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Doni Tond, Oil by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564, Italy)
The Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna, sometimes called The Holy Family, is the earliest of only three surviving panel paintings by the adult Italian Renaissance master Michelangelo Buonarroti, and the only one to be finished. Located in the Uffizi in Florence, Italy, in its original frame, the painting was probably commissioned by Agnolo Doni to commemorate his marriage to Maddalena Strozzi, the daughter of a powerful Tuscan family. The painting is in the form of a tondo, or round frame, which is frequently associated during the Renaissance with domestic ideas. The work was most likely created during the period after the Doni's marriage in 1503 or 1504, as well as after the excavation of the Laocoön about 1506, yet before the Sistine Chapel ceiling frescoes were begun in 1508, dating the painting to approximately late 1506 or 1507. The Doni Tondo features the Christian Holy family (the child Jesus, Mary, and Saint Joseph) along with John the Baptist in the foreground and contains five ambiguous nude male figures in the background. The inclusion of these nude figures has been interpreted in a variety of ways.