Saturday, November 25, 2006

First works in Florence and Rome

In 1480, Ghirlandaio painted the Saint Jerome and other frescoes in the church of the Ognissanti, Florence, and a life-sized Last Supper in its refectory. From 1481 to 1485, he was employed on frescoes in the Sala dell'Orologio of the Palazzo Vecchio. He also painted the Apotheosis of St. Zenobius, an over-life-sized work with an elaborate architectural framework, figures of Roman heroes, and other secular details, striking in its perspective and structural/compositional skill.

In 1483, Ghirlandaio was summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to paint a wall fresco in the Sistine Chapel: Christ calling Peter and Andrew to their Apostleship. His other works in Rome are now lost. Before 1485, he produced frescoes in the chapel of S. Fina, in the Tuscan town of S. Gimignano, which after c.1350 was under the rule of nearby Siena. His future brother-in-law, Sebastiano Mainardi, assisted him with these commissions in Rome and in S. Gimignano.