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The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist

The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist (c. 1504) is also known as Doni Tondo, where Doni is the last name of Agnolo Doni who was a rich cloth merchant in Florence, and tondo, a word in Italian for round painting. The painting was probably commissioned by Agnolo Doni and his wife Maddalena Strozzi to mark the birth of their first daughter Maria on 8th September 1507. Alternatively the painting's creation has been thought to commemorate and celebrate the marriage of Agnolo Doni and Maddalena Strozzi in 1504.

The tondo has a magnificent wooden frame, probably carved by members of the Tasso family. There are five heads on the frame, depicting Jesus, two prophets and two sybils. The frame also shows the coats of arms of the Doni and Strozzi families. Agnolo was married to Maddalena Strozzi.

The painting itself is dominated by the serpentine composition of Christ, Mary and Joseph in the foreground. It shows a powerful Mary, sitting on the ground, taking over her child from Joseph. Mary`s eyes and her son`s eyes both stare at each other intently. In the background on the right John the Baptist is visible, perhaps standing in a pool used for baptism. That would symbolize the transition from pagan times (the naked youths) to christianity.

The Holy Family with the Infant St. John the Baptist is a painting in Painting in Tempra on Wooden Panel and is housed in the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy.

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