The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Eleonora di Toledo
  • Studio of Agnolo Bronzino (1503 - 1572)
  • Eleonora di Toledo
  • c. 1562 - 1572
  • Painting
  • Oil on poplar panel
  • Image size: 77.8 x 58.7 cm
  • Inscription: 'FALLIX.GRATIA.ET.VANA.EST.P / VLCHRITVDO' ('Favour is deceitful and beauty vain'; Proverbs XXXI, 30)
  • P555
  • Sixteenth Century Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cosimo de’Medici’s marriage to Eleonora of Toledo (1522-62), only daughter of Don Pedro de Toledo, Marqués de Villafranca and Viceroy of Naples, brought him much of the wealth and influence which helped make him Grand Duke of Tuscany in 1569. The couple had eight children. The portrait in the Wallace Collection derives from Bronzino’s masterly portrait of Eleonora of Toledo with her Son Francesco (1545; Florence, Uffizi), in which the sumptuous brocaded dress merits as much attention as the sitter herself. The Wallace Collection’s picture is probably a posthumous studio replica, as implied by the Latin inscription: a phrase used in the mass for a holy woman. The sitter was also buried in the Spanish brocade dress in which she is depicted here. The vase seen in the background has been variously interpreted as a funerary urn or as an emblem of virtue or beauty.