Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494)

Domenico Ghirlandaio was a renowned Florentine Renaissance painter whose many apprentices included the great Michelangelo. Ghirlandaio paintings, frescoes and altarpieces are keenly observed and old-fashioned, an appealing style to his Florentine patrons.

Although not an innovator of the realism school, Ghirlandaio did find success in the genre in the 15th century, painting religious frescoes and easel pictures, as well as recognizable Florentine landscapes and personages.

Ghirlandaio is particularly distinguished for his frescoes, among which is The Last Supper, originally painted life-sized in 1480 for the refectory of the Church of Ognissanti in Florence. Ghirlandaio s painting style was both grand and decorative, keeping with the 15th-century restrained and classical style, as can be seen in Adorazione dei Pastori. This Ghirlandaio work was originally an altarpiece for the Sasetti Chapel and also displays the Dutch influence on Ghirlandaio s style.

Not until the late 19th century did Ghirlandaio receive the ranking of leading Florentine painter of the 15th century, due to the high degree of realism in his work as well as his devotion to honesty and truth in art.

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