Doni Tondo is a painting produced between 1506 and 1507 by an Italian artist Michelangelo Buonarroti.
The Doni Tondo or Doni Madonna also called The Holy Family is the only finished panel painting by the mature Michelangelo without the aid of assistants.
The Doni Tondo was most likely influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, The Virgin, and Child with St.Anne. Doni Tondo’s composition features Mary. She is seating on the ground taking up much of the center area of the image. There is no cushion between Mary and the ground, and it displays her better relate to the earth. Joseph features as the head of the family have a higher position as compared to Mary. Mary reaches towards her child over her shoulder. Joseph squats behind her and there is some debate as to whether is it Joseph who passes the infant to Mary or is it Mary who passes the child. Mary’s clothing consists of a red dress and a blue mantle complemented by a strip of green. Joseph’s garment’s color is yellow-orange which is covered by a deep blue tunic.
Plants and water are the elements seen around the painting. One of the most amazing things about this painting is that it is still seen in its original form. In Michelangelo Buonarroti’s clever composition, the three heads form an inverted triangle that is supported and balanced by their arms position. The figures interact in an intimate and intense way, the action flows from Joseph’s eyes are firmly fixed on the child. The child, in turn, looks at his mother with head tilted downwards.
Mary’s face depicts love, adoration and cares for her son as her eyes roll upward. The painting depicts “moons are bound with ribbons, interlocking it with lions,” which is possibly a reference towards the marriage of their families. The painting also contains the carvings of crescent moons,vegetation, stars and lion heads. Perhaps, these symbols make reference both to the Doni and Strozzi families, taken from each of one’s coat of arms.
The work can be viewed at Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy