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DOMENICO GHIRLANDAIO AND HIS WORKSHOP IN PISA: PANEL PAINTINGS FOR THE GESUATI      

Sarah M. Cadagin

 

Domenico Ghirlandaio’s three paintings in Pisa’s Museo Nazionale di San Matteo have long been the subject of connoisseurial investigation, but have been little examined in light of their origins in Pisa’s Gesuati church of San Girolamo. Exploring Ghirlandaio’s presence in Pisa in the late 1470s as well as the religious culture of the Gesuati, this study proposes that Ghirlandaio’s Pisan panels were an early turning point in his career, as he moved from working in smaller centers in Tuscany to undertaking some of the most memorable mural programs in late fifteenth-century Florence. In considering the iconography and patronage of these paintings, this study furthermore illuminates new connections between Ghirlandaio and the Medici, who had long sponsored architectural and artistic renewal in Pisa. Lorenzo de’ Medici, in particular, emerges as powerful, yet discreet patron of Ghirlandaio’s who deftly used the artist’s works to promote his family and Florentine hegemony.