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Summary Article: Ghirlandaio, Domenico (c. 1449–1494)
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Italian fresco painter. He was the head of a large and prosperous workshop in Florence. His fresco cycle (1486–90) in Sta Maria Novella, Florence, includes portraits of many Florentines and much contemporary domestic detail. He also worked in Pisa, Rome, and San Gimignano, and painted many portraits.

He was styled Il Ghirlandaio or Grillandaio (garland-maker) after his father Tommaso, who was a goldsmith. He studied under Baldovinetti and his style was influenced by Castagno, Masaccio, and Verrocchio. His first major work was the Life of St Fina in the Cappella Fina, 1475, and his frescoes in Florence include those for the Sassetti Chapel in Santa Trinità, 1485, and for the choir of Santa Maria Novella (the Life of St Francis, 1485, and the scenes from the life of St John the Baptist and the Virgin, his masterpiece, 1486–90). A prolific painter with a flourishing studio, Ghirlandaio produced not only frescoes and mosaics but many religious subjects on panel and portraits. Of the two frescoes he contributed to the Sistine Chapel to the order of Sixtus IV, 1481, the Calling of St Andrew and St Peter remains. His altarpiece from Santa Maria Novella is at Munich. Among his pupils was Michelangelo.

Ghirlandaio was assisted by his brothers, Davide (1452–1525) and Benedetto (1458–1497). Davide helped in the mosaic of the Annunciation over the north portal of Florence Cathedral and executed others at Orvieto, Florence, and Siena. The son of Domenico, Ridolfo (1483–1561), was also a painter and was a friend of Raphael. He too had a busy studio and was employed by the Signoria of Florence and the Medici. There are paintings by him in galleries at Berlin, Paris (Louvre), and Florence (Uffizi and Pitti).

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