The Doni Tondo is the most famous among the very few paintings on panel by Michelangelo, made on commission from the Florentine merchant Agnolo Doni for his wedding to Maddalena Strozzi in 1504. Originally it hung in the bedchamber of their home on Corso dei Tintori in Florence. The foreground is occupied by the highly modeled figures of the holy Family; the three figures together form a compact group in which the baby Jesus stands out against the intertwining arms of the Virgin and Joseph.
The most supported interpretation of the work is that it refers to the pagan world, represented by the group of young men in the background, before the arrival of Christ, announced by the John the Baptist, who can be seen on the other side of the little wall behind the sacred family. The painting was acquired by the Medici and moved to the granducal apartments in Palazzo Pitti in 1594; in 1635 it was in the Tribune of the Uffizi.