Description "Tondi" (circular paintings) were a popular in domestic interiors of Renaissance Florence where they would be viewed by members of the entire family. This painting is especially attuned to a familial audience since it depicts the Christ Child standing between his parents, the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The child gazes directly out of the picture field as if to keep a watchful eye over the home. With his right hand, he offers a gesture of blessing. As in most tondi, the composition is symmetrical. The bodies of Mary and Joseph are carefully calculated to conform to the circular framing. Ridolfo Ghirlandaio ran one of the busiest workshops in early 16th-century Florence. He was second in line of an artistic dynasty established in the 15th century by his father, Domenico (1449-94), and was a close friend and collaborator of the famous Raphael (1483-1520). The lucid lighting and the solemn composure of the figures in the Walters' tondo demonstrates Ridolfo's affinities with both his father and Raphael. For a painting at the Walters by a member of Ridolfo’s workshop, see 37.420.
|12/31/1969||Examination||examined for condition; examined for technical study|
|12/02/1937||Treatment||examined for exhibition; infrared spectroscopy|
|3/30/1965||Examination||chemical analysis; cleaned; examined for acquisition; infrared spectroscopy; lined|
|5/31/1965||Treatment||coated; examined for condition; inpainted; loss compensation; surface cleaned; varnish removed or reduced; x-ray|
Provenance Don Marcello Massarenti Collection, Rome [date and mode of acquisition unknown] [1897 catalogue: no. 407, as Bartolomeo Vivarini]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1902, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection, 1902
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