(b. 1449, Firenze, d. 1494, Firenze)

Baptism of Christ

c. 1473
Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, San Donnino

The fresco is in the tympanum above the Madonna and Child with Saints. Two angels are kneeling on the left bank of the river Jordan, shown as a little flat stream flowing towards us. They are holding the clothes of the person being baptized, who is clad only in a loincloth. Christ is standing in water up to his ankles. St John the Baptist, in a fur robe, is gathering up his cloak and stepping carefully on to a stone to baptize Christ.

This fresco, because of its poorer quality, is frequently attributed to assistants from Ghirlandaio's workshop. It is a loose copy of the famous panel painting which Verrocchio painted with the help of his assistant Leonardo da Vinci. Ghirlandaio added the two praying angels on the right of his composition, and these, together with the corresponding figures on the other side of the river, form a compositional frame for the work.. This assumption that clear symmetrical balance is important shows that the artist was still rather conservative.