nº 844).

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del Rey, Madrid, 1834, pp. 43.

Burckhardt, Jacob, Le Cicerone: guide de l'art antique et de l'art moderne en Italie, II, Firmin-Didot et Cie., Imprimeurs-éditeurs, Paris, 1892, pp. 781-803, lám. 807.

McComb, A, Agnolo Bronzino, his life and works, Cambridge, 1928, pp. 71 / 29.

Becherucci, L, Bronzino, Firenze, 1949, pp. 19.

Emiliani,A, Il Bronzino, 1960, pp. 71.

Lecchini Giovannoni, ''Alcune proposte per láttivita ritrattistica di Alessandro Allori'', Antichita viva, 7, 1968, pp. 48-57.

Baccheschi, Edi, L'Opera completa del Bronzino, Rizzoli, Milan, 1973, pp. 83.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: pintura italiana anterior a 1600, Gredos, Madrid, 1979, pp. 107.

El niño en el Museo del Prado, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1983, pp. 150.

Langedijk, Karla, The portraits of the Medici 15th-18th centuries, II, Studio per edizioni scelte, Florencia, 1983, pp. 940 nº.46.3.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 87-88.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (I) La Colección Real, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. n.1268.

Bettagno, Alessandro, El Museo del Prado, Fonds Mercator Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1996, pp. 292.

Falomir, M, Pintura italiana del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1999, pp. 100.

Chiarini, M. Darr, A.P. Giannini, C., L' ombra del genio Michelangelo e l 'arte a Firenze 1537-1631, Skira, Milan, 2002, pp. 155.

The legacy of Michelangelo. The Medici and late renaissance art in Florence (1537-1631), 2003.

Redin,G, 'Bronzino. Retrato de García de Medici' En:, El retrato del Renacimiento, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 238-239 n.42.

Martínez Leiva, Gloria; Rodríguez Rebollo, Ángel, El inventario del Alcázar de Madrid de 1666. Felipe IV y su colección artística, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2015, pp. 483 nº 686.

Pollack, Susanne, 'Agnolo Bronzino. Portrait of Garcia de Médici' En:, Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino and Medici Florence, Prestel, 2016, pp. 228-229 n.99.

Pilliod, E, 'Bronzino, Garzia de' Medici' En:, The Medici: portraits and politics, 1512-1570, Metropolitan Museum of Art,, 2021, pp. 150-152 nº 30..

Other inventories +

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1268.
Escuela Flamenca. / 1268. Retrato de un niño. / Tiene jubón carmesí, recamado de oro. (Tabla). (media figura) / Alto 1 pie, 100 pulg; ancho 1 pie, 5 pulg, 6 lin.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 5.
5.-Retrato de un niño. / Alto 0,51. Ancho 0.41.-Tabla. / Está representado de medio cuerpo y casi de frente; es hermoso y robusto, blanco, rubio y de ojos azules, y como de unos 3 años escasamente. Viste jubón de seda carmesí, listada y entretejida con hilo de oro; el cuello formando dos puntas sobre el pecho, es de tela bordada de oro y aljófar. En la mano derecha tiene una flor blanca, y con la izquierda recoge una cadena que lleva al cuello, de la cual pende un dije ó pinjante de forma circular y caprichosa. Fondo azul. / Pudiera se rretrato de algún príncipe de la casa de Médicis...

Inv. Felipe V, Palacio Nuevo, 1747. Núm. 197.
PINTURAS EXISTENTES ANTIGUAS [...] En la tercera pieza [...] {10412} 197 / Otra [pintura] en tabla de vn retrato de vn niño agarrando vn cordon que tiene en el cuello original de Alberto Durero = 1500 rs

Inv. Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1772. Núm. 197.
Paso de Tribuna y Trascuartos [...] [12814] 197 / Otro [retrato] igual al antecedente [dos tercias de alto y media vara de ancho] en tabla medio cuerpo de vn niño original de Alberto

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Palacio Nuevo, 1794. Núm. 844.
Primera Pieza de la Obra nueva [...] [257] 844 / Mas de media vara de alto y media de ancho: retrato de un muchacho con Cadena al Cuello que la coge con la mano izquierda en ... 1000

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in orange. Front, lower right corner

Inscribed in red color. Back, lower area

Inscribed in black. Back, central area

B 68
Inscribed with chalk. Back, central area

Lo restauró José Rivero / Enero de 1872.
Inscribed in red color. Back, lower area

Inscribed in black. Back, central area

Nº 5
Scrap of paper. Back, upper left corner

7a No. 40. / Retrato de niño, bestido de encarnado. 3a
Scrap of paper. Back, Upper area

Exhibitions +

The Medici: Portraits and Politics, 1512-1570
Nueva York NY
21.06.2021 - 11.10.2021

Maniera. Mannerism in Medici Florence
24.02.2016 - 05.06.2016

The Renaissance Portrait
03.06.2008 - 07.09.2008

L'Ombra del genio: Michelangelo e L'arte a Firenze dal 1531 al 1673 - The Legacy of Michelangelo
Detroit MI
16.03.2003 - 08.06.2003

L'Ombra del genio: Michelangelo e L'arte a Firenze dal 1531 al 1673 - The Legacy of Michelangelo
Chicago IL
09.11.2002 - 02.02.2003

Location +

Room 049 (On Display)

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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