ca. 1500
tempera and oil on panel
Framed: 48 in. (121.92 cm)
Unframed (tondo): 34 in. (86.36 cm)

Domenico Ghirlandaio was one of the leading artists in Florence toward the end of the 15th century. He had a large workshop in which the young Michelangelo trained along with many other artists. The painter of this tondo, or circular painting, probably trained with Ghirlandaio as well, though the piece also shows extensive borrowings from other masters.

Though we do not know this artist’s real name, he is known as the “Master of the Naumburg Madonna” after one of his most characteristic works, which was given to the Harvard University Art Museums by a member of the Naumburg family. Although the master’s adherence to the simple and clear style typical of later 15th-century Florentine painting borders on the naïve, this style ultimately led to the emphasis on harmony and balance employed by later artists such as Raphael.

Gift of Mrs. E. A. Rennolds in Memory of Mr. and Mrs. John Kerr Branch
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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