New volume in the Frick Diptych series focuses on an enigmatic Renaissance portrait, pairing an essay by Frick curator Aimee Ng with a contribution by bestselling author Daniel Mendelsohn.
Painted about 1550–50 by Agnolo Bronzino (Italian, 1503–1572), this remarkable portrait depicts the young Florentine aristocrat Lodovico Capponi (b. 1534), an associate of the Medici court. Capponi wears black and white, his family’s armorial colors. His right index finger partially conceals the medal he holds, revealing the legend SORTE (fate or fortune)—evoking the young man’s future. In the mid-1550s, Lodovico fell in love with Maddalena Vettori, whom Duke Cosimo de Medici had intended for one of his cousins. After years of opposition, the duke relented, and Lodovico and Maddalena were married with lavish celebrations.