Raffaello dei Carli, detto Raffaellino del Garbo -inv. 431
The Virgin is holding the Child on her lap while he is blessing the young Saint John the Baptist. The latter is recognisable by his cross and the scroll with the writing “Ecce Agnus Dei”, while a gold star, a symbol deriving from the Latin translation “stella maris” of the Jewish name Miriam, adorns Mary’s light-blue cloak.
The tondo indicates that the work was originally for private devotion since in the Renaissance this form was held to be the most suited for that purpose.
The figures are in front of a stone parapet that separates them from the landscape; a red drape acts as background to the Virgin and Christ Child. The whole scene acquires depth through the perspective treatment of the parapet and the soft effect of the meadows and woods in the distance, perhaps the best conserved part of the painting.
The artist was Raffaello de Carli, a good Florentine painter, pupil of Filippino Lippi, called “del Garbo” from the street his workshop was in. The work is datable to 1500 on stylistic grounds.