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The Ambivalent Scorpio In Bronzinos London Allegory

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Chapter Summary

This chapter proposes a new approach to the interpretation of Bronzino's Allegory based on the attribute of the scorpion as the key to the allegorical concept as a whole and the means for deciphering its particular iconographic components. This study demonstrates that the complex ideas conveyed in Bronzino's Allegory were derived from an astrological tradition related to the sign of Scorpio, which had been transmitted and developed from antiquity till the Renaissance. The connection of Bronzino's Allegory with this astrological tradition demonstrates the broader iconographic context of the painting and explains many of its enigmatic elements. Renaissance astrological literature amassed in its pages all the Scorpio-related concepts that had accumulated over the centuries.

Keywords: allegorical concept; ambivalent Scorpio; iconography; London Allegory; Renaissance



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