Michelangelesque Iconography


On display in this room are several portraits, on loan from the Florentine Galleries, which, though executed in different periods, ranging from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, all derive from the prototype of the famous portrait painted in Rome around 1535 by the Florentine Jacopino del Conte (1510-98). The finest example is the panel located above the showcase. This painting was donated to the Uffizi by the Strozzi family in 1771, when it was considered a self-portrait by Michelangelo. Immediately afterward, however, the authorship of Michelangelo was rejected. Nowadays historians ascribe it directly to the workshop of Jacopino del Conte.
In the words of Giorgio Vasari: “Di Michelagnolo non ci è altri ritratti che duoi di pittura, uno di mano del Bugiardino e l’altro di Iacopo del Conte, et uno di bronzo tutto rilievo fatto da Daniello Ricciarelli” (‘Of Michelagnolo there exist but two painted portraits, one by the hand of “il Bugiardino” and the other by Iacopo del Conte, and one in bronze relief made by Daniello Ricciarelli’). All three of these portraits are on display in the Casa Buonarroti Museum: the portrait by Jacopino del Conte in this room, while the Camera della Notte e del Dì hosts the painting by Giuliano Bugiardini – dating back, according to recent studies, to 1522, it places Michelangelo at 47 years old – and Daniele da Volterra’s renowned bronze bust.