The son of Giovanni di Domenico, a painter of playing cards, Francesco Botticini entered Neri di Bicci's workshop in 1459 as a salaried assistant at the age of 13. By the following year, however, he had left, perhaps having determined that his pervious training under his father would be enough to allow him to work independently. By 1469, he appears to have already formed his own workshop, winning important commissions for large-scale altarpieces such as his Three Archangels with Tobias for the confraternity of the Archangel Raphael's chapel in the church of Santo Spirito, Florence (Uffizi, Florence). Botticini's oeuvre reflects the influence of many of the major artistic personalities of the Florentine Renaissance, particularly Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Filippo Lippi, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Sandro Botticelli. In his mature career, Botticini enjoyed tremendous popularity as a painter of private devotional images, such as the present example, which treats a theme to which the artist returned on several occasions.
A similar tondo, with the Madonna and the Infant Saint John the Baptist adoring the Christ Child in a vast landscape reminiscent of the rolling hills of the Arno valley, is in the collection of the Marquess of Northampton, Castle Ashby.