(b. 1452, Firenze, d. 1525, Firenze)
Painter and mosaicist, brother of Domenico Ghirlandaio. Most of his professional career was linked to that of his brother. His date of birth is recorded in the baptismal records of Florence Cathedral, and in 1472 he is listed with Domenico in the Libro rosso of the Compagnia di S Luca. On 3 January 1472 he was admitted to the confraternity of S Paolo. His collaboration with Domenico is documented from 1480, when he is listed in his father's tax declaration as being 29 years old and described as Domenico's 'aiuto', but a precise definition of his role as assistant is unclear. Suggestions range from considering him a financial adviser (the source of which is an anecdote in Vasari) to an alter ego of his brother.
His participation in Domenico's painting commissions is well documented, but a clear view of his own early style is impossible to establish owing to the lack of independent commissions documented to him. The earliest such commission, a panel of St Lucy and a Donor (1494; Florence, S Maria Novella), shows a style that differs from Domenico's largely in terms of its inferior quality. Both figure and drapery style show Domenico's imprint, but the drawing and modelling are both simpler and stiffer. Vasari recorded other works by Davide, including a fresco of the Crucifixion with Saints (Florence, Cenacolo S Apollonia), the facial types, drapery and figure styles of which show similarities with the S Maria Novella St Lucy.