Cosimo de' Medici I was Duke of Florence and came to power at the age of 17, after the assassination of Duke Alessandro de' Medici in 1537. He was also Grand Duke of Tuscany from 1569. He and his wife Eleonora di Toledo (1522–1562) were great patrons of the arts and particularly favoured Bronzino.
Cosimo was also an enthusiast of alchemy, a passion he had inherited from his grandmother, Caterina Sforza, and something which may explain why this much-copied bust of the 1560 official half-length portrait image of him appealed to Otto Christop Joseph Gerhardt Ludwig Overbeck (c.1852–1937). Overbeck was a research chemist and the last owner of the house, once called Sharpitor, near Salcombe.
Where to see this painting?
National Trust, Overbeck's
Sharpitor, Salcombe, Devon, England, TQ8 8LW
If you are planning a visit to see this painting, check with the collection first. Paintings can be moved at short notice.