Florence art guide

Bernardo Daddi

Florence 1290 ca.-1348

He was an apprentice in Giotto's workshop and was influenced by the master's later style of painting; we first hear of Daddi in 1312, though the first work to be accredited to him with any certainty is the Madonna and two Saints (or the Ognissanti Triptych), dated 1328, today in the Uffizi, which clearly shows his tendency to develop the lyrical components introduced by his teacher.

san lorenzo
Santa Croce,
history of S.Lorenzo

He was given his first important commission in around 1330 to carry out the cycle of frescoes in the Pulci Chapel (later known as the Beraldi and eventually the Bardi di Libertà Chapel) in Santa Croce. Here the artist painted the Stories of the Saints Laurence and Stephen which show his (rather superficial) interest in the later work of Giotto, with its use of space, as well as the influence of Maso di Banco, a much more talented contemporary of his, and the latest developments of the Sienese school.

Triptych of Ognissanti

These influences helped Daddi find a more sophisticated way of using line and colour, bringing about an introduction of subtle and delicate variations in the tones and shades used for his altarpieces and panels, often quite small in size and painted with great sensitivity, which soon became very popular with the Florentine middle classes and brought great wealth to his workshop. These works include the Bigallo Altarpiece (1333), the Predella with the Legend of the Holy Girdle in the Cathedral of Prato and the Madonna and Child and Angels, still in Orsanmichele, that was carried out when the terrible epidemic of the "plague", that was to kill him in 1348, was already at its height in Florence.

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