The high altar of the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella was part of an extensive commission to furnish the chapel in the main choir that the Florentine merchant Giovanni Tornabuoni granted the Ghirlandaio workshop. The total of eight panel paintings for the altar, three of which found their way to Munich, were originally set in a box frame shaped like a triumphal arch. The central picture on the front combines the Madonna in the figure of the Woman of the Apocalypse with the Maria lactans motif. On the left, accompanied by St Dominic, St Michael appears as a quarrelsome representative of the ecclesia militans; on the right are St John the Baptist, as the patron saint of the city and the donor’s namesake, and the Apostle Thomas, who witnesses the appearance of the Maria Immaculata. Ghirlandaio ran one of the largest and best flourishing artist’s workshops in Florence in the second half of the fifteenth century.