A major work by the great Florentine artist Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572) has just been installed in the landmark exhibition now in progress, The Drawings of Bronzino (on view through April 18, 2010). This rare drawing of an Allegorical Scene of Justice Liberating Innocence is an unprecedented loan made possible by the Prefect and the Collegio dei Dottori of the Biblioteca Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan, thanks to the generous support of the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Milan. The exhibition, which is the first ever dedicated to Bronzino, now presents all the known drawings by him.
The precious drawing is among the most historically important by Bronzino, and is exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum for the first time since its long-awaited, recently completed conservation, in an especially constructed state-of-the-art display case, with micro climate, confirming the excellent conservation standards of the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana. It is executed in an exquisitely pictorial technique and dates from ca. 1545-46. It was a scaled preparatory design for a tapestry commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, and which was woven in Florence by Jan Rost and his workshop. The Biblioteca Pinacoteca Ambrosiana's drawing is part of the famous Codex Resta, a monumental album of drawings which was compiled before 1706 by the great Milanese collector Sebastiano Resta. The Codex Resta is part of the drawings collection of the Ambrosiana.