Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Bindo Altoviti

This portrait of Bindo Altoviti has always appealed me, but when I set out to turn him into an ATC, I didn’t know anything about his background. For some reason I’d always assumed he was a lover of the artist Bronzino who decided to immortalize this beautiful young man in paint.
However, it was Raphael who did this portrait of twenty-year-old Bindo—and he turned out to be anything but a love object. Shrewd, canny, and heir to a large fortune, Bindo became the powerful banker to the papacy, and a major opponent of the Medici family who dominated Italy in the 16th century. He was also a patron of the arts and friends with many important Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo, Cellini and Vasari (who painted frescoes in Bindo’s Roman homes, as well as an altarpiece for the family church in Florence). Makes you wonder what happened to that cute guy you had a crush on in high school, doesn’t it?

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