(b. 1445, Firenze, d. 1510, Firenze)
Madonna of the Magnificat (detail)1480-81
Tempera on panel
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
Encouraged by the Christ Child, the Virgin is about to dip her quill and write the last words of the Magnificat, beginning on the right page with the large initial "M".
The lines on the left page of the book are from the Benedictus, the song of praise which Zachariah sang in St Luke's Gospel upon the birth of his son St John the Baptist. As the latter was the patron saint of the city of Florence, it is more than likely that the man who commissioned the work was also a Florentine.