According to Vasari, Raffaellino del Garbo was a pupil of the Florentine painter Fillipino Lippi, whose style he emulated throughout much of his career. He is documented soon after 1493 in Rome, where his first work is a frescoed vault in the ante-chamber of Filippino Lippi’s Carafa Chapel in Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome; he is also believed to have collaborated circa
1495 with Bernardino Pinturicchio in the decoration of the Borgia apartments in the Vatican.
By 1498 del Garbo had returned to his native town and in the following year enrolled in the painter’s guild in Florence. The artist’s Corsini Altarpiece
, representing The Madonna and Child with Two Angels, Saints Jerome and Bartholomew
, now in the De Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco (reproduced in B. Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance
, Florentine School
, London 1963, vol. II, fig. 1168), is one of the artist's few signed and dated (1502) works. It is highly characteristic of Raffaellino’s mature output and reveals a fusion of Florentine and Umbrian styles, the former inherited largely through his master Filippino Lippi, the latter derived from his own experiences in Rome and from the work of Perugino in Florence.
The present panel almost certainly dates from the latter part of the artist’s career. The outlines of the faces and folds of the drapery have become stronger and the figures have a sense of solidity less apparent than in his earlier work. The composition itself adheres to a late 15th
century Florentine formula, with seemingly two-dimensional figures arranged symmetrically across an architectural setting, with a distant landscape extending into the background beyond the arched portico.
When sold in 2002 (see Provenance), Everett Fahy confirmed the attribution to Raffaelino del Garbo, and described it as a relatively late work.