Signed at the bottom centre on the skirting board in the centre of the picture 'ORATE PRO PICTORE F PAVLO PIST'. Paolino di Bernardino di Antonio del Signoraccio, called Mrs Paolino da Pistoia, was born in Pistoia in 1488. He was the son of Antonia di Paolo Maconi and the painter Bernardino di Antonio del Signoraccio, who trained him as a painter in his workshop. At the age of 15, the young Paolino joined the strict Dominican Order as a novice, which was to have a considerable influence on the painter. In Florence in 1509 he met the important painter and monk Fra Bartolomeo (1472-1517), who taught him and was himself a follower of the then polarising penitential preacher Girolamo Savonarola. At the Scuola di San Marco, Fra Paolino increasingly came to terms with the religious ideas and reformation concepts of Savonarola, who founded the Congregazione di San Marco and to which most of the commissioning Dominican monasteries belonged. With the death of Fra Bartolomeo, Fra Paolino took over the direction of the Scuola di San Marco. Following the reform demands of Savonarola's strict rule, Fra Paolino devoted himself increasingly to devotional painting, whose didactic function was to be underlined by compositional simplification and the use of more intensive colouring in the primary colours. Between 1526 and 1528 Fra Paolino finally moved his flourishing workshop to Pistoia, where he finally died on 3 August 1547. The painting presented, Holy Family with the Infant St John, is a characteristic example of Fra Paolino's painting, who used a strong colour scheme and whose design of the figure of Mary is found in other works (including the painting Adoration of the Magi, Sacristy of the Monastery of S. Domenico, Pistoia; Annunciation of the Nativity, Oratory of Ss. Annunziata in Vinci, Florence). The artist has placed the intimate scene close to the edge of the picture, thus supporting the aspect of devotion. The intercessory inscription and signature of the painter 'ORATE PRO PICTORE F PAVLO PIST' on the skirting board identifies him as a Dominican friar. The figures' gazes focus on the boy John showing the baby Jesus the little lamb, giving the family theme of the painting a narrative character and offering a glimpse of events to come. Literature: Alessandro Nesi, PAOLO di Bernardino di Antonio del Signoraccio, , in: Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani - Volume 81, Rom, 2014, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/paolo-di-bernardino-di-antonio-del-signoraccio_(Dizion ario-Biografico)/, (18.07.2019). Provenienz: Bedeutende Privatsammlung Ruhrgebiet.