(b. 1449, Firenze, d. 1494, Firenze)
Birth of Mary (detail)1486-90
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
"... One of (the women) holds the Child in her arms and makes it laugh by smiling, with a feminine grace truly worthy of a work of this great genius, each figure being distinguished in its various expressions" (Vasari).
Here Ghirlandaio succeeds in convincingly continuing the rear wall of the real chapel, which has windows, into the depth of the picture, where there is also a painted window. As a result, part of the frieze of dancing putti playing instruments is in the light, and part in shadow. The figures of the nurses are also captivatingly vivid the joy of the lovely woman holding the child lights up her bright face. And the marvelous moving figure of the woman pouring water gives the picture a look of everyday life.