(b. 1449, Firenze, d. 1494, Firenze)
Portrait of the Donor Nera Corsi Sassetti1483-85
Santa Trinita, Florence
"In two pictures on either side he painted Francesco Sassetti kneeling, and Madonna Nera, his wife and her children, the latter being in the scene above where the boy is raised to life, with some beautiful maidens of the same family" (Vasari).
The two donors are in prayer on either side of the altar, as if they are taking part in the Adoration of the Shepherds depicted on the altarpiece. Linking the frescoes and the central panel painting in this way, Ghirlandaio creates what is almost a triptych. Astonishingly enough, the wife, Nera Corsi Sassetti, is occupying the traditionally more distinguished position on the right of the religious scene.
At the base is the painted inscription: A.D. MCCCCLXXX. XV decembris. This could be the initial date of the work whose conclusion is in the great altarpiece with the Nativity, dated 1485.