The subject was once identified as Herod and the Three Magi (New Testament, Matthew 2: 7), but none of the figures is shown with a king's attributes.

Saints and prophets had been depicted in active debate in this manner by Donatello (1368 - 1466) and other Florentine artists. This painting was formerly attributed to Pontormo.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1535 - 1572
Full title
A Discussion
Date made
probably 1560s
Medium and support
Oil on canvas transferred from wood
Dimensions
35.2 x 24.8 cm
Acquisition credit
Mond Bequest, 1924
Inventory number
NG3941
Location in Gallery