Portrait of Alessandro de' Medici
Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci), Italian (active Florence), 1494 - 1556/7
Alessandro de’ Medici (born c. 1511), duke of Florence from 1530 until his assassination in 1537, is shown not as a powerful ruler, but in a private chamber making a drawing of a woman in metalpoint. At the time, drawing was considered an acceptable activity for a gentleman, but here the reference may be to love poetry. The fourteenth-century poet Petrarch, who enjoyed a revival in readership in the early sixteenth century, wrote sonnets about a metalpoint drawing he owned of his beloved Laura.