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Date: Late 1500s
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Portrait of a Gentleman; Portrait of a Man holding Flowers and a Pruning knife by Annibale Carracci (attributed)
Half length oil painting of a gentleman, in black coat with white collar and cuffs. He holds in his right hand a gardeners knife, while his left hand is holding some flowers he has just cut. An orange tree is growing behind him on the left; there is a distant sunset landscape on the right. On canvas, in a gilt frame. The author of this arresting portrait of a gentleman posed as a gardener has been much debated. In 1918, it was considered to be a self-portrait by Annibale Carracci, the leading early seventeenth century Bolognese artist, who was admired for his classical realist style. This attribution was questioned when the work was exhibited in the 1950s and 60s. It was seen to be closer to that of Carracci’s Bolognese teacher, Passarotti, known for his paintings of tradesmen. Its style, though, suggests an earlier date.