(b. 1475, Caprese, d. 1564, Roma)
The Holy Family with the infant St. John the Baptist (the Doni tondo)c. 1506
Tempera on panel, diameter 120 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
The Doni tondo is Michelangelo's sole unanimously accepted panel painting. His only other documented easel painting, The Leda and the Swan, seems to have been destroyed and must be reconstructed from autograph drawings and copies. The tondo was probably produced for the same Doni for whom Raphael painted the pair of portraits, now in the Palazzo Pitti.
The Holy Family is in the foreground. The Virgin, a muscular young woman, is turning round with a complicated movement to take the Christ Child Joseph is handing to her over her shoulder. The meaning of this scene is both theologically and philosophically obscure, as is the significance of the naked young men in the background.
The frame around the painting, probably designed by Michelangelo, was carved by Francesco del Tasso, an exponent of the highest level of the tradition of wood carving in Florence. It shows the head of Christ and those of four prophets, surrounded by grotesques and racemes, in which there are half moons, hidden in the top left section: the emblem of the Strozzi family.