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Franciabigio (Florence 1484-1525)

Portrait of Jacopo Cennini dated MDXXIII on left hand page of the ledger

RCIN 405766

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This is the earliest surviving portrait of a professional gardener in art. The sitter was identified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Artists (1568) as Jacopo Cennini, the factor and estate manager of Pier francesco di Lorenzo de’ Medici (1487 – 1525) at Fiesole. In an era when the role of the garden ‘designer’ had not yet emerged, it was the estate manager who planned and executed the layout and planting of pleasure gardens on residential estates. Cennini’s responsibilities are suggested by the bill-hooks which hang prominently behind him.