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Ghirlandaio, Ridolfo (Italian, b.1483, d.1561), Artist
Florentine School , Early 16th Century, Formerly Attributed to
Man With A Rose
oil on panel
730 x 560 mm panel size; 1025 x 850 mm frame size
11-1967
Collection of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Bequeathed 1967 by Mrs Doris Monheimer.
This painting has presented the Dunedin Public Art Gallery with a few puzzles since it arrived in the collection. Although its attribution to Ridolfo Ghirlandaio had been reputably confirmed, this was later queried; further research suggests Ghirlandaio did indeed paint this picture. In the absence of any information about the sitter, the work has long been known as ‘Man with a Pink’, perhaps because betrothal portraits of the 15th and 16th centuries often showed the sitter holding a single pink (carnation). However, this man is holding a rose which, like the pink, was traditionally an emblem of love.
Son and pupil of the more famous painter Domenico Ghirlandaio, Ridolfo appears also to have studied under Fra Bartolommeo and Raphael, and his life was documented by that indispensable biographer of Italian Renaissance artists, Giorgio Vasari. He is best known for his religious paintings, which demonstrate a lively ability to create theatrical scenes, a talent that came in handy when he was commissioned to devise festive decorations such as those for the wedding of Lorenzo de Medici, Duke of Urbino, in 1518. However, he was also well known for his portraits, including one of the rich and powerful Cosimo de Medici.

not on view

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