I would offer up ‘coolly extravagant’ to describe Bronzino’s vision. Above all, it is full of urbanity, which favors presence but renders it unapproachable. To appreciate these paintings, we must also strive to remember the vastly different senses of style and formality under which Bronzino worked. In her essay ‘The Strange Elizabethans,’ Virginia Woolf comments that ‘the familiar letters of the time give us little help’ in understanding their private lives, noting that even there the English diplomat Henry Wotton is ‘pompous and ornate and keeps us stiffly at arm’s length.’ Woolf gets it right (although, it should be said, she is hardly one to talk), and she might have added that Wotton acquired his personal brand of stiffness in Italy. There were no casual Fridays at the Renaissance court, nor were its denizens in the habit of asking, ‘Can I wear shorts to the restaurant?’ Our culture is comfy like a booth at Applebee’s; the Medicis’ was like a resin torch glittering in the eyes of a reptile.