March 2019

Back to Issue 5

Vasari’s Portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent

By Roger Vickery

This is a sallow divo, weary of the game.  

Discarded masks, the apprentice tools 

of his youth, surround his throne. 

Bacchus, valued only by fools, 


swallows his own lyre. A jester 

whispers in the prince’s unseen ear.

Good luck on finding a funny bone there. 

Lorenzo slumps like a gambler bored


with the rigged cards hidden inside 

his leopard skin cuffs. Power  

and patronage were yesterday’s 

play things. You can bet David’s


perfect arse his eyes will soon swivel 

towards the two-way mirror that tips him 

when Il vero Magnifico is about to enter. 

Lorenzo’s public hand is angled, spire sure… 


Portrait: Lorenzo the Magnificent