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Taddeo di Bartolo


Italian, Sienese, Renaissance Painter

Stylistically influenced by the following painters and art styles ; Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Lippo Memmi,  Simone Martini, and Bartolo di Fredi


The prevailing characteristic of Taddeo di Bartolo's work being rich colour and spatial inventiveness. His gold backgrounds don't sharpen but soften the mood and lend a dazzling glow to his paintings. Bartolo's figures express raw, unfettered passion--passionate emotions that are not manufactured or abstracted. His concern was with dramatic action and human emotion. To make that dramatic action more effective, Bartolo placed his figures in a space more convincingly than earlier painters.  His depiction of Christ is kind and gracious, as if he has pity upon the longing of the soul of the believer. He avoids all contrived effects  and labors in the same style as Segna di Buonaventure, in whose works also the figures have  roundness and shadows. Bartolo's work is confident, exploratory and intense. He opened up a new world of emotion and passion, but with a lyricism and deep sensitivity to color. His subjects, like his predecessors, are all religious ? the Virgin Mary, the Life of Christ, the Apostles, Angeles and the Life of St. Francis.
His great painting of Saint Christopher is housed in the famous Civic Museum inside the Palazzo Pubblico overlooking the Piazza del Campo. The Palazzo Pubblico was built in the early 1300s by the Government of Nove. It is a masterpiece of  medieval urban architecture. In the Great Council Hall there are extraordinary frescoes by Martini depicting a beautiful Maestą and next door, in the Hall of Nine there is the amazing fresco cycle by Ambrogio Lorenzetti showing the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government.

Sienese Painting

While Byzantine art is strict and aloof, Sienese painting possesses a mystic sincerity.  It seems as if the stone vaults of the churches had suddenly become transparent, and the eyes gazed upwards towards heaven, where tender ethereal beings, singing and praising the Highest, lived in eternal youth and lovingly gazed down upon mankind. Origen Adamantius, an early Christian theologian stated "If all things were made through Him, clearly so must the splendid revelations have been which were made to the fathers and prophets, and became to them the symbols of the sacred mysteries of religion." Simone Martini discovered in his own art a new world of emotion and passion, but with a new expressiveness and understanding of color.

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movementrebirth, rediscovery of the classical world,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists,  sfumato, symbolism, chiaroscuro, Savonarola, spiritually significant illuminated manuscript,  idealized biblical themes, scriptorium, illuminator, plague, Age of Discovery, curiosity about the natural world,  allegories, realistic use of colors and  light,  Bonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism.



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