Domenico Ghirlandaio: An Old Man and his Grandson (1490)


(Louvre Museum, Paris, France)

A painting by the Italian artist Domenico Ghirlandai (1448-1494). An old man and a young boy are sitting in an interior. On the right is a window which offers a view on a fantasy landscape with some mountains and a winding road. The clothing of the man and boy indicate a noble heritage but their identity are unknown - it is assumed that it is a man with his grandson. A notable physical feature of the man is his nose: the large, bulbous nose indicates that the man has rhinophyma. Ghirlandai shows both in a very naturalistic, sympathetic and intimate way. The young boy has his hand on the man's chest and the man has a very gentle expression while he is holding the child in his arms. The purpose of the painting is also unknown but it could be a commemorative piece. Painting from 1490.

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