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Agnolo Bronzino
Head of a Smiling Young Woman in Three-Quarter View
ca. 1542-43
Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, Paris
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by Jerry Saltz

Put yourself in the position of an up-and-coming artist living in early-16th-century Italy. Now imagine trying to distinguish yourself from the other artists living in your town: Michelangelo, Raphael or Leonardo. Is it any wonder that the Italian High Renaissance lasted only 30 years? Popes and kings may have loved it, but artists needed to go try something else. You canít compete with perfection.