Artist
Alessandro Allori
Italian painter

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Alessandro Allori
Italian painter
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Birth Date

1535

Death Date

1607

cschuster's picture

Sr. Contributor

Alessandro Allori couldn't escape family drama.

Alessandro lost his father at just five-years old. Condolences to the Alloris' descendants and all, but it's the most important plot point in the artist's life. Florentine mega-artist Bronzino swept in to fulfill the vacant patriarch position in the Allori household and instantly took young Alessandro under his paint-splattered, gesso-stained wing. Sure, Bronzino probably would have helped usher along Alessandro's budding artistry sans-biological father or otherwise. But it's equally likely that Alessandro would have taken up his father's profession of swordmaking. Which is super cool and everything, but we're art first and swordplay second around here. It's biased, but fair.

Alessandro took such a liking to his stepfather that he periodically signed his name with a P.S. calling out his status as the foster son of Branzino. When he went to Rome to study the art o'er yonder in the Eternal City, he became infatuated with the work of Michelangelo, particularly the one where Christ and crew at their fleshiest. Alessandro returned to Florence and took up the post of favorite painter to the capricious but loveable Medici clan. When Michelangelo died, the Medicis hooked it up so that Alessandro was the one designing the funerary decor. Bittersweet, yeah, but only one artist can claim the honor and Alessandro's the guy.

He's most famous for fathering the artist behind the most famous painting of the 17th century. Although, his professional and personal relationship with son Cristofano was rocky for a while. Alessandro's artistic style was a little staid for the younger Allori, who flew the nest from Dad's studio by flipping the bird and calling his father a heretic. 

More recently, Allori was at the center of a regifting scheme of World War proportions. About 10-years ago, a BBC correspondent discovered the painting a German farmer gave him in the 1950s was an Allori the Nazis stole from the Gemaldegalerie. The correspondent made the classy move, returning the painting to its rightful place in museum storage.

mhoutzager's picture

Contributor

Born May 3, 1535 - Died September 22, 1607

His dad died when Alessandro was 5, so he got raised by 'uncle' Bronzino, a total stud in the world of Italian Renaissance painting.

Prepared the decorations for Michelangelo's funeral

His son, Cristofano Allori painted what in our opinion is the best Judith and Holofernes painting in the Sartle database (or at least, the one with the hottest Judith).

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Alessandro Allori

Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (Florence, 31 May 1535 – 22 September 1607) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Florentine school.

In 1540, after the death of his father, he was brought up and trained in art by a close friend, often referred to as his 'uncle', the mannerist painter Agnolo Bronzino, whose name he sometimes assumed in his pictures. In some ways, Allori is the last of the line of prominent Florentine painters, of generally undiluted Tuscan artistic heritage: Andrea del Sarto worked with Fra Bartolomeo (as well as Leonardo da Vinci), Pontormo briefly worked under Andrea, and trained Bronzino, who trained Allori. Subsequent generations in the city would be strongly influenced by the tide of Baroque styles pre-eminent in other parts of Italy.

Freedberg derides Allori as derivative, claiming he illustrates "the ideal of Maniera by which art (and style) are generated out of pre-existing art." The polish of figures has an unnatural marble-like form as if he aimed for cold statuary. It can be said of late phase mannerist painting in Florence, that the city that had early breathed life into statuary with the works of masters like Donatello and Michelangelo, was still so awed by them that it petrified the poses of figures in painting. While by 1600 the Baroque elsewhere was beginning to give life to painted figures, Florence was painting two-dimensional statues. Furthermore, in general, with the exception of the Counter-Maniera (Counter-Mannerism) artists, it dared not stray from high themes or stray into high emotion.

Among his collaborators was Giovanni Maria Butteri and his main pupil was Giovanni Bizzelli. Cristoforo del Altissimo, Cesare Dandini, Aurelio Lomi, John Mosnier, Alessandro Pieroni, Giovanni Battista Vanni, and Monanni also were his pupils. Allori was one of the artists, working under Vasari, included in the decoration of the Studiolo of Francesco I.

He was the father of the painter Cristofano Allori (1577–1621).

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Alessandro Allori.