(b. 1449, Firenze, d. 1494, Firenze)
Birth of St John the Baptist (detail)1486-90
Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence
The small St John is being breast fed by a young nurse in the foreground, and a servant is already stretching her arms out energetically for him, in order to give the newborn a bath in a green bowl. Behind them, Ghirlandaio has clearly shown the position the mother is lying in under the blankets. Her bed is made the same way that beds are made in Italy to this day - a white linen sheet turned down at the top end over a woollen blanket.