The Renaissance Garden’s of Florence – Giusto Utens

Castello Gardens Florence

Villa Medici di Castello

It took a long time before landscape painting took off. There were flashes of it emerging in the fouthteenth centuary and then again during the fifteenth. However one of the greatest illustrators of formal landscapes, parks and gardens was the Flemmish painter Giusto Utens.

Utens was commissioned by the Third Duke of Tuscany, Ferdinando Medici, to paint lunette of their country estates, parks and gardens. These were carried out between 1599 and 1602 and acurately, allbeit with a little artistic licence for compositional purposes, record the landscape of the time.

Florence villa

Medici Villa di Vetturino

Using a birds-eye view he perfectly captures the Florentine scenery in all its glory. It is fun to match the paintings against the modern skyline and see just how  the suburbs have changed. Some are still very rural locations but others these days are at the heart of busy urban districts.

Overall, Utens captured 14 of the Medici estates that surround Florence and today you can now visit and walk around many of these villas and gardens. If you track down the villas around Florence on Google Earth, and using a 45′ view you can recreate the view point that Utens himself used.


Villa Medici di Marignolle

Although in many instances the buildings have changed and plants and trees have been removed, there is still a lot of patterns in the landscape with which to line up the original paintings.

The  Medici Florentine gardens in the Utens collection are –


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

  • Villa Medici del Trebbio
  • Villa Medicea di Cafaggiolo
  • Palazzo Pitti and the Boboli Gardens
  • Villa Medidi di Castello
  • Villa Medici la Petraia
  • Villa Medicea di Pratolino
  • Villa Medici dell Armbrogiana
  • Villa Medici di Lappeggi
  • Villa Medici di Poggio a Caiano
  • Villa Medici do Serravezza
  • Villa Medico la Magia
  • Villa Medici di Marignolle
  • Villa Medici di Montevettolini
  • Villa Medici di Colle Salvetti



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s