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Portrait of Girolamo Benivieni
Probably by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio

The sitter is almost certainly Girolamo Benivieni (1453 - 1542), a significant figure in Florentine literary and political circles. Benivieni and his adored friend, the humanist poet and philosopher Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, were among the first of the intellectual coterie formerly surrounding Lorenzo de' Medici to fall under the influence of the Dominican preacher and reformer Girolamo Savonarola.

Benivieni denounced his own early love poetry and instead wrote songs to accompany the bonfires of frivolous and erotic objects organised by Savonarola's youthful followers. He also translated Savonarola's teachings from Latin. He later retired from public life but his advice was sought both by Medicean and republican factions in the 1520s and 1530s. This portrait may reflect one made by his friend Lorenzo di Credi, another follower of Savonarola.

Key facts
Artist Probably by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio
Artist dates 1483 - 1561
Full title Portrait of Girolamo Benivieni
Date made probably about 1510-20
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 70.5 x 56.2 cm
Acquisition credit Salting Bequest, 1910
Inventory number NG2491
Location in Gallery Not on display
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