portrait of lucrezia panciatichi

The Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi is a painting by the Italian artist Agnolo di Cosimo, known asBronzino, finished around 1545. It is housed in theUffiziGallery inFlorence, Italy.

Lucrezia di Sigismondo Pucci was the wife ofBartolomeo Panciatichi, a Florentine humanist and politician, also portrayed by Bronzino in another Uffizi portrait.Giorgio Vasaridescribes the two portraits as: “so natural that they seem truly living”. The show of refined garments and jewelry was intended not only to underline the élite position of the woman, but also aspects of her personality through a complex symbology, including the words “Amour dure sans fin” on the golden necklace, a reference to a love treatise written for the Grand Duke of Florence,Cosimo I de’ Medici, in 1547.

Portrait of Lucrezia Panciatichi - detail

Dionysus

She was violet and born from the waters of the Moon
in her eyes, the ethereal light of some otherworldly blue
lighted by the silver-gold of stars
divinely turning as the light fell on her,
disappearing and returning with some clarity
something that made all sure it would be gone for just a blink of the eye.

She was in an orbit for sure, but the exact path she walked none could tell
maybe it was only right that her way was the way of life
some branches here, some twigs with leaves on the other side
her silence bore flowers, her smile the heart of everything
and her words the simplest absolution redeemed
by making twigs ourselves and nests for birds.

You, honest for honesty’s sake
and me for the sake of being understood
of being seen, so see, ethereal light of some otherworldly blue
for I see the violet lakes of the Moon
and I see the jagged circles of shores, and my finger goes round them
waiting to make a sound at the place that gave birth to such enchantment.

Blood of me to the blood of you
and the forms it would take, and the worlds it would travel
and the lives it would lead, this union
if I have been born already, now is the second
of the second time, you my Zeus and me a new Dionysus
daughter of the Moon, scarred with violet.