Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Domenico Ghirlandaio, Madonna and Child with St Sebastian and St Julian, c. 1473, fresco in Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, San Donnino

Travel guide for Tuscany

Domenico Ghirlandaio | Frescoes in Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, San Donnino, near Florence


About 1473, Domenico Ghirlandaio painted the fresco Madonna and Child with Saints Sebastian and Julian in the church of Sant'Andrea a Brozzi in San Donnino near Florence. It is still disputed whether Ghirlandaio carried out this work, which is in a regrettably poor state of preservation, before or after his work in San Gimignano in about 1475. It is clear that in this Madonna and Child he does not appear to have found his own style yet.

When compared to Ghirlandaio's later versions of this theme, the composition appears to have been constructed rather summarily. The figures seem simply to have been lined up, as if placed on pedestals in niches, a feature that brings to mind the apse fresco in Cercina. In Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, however, the architecture - with the exception of the seashell-shaped niche above the throne and the framing pilasters - has been minimized in favour of a landscape. The saints are no longer standing in niches, but posing on a terrace high above a river. The strictly arranged figures do not overlap in any way and are standing in front of a poorly developed space. In his later use of such themes, Ghirlandaio would attempt to fill every empty space in the picture.

The type of Madonna depicted and the form of the standing Christ Child are clearly influenced by Verrocchio, and it is likely that Ghirlandaio spent some time working in his workshop.

The high forehead, sharp chin and narrow lips of Mary, and the upright contrapposto pose of her sturdy child are the features most clearly reminiscent of figures by Verrocchio. The Christ Child, shown naked, is seen from a frontal view standing on a small cushion lying on his mother's right thigh. This motif also was borrowed from Verrocchio and is used by Ghirlandaio on a further occasion in about 1479, on the altarpiece in Lucca, where he makes only slight changes to the child's stance. In both works, the figure of Mary with the high waistline belongs to the same type. Her garment, which has been totally destroyed above the knees in the fresco, can be reconstructed using the one shown in the later panel painting.

Because of the fresco's poor state of preservation, there is little that can be said about the effect of the colours and modelling of the garments. The artistic qualities of this work have been largely destroyed, though this is not a reason for dismissing the fresco too readily.

The two saints on either side of the throne are wearing fashionable clothing and posing rather affectedly. Both figures are derived from models in Castagno's Assumption of the Virgin dating from about 1450 and now in the Berlin Gemäldegalerie. This type of young man will frequently appear in Ghirlandaio's later works. Saint Sebastian on the left is turning to the Christ Child with an affectedly elegant gesture, and Saint Julian is holding out his sword. As he does so, he casually places his left hand on his hip. The same posture is rather amusing when seen in the Lucca Christ Child, as it is so unusual for a small child. The relationship of the motifs in the panel painting in Lucca and the fresco in Sant'Andrea can also be seen in the posture of the gray figure of Saint Paul, who is holding his sword in the same manner as Saint Julian. The Saint Sebastian in the panel painting has a similarly angelic face to the one in the fresco. In addition, both figures are holding arrows, the symbols of their martyrdom, with their fingertips.


Domenico Ghirlandaio, Baptism of Christ, c. 1473, fresco in Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, San Donnino

Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Artists | Domenico Ghirlandaio, painter of Florence

Giorgio Vasari | Le vite de' più eccellenti architetti, pittori, et scultori italiani, da Cimabue insino a' tempi nostri | Domenico Ghirlandaio, Pittore Fiorentino

Art in Tuscany | Domenico Ghirlandaio | Frescoes in Sant'Andrea a Brozzi, San Donnino | The Tornabuoni Chapel | | Portrait of Giovanna degli Albizzi Tornabuoni | The Adoration of the Magi | Domenico Ghirlandaio, The Sassetti Chapel in the Santa Trinita church in Florence | Domenico Ghirlandaio, Calling of the Apostles, 1481, fresco in the Cappella Sistina | Domenice Ghirlandaio, Last Supper frescoes

[1] Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449 - 1494)
Born in 1449, Domenico di Tommaso Bigordi was called Ghirlandaio because his goldsmith father specialized in creating gold and silver garlands (ghirlande). Though presumably trained in his father's profession, Ghirlandaio worked under Alesso Baldovinetti, according to Vasari.[1] And he may also have assisted Andrea del Verrocchio, as his early panel paintings and frescoes clearly betray that master's influence. In temperament and approach, however, Ghirlandaio differed from both of his putative painting teachers. "Pronto, presto, e facile," as Vasari described him, Ghirlandaio simplified their painstakingly realistic styles into one more suitable for fresco. The artist was, in fact, primarily active in that medium, creating extensive fresco cycles in Rome (Sistine Chapel, 1481-1482) and elsewhere. His most notable Florentine cycles are in the Sassetti chapel in Santa Trinità (1483-1485) and in the choir, patronized by the Tornabuoni family, in Santa Maria Novella (1486-1490). To complete such vast undertakings Ghirlandaio employed a highly organized workshop, which included not only his brothers Davide and Benedetto but also his brother-in-law Sebastiano Mainardi, and even the young Michelangelo. Taken together, Ghirlandaio's frescoes, with their numerous portraits of members of the leading aristocratic families, provide a unique panorama of contemporary Florentine life. The artist died in 1494, leaving a son, Ridolfo, also a painter.

This page uses material from the Wikipedia article Domenico Ghirlandaio, published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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Holiday accomodation in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia | Artist and writer's residency


Podere Santa Pia
Podere Santa Pia, garden view, April

Bagni San Filippo

Siena, Palazzo Sansedoni
Bagni San Filippo
Siena, duomo



San Donnino Semifonte | The Chapel of San Michele Arcangelo is particularly interesting. Built in 1597 by Santi di Tito, it is a perfect 1:8 scale reproduction of the Cupola or Dome of the Cathedral of Florence. It was constructed on the site of the ancient city of Semifonte, completely razed to the ground by the Florentines in 1202.

Semifonte was a fortified village, with walls and towers and was formed by 300 family who formed the garrison of 300 soldiers.
It had 4 gates, the first in the direction of the village of Lucardo, with a high tower where there also was a very nice spring, it was so called "Porta al Bagnano" or "Porta alla Fonte". Entering this gate you were in the Borgo with houses, kitchen-gardens, smitheries and at the end there was the second gate called "del Borgo" or "della Bastia" because there was a tower (Bastia).
The third gate, nicer and bigger was called "Romana", was merloned and higher more than 120 ells, had balcony and marble small colums and a linon in stone where the gonfalon had his discourses so that the tower was called the lions tower.
The "Postierla" was the gate in the direction of Vico called "Saint Niccolò" gate because there was the church devoted to that Saint. In the center of the village there was a square with the palace of the old Visconti and the houses of the magnates and where there was a solid Rocca or Fortress.
Semifonte was originated from Florentine generations and was a feudal empire until the 1167 from a family arrived in Italy with the Longobards. Emilia, the las daughter and heir of a viscount of that family get married in 1170 with the Count Alberto de Conti Alberti, they had sons Mainardo, Rinaldo and others.
The town was menacing with its power the supremacy of Florence so that was decided to move war against the town.
As a result the town was conquered and completely destroyed so that was litterally erased from the land. The same destruction was applyed to all the castles of the valley who were allied with Semifonte.
To let the people remember the defeat and state the power of Florence on the land a reproduction of the Dome Chapel in Florence was built where once stood the town of Semifonte.
The Semifonte Chapel is a reproduction of the Chapel of the Duomo of Florence andwas built to remember the destroyed city of Semifonte.
Petrognano, representing all that remains of the lost city of Semifonte, razed to the ground in 1202 by Florence, that later, according to legend, built Barberino with stones taken from it.

The Castle of Paneretta, Monsanto | The Paneretta Castle is situated in the Chianti Classico area on the western slopes of the dominating hills of the Elsa valley, looking towards S. Gimignano. It was built around an ancient sighting tower. The morning after the battle from Montaperti, the “Ghibellini” ordered to leave the castle of Cepparello in 1260. This place was an important suburb and fortress of this area. So the sighting tower becomes bigger and reaches its importance. The first owners of the castle were the family Vettori, the last heir, Maddalena, brought it as dowry to her wedding with Ludovico Capponi in 1577. The couple restored the castle completely and commissioned Bernardino Poccetti, important manner painter, to fresco the loggia of the court. In this era the Paneretta became a place of passing by for painters and poets, one of those, Gerolamo Muzio, dedicated a poem to the castle and remained here until his death. Also the production of wine is documented from 1596, on. In 1696, Cassandra Capponi brought the castle, an important collection of codex’s, parchments and books into her marriage with the Marchese Carlo Riccardi Strozzi. This collection formed the nucleus of the Riccardian library in Florence. The Strozzi family remained owner of the castle until 1984, in this year, the family Albisetti took over. With its 309 hectares ( majority wood) the Paneretta is one of the biggest farms of the area, producing 900 hectolitres of wine from 22 hectares of vineyards.
Wines in Tuscany | The Chianti area

Linari, a pretty fortified borough of very old origins and very attractive because of its position among the green hills of Valdelsa. It can be reached from Barberino Val d' Elsa, after to have crossed the village in direction of Poggibonsi-Siena, turning to right following the indications to Sant' Appiano-Linari, Linari is approximately 5 km from Barberino, along a beautiful road that slides on the top of the hills from which you can see a wonderful sight over the entire Tuscany, in the fine days along this road can be seen the Apuan Alps, the Appennino and the Amiata Mount.

Sant’Appiano existence can be traced back to Etruscan-Roman times, with the ruins of the Baptistery and Romanesque Church where the mortal remains are conserved of the Saint who lived here in the IV-V century, and whose name was given to the village that had previously been called Monteloro.
The Parish Church of Sant'Appiano, this suggestive and beautiful Parish Church, mentioned in documents as early as 990, still retains many early Romanesque structural remains, like the part in stone in the left nave, the apse and the crypt.

The very old Parish Church of Sant'Appiano, in stone (11th century) and brick (12th century), whose attached Antiquarium Museum contains various Etruscan finds and ceramics that come from the many necropoli in the area. In the the photo, in the foreground are the remains of the Baptistery.