Adoration of the Magi, detail (probable self-portrait)
This Florentine master achieved success with a solid, old-fashioned yet realistic storytelling style His most famous pupil was Michelangelo. Ghirlandaio painted frescoes to decorate churches and chapels.
He used contemporary settings, dress, manners, faces, and portraits to illustrate religious subjects, against a background of Tuscan landscapes and views of Florence. Ghirlandaio’s works resemble the genre paintings of the Dutch.
His figures have long hands, wrists, and legs. In tempera, he uses long, widely spaced strokes that follow the main curves and contours. Domenico had brothers David (1452 – 1525) and Benedetto (1458 – 1497), also artists. David was left-handed, and so used hatching that goes from top left to bottom right.
Ghirlandaio’s major works are A Legend of Sts. Justus and Clement of Volterra, c. 1479 (London: National Gallery); Birth of John the Baptist, 1479–85 (Florence: Santa Maria Novella); Birth of the Virgin, 1479–85 (Florence: Santa Maria Novella); Portrait of an Old Man and a Boy, c. 1485 (Paris: Musée du Louvre).
- Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.