GHIRLANDAIO, Ridolfo
(b. 1483, Firenze, d. 1561, Firenze)

Biography

Italian painter, son of Domenico Ghirlandaio. He probably learnt his craft from his father and remained with his uncle Davide Ghirlandaio when the latter took over the workshop in 1494. Ridolfo’s first documented work is the Virgin of the Sacred Girdle (1509; Prato Cathedral), which was commissioned in 1507 from Davide and Ridolfo but probably mostly painted by the latter. The upper part still shows Domenico’s influence, whereas the lower section reflects, somewhat clumsily, the more modern style of Fra Bartolommeo, with whom Ridolfo studied, according to Vasari. An interest in Piero di Cosimo is also apparent in the use of light and the sometimes disquieting landscapes of the earlier works that may be attributed to Ridolfo with certainty. This is particularly evident in SS Peter and Paul (Florence, Pitti), commissioned from Davide in 1503 but attributable to Ridolfo on the basis of style, the Virgin and Child between SS Francis and Mary Magdalene (1503; Florence, Accademia) and the Coronation of the Virgin (1504; Paris, Louvre), which was inspired by Domenico’s altarpiece of the same subject (1484–86; Narni, Pinacoteca Comunale). Another very interesting work that may be dated to the first decade of the 16th century is the Procession to Calvary (London, National Gallery), which shows signs of Ridolfo’s study of Leonardo’s lost cartoon of the Battle of Anghiari.