(b. 1483, Firenze, d. 1561, Firenze)

Adoration of the Shepherds

Oil on poplar, 148 x 132 cm
Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest

This is the only surviving painting by Ridolfo which is both signed and dated. It is inscribed on a cartello strip at the lower centre as RIDOLFUS GRILLANDAIUS FLORENTINUS FACIEBAT INSTANTE IOHANNE ITALIANO PETRI M.D.X. The unusual use of the word 'italiano' to indicate the patron's nationality suggests that it was produced for export. The signature implies too that Ridolfo felt unusual pride in this single painting and his Florentine birth, which can be taken as a sort of demonstration piece of his talents.

The presence of the two plague saints, Roch and Sebastian, kneeling in the first plane before the Christ Child is possibly relevant for unraveling the circumstances of the commissioning of the panel, since they are anachronistic to the principal scene of the Adoration. The background has a Northern European character. The composition has the characteristics of a Quattrocento painting, but the style is more simplified and less ornamental.