About this artwork

Circular panel paintings, known as tondos (tondi in Italian) were popular in fifteenth-century Italy, notably in Florence. Stylistically, the figure group in this example shows the influence of both Piero di Cosimo and Filippino Lippi, whereas the landscape is closer to Raffaello Botticini; but no convincing attribution has been proposed. Devotional images of this kind including the Infant St John the Baptist were especially popular in Florence because John the Baptist was the patron saint of the city. The people of Florence were familiar with seeing the figure of the Baptist on a flat circular form: since the twelfth century his image had graced one side of the gold florin coin, their local currency.

Updated before 2020

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