The painting Allegory with Venus and Cupid has long fascinated visitors to London’s National Gallery, as well as the millions more who have seen it reproduced in books. It is one of the most beautiful paintings of the nude ever made.
In 1544, Duke Cosimo de’ Medici of Florence commissioned the artist Bronzino to create the painting to be sent as a diplomatic gift to King François I of France.
As well as the academic mystery of what the strange figures in the painting represent, there is a human mystery as well: who were the models in the Florence of 1544 who posed for the gods and strange creatures?
By Alan Fisk ISBN 1-904433-08-1