Bronzino was born in Florence. According to his contemporary Vasari, Bronzino was a pupil first of Raffaellino del Garbo, and then of Pontormo. The latter was ultimately the primary influence on Bronzino's developing style and the young artist remained devoted to his eccentric teacher. Indeed, Pontormo is thought to have introduced a portrait of Bronzino as a child (seated on a step) into one of his series on Joseph in Egypt now in the National Gallery, London. Bronzino's early indebtedness to Pontormo's instruction can be seen in the arresting little Capponi Chapel in Santa Felicita, Florence. During the mid 1520s, the two artists worked together on this commission, though Bronzino is believed to have mostly served as an assistant to his teacher on the masterly Annunciation and The Deposition from the Cross frescoes that adorn the main walls of the chapel. The four tondi that contain images of the evangelists above are more of a mystery: Vasari wrote that Bronzino painted two of them, but his style is so similar to Pontormo's that scholars still debate the specific attributions.
Towards the end of his life, Bronzino took a prominent part in the activities of the Florentine Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, of which he was a founding member in 1563.