Book Series Studies in Medieval and Early Renaissance Art History

Taddeo di Bartolo

Siena's Painter in the Early Quattrocento

Gail Elizabeth Solberg

  • Pages:2 vols, 800 p.
  • Size:225 x 300 mm
  • Illustrations:166 b/w, 802 col.
  • Language(s):English, Italian, Latin
  • Publication Year:2022

  • c. € 250,00 EXCL. VAT RETAIL PRICE

A new history of Sienese painting from 1380 to 1420


Solberg holds history and art history degrees from Stanford and the Institute of Fine Arts at NYU. A resident of Florence, she has written extensively on Taddeo di Bartolo and here gathers decades of research. Her particular interests include the transmission of ideas across the schools of painting, patronage networks, and the mechanics of the painter’s practice. She looks with care at single objects and beyond to the circumstances that endow them with ulterior meaning.


Taddeo di Bartolo, Siena’s premier painter in the years around 1400, is the focus of a cultural history of a great Italian school in an understudied period. His patrons commissioned important fresco cycles and the most impressive polyptychs of the age. In part a travelogue, the text follows Taddeo (ca 1362-1422) from training in straitened times at Siena across central and northern Italy. Ten years of itinerancy drew him to various Tuscan centers, along the Ligurian coast from Genoa to Provence, probably to Padua, and into Umbria.  About 1399 he resettled at Siena to rapidly become the preferred painter of his commune. His mural cycles made a greater imprint on Siena’s civic iconography than has been acknowledged while his efficient Sienese shop produced outstanding panel paintings for, among others, the most dynamic religious orders. Until his last years he received grand commissions in and from beyond Siena. He drew a pope’s portrait and was employed by a cardinal at Rome. Attention to his production methods shows how his busy shop ensured variety in numerous paintings for mid-level clients by a flexible design system. Taddeo’s works, including rediscovered and reconstructed paintings, come alive in beautiful illustrations. This chronicle of an indefatigable and successful late medieval career positions the painter, his colleagues, and his patrons in their political, economic, and social circumstances. It provides new insights on Siena’s artistic culture at the start of the Renaissance.


Part I. Emergence


Chapter 1. Esordio: Taddeo’s Early Life and Late Trecento Painting at Siena

Chapter 2. Juvenalia:  Collegalli, San Gimignano, and San Miniato


Part II. Travel! The Decade of the 1390s


Chapter 3. To 1393: Florence, Lucca, Pisa, and Padua

Chapter 4. Genoa and Liguria.

Chapter 5. Pisa Again

Chapter 6. Genoa and Liguria Again


Part III. Dipentore Nostro: Siena


Chapter 7. The Cathedral

Chapter 8. The Palazzo Pubblico Chapel

Chapter 9. The Palazzo Pubblico ‘Antechapel’

Chapter 10. The Last Civic Commissions and Taddeo di Bartolo‘s Contemporaries


Part IV. Acclamation with Panel Paintings:  Altarpieces after 1400


Chapter 11. The Assumption Triptych for the Aragazzi at Montepulciano

Chapter 12. The Double-sided Heptaptych for the Franciscans at Perugia

Chapter 13. The Heptaptych for the Dominicans at Gubbio

Chapter 14. Other Panel Paintings from 1400 to c.1410


Part V. Completion: The Last Years