Domenico, Davide and Benedetto Ghirlandaio were three brothers from Florence, Italy, who became well-known painters during the Renaissance. The son of Domenico, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio, also become a well-established artist in his own right.
However it was Domenico Ghirlandaio who is the most well-known of the Ghirlandaio family, particularly appreciated for his portraits and their realistic backdrops. He specialised in frescoes, where his expertise in composition really came to life, particularly through his skill in perspective, chiaroscuro and lifelike figures.
Indeed, Domenico Ghirlandaio is much appreciated for his abilities in rendering his subjects so realistically that provide us with a probable exact rendering of his subjects, many of whom were important historical figures.
Running a successful workshop, the Ghirlandaio brothers took in many other artists, none more famous than Michelangelo.
Domenico Ghirlandaio in particular is said to have imparted some of his knowledge upon Michelangelo, no doubt coming in handy when he was commission to paint the Sistine Chapel.
The Ghirlandaio brothers original family name was Bigordi, however their goldsmith father earned the nickname "Il Ghirlandaio" thanks to his skill in making gold garlands (“ghirlande”) that were popular with the Florentine ladies at the time. This name ended up being applied to the entire family, and stuck. Ironically, Domenico Ghirlandaio was one of the first artists of his time to abandon almost entirely the use of gold gilding in his works.
Artworks by Domenico Ghirlandaio can be found in Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Ognissanti, San Marco's refectory (with Domenico’s own version of the Last Supper), the Sassetti Chapel, as well many other locations in Florence, Tuscany and beyond, including in many international museums (such as the Louvre).
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