(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
Michelangelo probably realized this famous picture about 1506, on the occasion of the birth of Agnolo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi's first daughter. (Few years before Raffaello had painted the portraits of Agnolo Doni and his wife, now conserved at Palatina Gallery in Florence).
Highly significant of the artist's style, the group with the Virgin, Saint Joseph and the Child shows the peculiar twisting of the limbs and the evidence given to body's muscles, a pattern that clearly appears in michelangiolesque sculpture. Brightness of colours, lighting effects, emphasize impressiveness of the sacred figures. The nudes on the background, whose poses and gestures are all connected to classical sculptures, symbolize pagan mankind, the world before coming of Christ; on the right the little St John indicates the passage, through the baptism, from the pagan age to the christian age.
Restored in 1985