Bernado DaddiA Florentine painter of the first half of the fourteenth century. He is often said to have been a pupil of Giotto, but there is no hard evidence for this. He enrolled in the guild of Medici e Speziali some time between 1312 and 1320. To judge from such major commissions as the great multi-tiered polyptych for Florence Cathedral (now in the Uffizi), an altarpiece of 1335 (now lost) for the San Bernardo Chapel in the Palazzo Vecchio and a large Madonna of 1346-47 for the greatly venerated shrine at Orsanmichele (still in situ), he became one of the leading painters in the Florence of his day. It is strange, therefore, that he is little noticed by early writers. Ghiberti does not mention him, and Vasari’s account is short and badly informed (making him the pupil of Spinello Aretino, who was some fifty years his junior, and attributing some of his major works to other painters). Several altarpieces are signed ‘Bernardus de Florentia’, and attributions to Daddi are based largely on these. There are dated works from 1328 (a triptych in the Uffizi) to 1348 (a polyptych in the Courtauld Institute, London). He died (probably of the plague) on or about 18 August 1348, when a guardian was appointed for his two orphan sons.
Unlike other followers of Giotto, such as Taddeo Gaddi and Maso di Banco, he rarely painted frescoes. Those in the church of Santa Croce probably date from early in his career. He was part of what Richard Offner called the ‘miniaturist tendency in Florentine painting’, specialising in small, intimate devotional works. The influence of Sienese painting has often been assumed; and Daddi would also have known French ivory carvings, which show a similar sweetness and playfulness. The pictures attributed to him – often panels from dismembered polyptychs or from portable hinged triptychs and diptychs – are very numerous, frequently repetitive and widely variable in quality of execution. Many of them must have been painted by assistants or imitators; but distinctions between ‘master, workshop, follower and circle’ are often fine judgements and opinions differ. Richard Offner, author of the monumental Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting (1930-67), was exceptionally restrictive in his attributions. More recent writers (including Miklós Boskovits in editorial additions to republished volumes of Offner’s Corpus) have greatly expanded Daddi’s œuvre.
Critical opinion of Daddi’s importance has been divided. Roberto Longhi famously called him a ‘clockwork nightingale’, ‘much loved’ but ‘mediocre’. For Richard Offner, on the other hand, he was a highly refined and individual painter – the greatest of the generation after Giotto.
Ajaccio. Musée Fesch.
Enthroned Bishop (Saint Peter?). Wood, 101 x 53.
The severe, monumental figure is seated frontally on a Gothic marble throne with Cosmatesque decoration and sculptured finials. A panel from an unknown polyptych. Early (1320s). First recorded in the 1839 inventory of Cardinal Fesch’s enormous collection at Rome.
Altenburg. Lindenau Museum.
Coronation of the Virgin. Wood, 65 x 40.
On each side are nine pairs of tiny angels and saints (St Dominic and St Francis are recognisable in the front row). Four musical angels kneel in the foreground. The centre panel of a small triptych. Probably late (around 1340-45). The museum’s remarkable collection of early Italian paintings was assembled by the German astronomer and politician, Baron Bernard von Lindenau, in the 1840s and bequeathed to the principality of Sachsen-Altenburg in 1854.
Triptych. Wood, 60 x 53.
The centre panel (44 x 21) shows the Madonna and Child enthroned with six saints and two angels. The two wings (45 x 10) show the Nativity and Crucifixion, with the Annunciation in the two pinnacles. The backs of the panels are painted to imitate porphyry. A similar triptych (Courtauld Institute, London) is dated 1338.
Crucifixion. Wood, 58 x 28.
The Magdalen is at the foot of the cross. The Virgin, St John and the other Maries grieve on the left, where red and blue bands are inscribed (in Latin) with texts from John’s Gospel (‘Behold thy Mother’ and ‘Woman, behold thy Son’). The group of soldiers on the right includes the Centurion, with a hexagonal halo, pointing to Christ on the cross. His words (‘Truly this man was the Son of God’) are inscribed on the red band. The little pointed panel was originally the central part of a small triptych. Probably late (1340s). Acquired by Baron von Lindenau in Rome in 1844 from the German archaeologist Emil Braun.
Altomonte (Calabria). Santa Maria della Consolazione.
Pairs of Saints. Two panels, 47/48 x 22/23.
One panel shows John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene and the other Augustine and James the Great. There are prophets with scrolls in the gables. Probably the wings of a small triptych. Published as works of Daddi in 1951 (by Pietro Toesca).
Baltimore. Walters Art Museum.
Madonna and Child. Wood, 69 x 47.
Originally the centre panel of a polyptych. Bought by Henry Walters in 1911 from Bernard Berenson for £1,100. Catalogued by Zeri (1976) as a late studio work. The top 10 cm or so has been broken off and replaced by a new piece of wood.
Bayonne (Aquitaine). Musée Bonnat.
Virgin Annunciate. Wood, 11 x 8.
This tiny panel was probably a fragment of the wing of a triptych. Bequeathed to the City of Bayonne in 1891 with the collection of the painter Léon Bonnat.
Temptation of St Thomas Aquinas. Wood, 38 x 34.
The saint, kneeling in prayer before a crucifix, is bound with a girdle by angels as a reward for his virtue in resisting the attractions of a beautiful woman. Part of a predella that included at least three other panels – now at Paris (Musée des Arts Décoratifs), Pozna? (National Museum) and New Haven (Yale University) – showing miracles by Dominican saints. The predella is usually thought (though there is no hard proof) to have belonged to an altarpiece that stood on the choir screen of Santa Maria Novella. That altarpiece, now lost, is said to have represented three Dominican saints and to have been inscribed with the name ‘Bernardus’ and the date 1338. It was removed from the church in 1570, and is last recorded in 1657 as being in the cloister. The Berlin panel was acquired in Florence in 1828 by the Prussian scholar-aristocrat Carl Friedrich von Rumohr and entered the museum in 1829.
The centre panel (42 x 22) shows the Coronation of the Virgin. The prophets and saints at the sides include King David, Peter, Stephen, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Paul, Lawrence and Margaret. The wings (each 38 x 15) show the Nativity (similar in composition to the left wing of the triptych, dated 1333, in the Loggia del Bigallo at Florence) and the Crucifixion (with the Centurion on the right gesturing towards Christ on the cross). In the pinnacles are bust-length figures of Christ Blessing and two prophets. Acquired in 1821 with the Solly collection. Richard Offner, who admitted comparatively few pictures as Daddi’s, called it the work of a close follower (Bernado Daddi and His Circle (1947)). But more recent writers have accepted it as autograph.
Crucifixion. Wood, 34 x 20.
The Magdalen clasps the foot of the cross. The Virgin and St John grieve at the sides. Probably the right leaf of a diptych. The panel may originally have been crowned by a medallion showing the Virgin Annunciate. Bequeathed to the museum in 1902 with the collection of the Swiss artist and collector Adolf von Stürler, who probably acquired it many years earlier in Florence. The paint surface is cracked and worn but largely free of restoration. Called ‘Assistant of Daddi’ by Offner (1947), but now generally accepted as a work of Daddi himself.
The centre panel (38 x 19) shows the Crucifixion, with the Holy Women on the left and two saints (Stephen and Catherine?) on the right. The left wing (34 x 10) shows St Paul and St Peter. The right wing (33 x 9) shows an unusual scene (Madonna della Culla) of the Virgin standing behind the Christ Child in the cradle with six people (two women, two Franciscan monks and two other men) kneeling in adoration. The pinnacles of the wings show the Annunciation. This little triptych may be close in date to the Seilern Triptych, dated 1338, in the Courtauld Institute, London. The centre panel is particularly damaged, with serious paint losses both on the left and right of the scene. Bequeathed in 1902 with the Stürler collection.
St Thomas Aquinas and St Paul. Wood, each 71 x 53.
Originally the wings (now framed together) of a small triptych. The centre panel (the Madonna del Magnificat) is in the Vatican Pinacoteca. The complete triptych was sold in Florence in 1852 with the Rinuccini collection, and the two wings were probably acquired by Stürler shortly afterwards.
Boston. Gardner Museum.
Virgin and Child. Wood, 98 x 56.
The Child holds a goldfinch in her right hand and grasps one of the Virgin’s fingers with the other. There is an abraded roundel of Christ Blessing in the gable. This severely monumental three-quarter length Madonna was probably the centre of a triptych or polyptych. Bought by Mrs Gardner (through Berenson) in 1914 from Sulley & Co. of London. It was transferred to a new panel shortly afterwards, and is somewhat damaged and restored.
Boston. Fine Arts Museum.
Nativity. Wood, 38 x 18.
The Annunciation to the Shepherds is shown at the top of the panel. There are a number of other similar small panels of this subject by Daddi and his workshop. One is found in the predella of the San Pancrazio Polyptych (Uffizi); others form the left shutters of portable triptychs (such as the one at Edinburgh). It has been suggested that the Boston example could have served as the folding door of a reliquary cupboard. The panel remained at Florence (in Eugenio Ventura’s collection) until 1956. It was bequeathed to the museum in 1994 by Francis H. Burr, who had inherited it from William A. Coolidge of Cambridge (Mass.).
Crucifixion. Wood, 40 x 32.
Angels catch the blood from Christ’s wounds. The Magdalen clasps the foot of the cross. The Virgin collapses into the arms of the two other Maries. The Centurion points at Christ on the cross. A female saint (the Blessed Joan of Signa?) kneels in prayer to the right of the cross. This little panel, possibly half of a diptych, has been attributed to Daddi (as an early work) or to his workshop. It previously belonged to the Swedish art historian Osvald Sirén, who reproduced it as a work of Daddi in his Giotto and Some of His Followers (1917). Sirén sold it to the museum in 1923 for $3,750.
Cambridge (Mass.). Fogg Art Museum.
The centre panel (52 x 29) shows the Crucifixion, with the Magdalen hugging the cross and the Virgin and St John seated at the sides. The left wing (46 x 13) shows Saints Peter and Paul, with the Agony in the Garden above. The right wing (46 x 13) shows Saints James and Benedict, with Saints Catherine of Alexandria and Margaret of Antioch above. Dated 1334 on the base of the frame. Acquired in the 1850s by the Boston art critic Charles Callahan Perkins from the monastery of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Florence. Published as a work of Daddi in 1917 (by Osvald Sirén) and acquired by the museum in 1918. While many details of the composition occur in other works by Daddi, the quality of execution does not match that found, for instance, in the nearly contemporary triptych, dated 1333, in the Museo del Bigallo at Florence.
Saint Gregory the Great. Wood, 109 x 43.
A tiny prophet in the pinnacle. A panel from the far left of a five-part polyptych. The central Madonna (dated 1334) and two other panels of saints are at Philadelphia. The remaining panel was acquired in 1994 by the Fitchburg Museum (Massachusetts). Bought from a Fourth Avenue antique shop in the late 1920s, and given to the Fogg Museum in 1936 by Miss Margaret Whitney.
Madonna and Child. Wood, 75 x 42.
The Virgin poignantly rests her face against the head of the Child, who holds a goldfinch in his right hand. The gable contains a medallion of Christ Blessing. The centre panel of a polyptych. So badly worn that little of the original paint surface remains. Once owned by Bernard Berenson. Presented to the museum in 1923 by the wealthy New York lawyer Grenville Lindall Winthrop.
Cologne. Wallraf-Richartz Museum.
St Reparata in a Furnace. Wood, 27 x 35.
From a predella showing scenes from the Life of St Reparata, who was patron saint of Florence in the early Middle Ages. Three other scenes are in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Another (representing St Reparata in Prison) was once in the Fuller Maitland collection in Essex and later private collections in Brussels. It is possible that the predella formed part of the San Pancrazio Polyptych, which (according to Vasari) included a predella with scenes from the Life of St Reparata. (Most of the polyptych, which is thought to have been painted for the old cathedral of Santa Reparata, is now in the Uffizi.) The St Reparata in a Furnace was acquired in Florence by the painter George Augustus Wallis (the ‘English Poussin’), whose collection was sold in Cologne 1896. Later in the collections of Dr Peter Roeckerath and of Dr Leni Weischer in the city, it was bought by the museum in 1959.
Columbia. Museum of Art.
Virgin and Child with Saints and Donor. Wood, 40 x 23.
Two patron saints of Florence, John the Baptist and Zenobius, stand in the foreground. The two saints behind St John and to the left of the throne are probably George and Peter. The two saints behind St Zenobius and to the right of the throne might be James and Paul. The six figures further back could be either saints or angels. A diminutive donor, richly dressed in an ermine-lined red robe, kneels in the bottom left corner. Probably the centre panel of a small triptych produced in Bernardo Daddi's workshop in the 1330s. It has a provenance from Siena, where it was owned by Baron Sergardi-Biringucci. Acquired by Samuel H. Kress in 1937 from a New York dealer and donated to the Columbia Museum in 1954. The faces of the Virgin and saints are damaged and the base of the frame is modern.
Cracow. Czartoryski Museum.
Six Figures. Wood, 19 x 14.
A fragment of a panel from a predella that showed scenes from the Life of St Cecila. The panel is thought to have represented the Baptism of Tibertius; St Cecilia and her husband Valerian are standing on the left. Two other panels from the predella are in the Museo Civico at Pisa. The Cracow fragment is almost completely repainted.
Cracow. Wawel Castle.
Madonna and Child with Two Angel Musicians. Wood, 144 x 56.
The Child holds a goldfinch. On the arms of the throne are statuettes representing the Angel Gabriel and Virgin Annunciate. The centre panel of a five-part polyptych. Two of the side panels (representing St Bartholomew and St Lawrence) are in the Accademia at Florence; another (representing St Cecilia) is in the Museo Diocesano at Milan; and the fourth (representing St Catherine of Alexandria) is still in private hands. The polyptych was painted, probably around 1340, for a chapel in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. It was dismembered around 1745. The Madonna was in the Viennese collection of the Polish nobleman Count Karol Lanckoronski, and is one of more than eighty paintings at Wawel Castle donated in the 1990s by the Count’s youngest daughter, Countess Karolina.
Crespina (near Pisa). San Michele.
St Michael the Archangel. Wood, 210 x 110.
St Michael is shown, almost life size, as a young knight brandishing a sword over the dragon at his feet. The punchwork pattern on the saint’s halo (a rose alternating with four leaves) is found in other works by Daddi, such as the triptych, dated 1333, in the Loggia del Bigallo at Florence. This large, single-panel altarpiece was given to the out-of-the-way little church in 1806 by the rector, Ranieri Tempesti, as a work of Orcagna. The attribution to Daddi was published in 1929 by Richard Offner (whose essay is reprinted in A Discerning Eye, published in 1998). The picture, which had suffered badly from flaking along the virtual joins in the panels, was restored in 1937-50,
Edinburgh. National Gallery of Scotland.
Triptych. Wood, 54 x 28 (centre panel) and 58 x 15 (wings).
Unusually, the Madonna enthroned is shown in the right wing rather than the centre panel. Saints John the Evangelist, Peter, Augustine and Paul flank the throne. Above is a scene of St Nicholas and the Golden Balls. The centre panel shows the Crucifixion, with Christ blessing in the pinnacle. The left wing has the Nativity, with the Crucifixion of St Peter above. The (restored) inscription along the base gives the date 1338. From 1854, the triptych was in the Fuller Maitland collection at Stansted House, where it was ascribed to Giottino or to Taddeo Gaddi. It was sold around 1907 to the art historian Robert Langton Douglas and was later with Julius Böhler of Munich. Bought by the gallery in 1938. The panels are in reasonably good condition, but the frame has been much restored.
Fitchburg (Massachusetts). Art Museum.
Saint Francis of Assisi. Wood, 109 x 37.
A prophet in the pinnacle. A panel from the far right of a five-part polyptych. The three centre panels (dated 1334) are at Philadelphia and the far left panel is at Cambridge (Fogg Museum). Donated in 1994 by Rosamund and Carl Pickhardt. The panel retains some of its original frame.
*‘Ognissanti Triptych’. Wood, 145 x 198.
Half-length figures of the Madonna between Saints Matthias (not Matthew as sometimes supposed) and Nicholas of Bari. The pinnacles contain tiny roundels representing the Redeemer and two angels. The inscription gives the name of the artist (‘Bernardus de Florentia’), the date (1328) and the name of the patron (Fra Niccolò dei Mazinghi). The triptych is Daddi’s earliest signed and dated work. It appears to be a complete altarpiece (and not, as sometimes suggested, the central part of a five-part polyptych). First recorded in 1860 in the sacristy of the church of the Ognissanti at Florence. Transferred to the Uffizi in 1871. The panels are much abraded, and the pinnacles and carved decoration on the gables are modern. The St Matthias had to be restored in 1965 after damage by a visitor.
*‘San Pancrazio Polyptych’. Wood.
The centre panel (165 x 85) shows the Madonna and Child enthroned with angels. The saints in the six side panels (127 x 42) are Zenobius, Pancras, John the Evangelist, John the Baptist, Miniatus and Reparata. Above are fourteen pinnacles with half-length prophets and saints and four tondi with angels. The predella shows scenes from the early life of the Virgin: Expulsion of Joachim from the Temple; Joachim comforted by an Angel; Meeting at the Golden Gate; Birth of the Virgin; Presentation in the Temple; Annunciation; and Nativity of Christ. This huge polyptych was arguably Daddi's most important commission. It might originally have had as many as forty or even fifty panels, of which thirty-two are now in the Uffizi. The polyptych was described by Vasari (as a work of Agnolo Gaddi) on the high altar of the church of San Pancrazio at Florence. It was long believed that it had always been in San Pancrazio, but it is now thought that it was commissioned for the high altar of the old Cathedral of Florence (Santa Reparata). It was probably painted around 1337-44 to replace a pentaptych, which is still in the Cathedral and attributed to Giotto. After some hundred years in situ, Daddi's polyptych was apparently sold in 1442 for 200 lire to Giovanni di Andrea Minerberti, who placed it in San Pancrazio, where he had his funerary chapel. The polyptych was dismembered by 1762 and the panels were taken to the apartments of the abbot in the Vallombrosa monastery next to the church. When the monastery was closed by the French in 1808, thirty-three panels were deposited with the Uffizi. One panel – the Marriage of the Virgin from the predella – was subsequently sold and is now in the British Royal Collection. The central pinnacle of the polyptych has been identified recently with a rhomboid-shaped Christ Blessing in the collection of the Cypriot entrepreneur Andreas Pittas.
Madonna enthroned with Saints and Angels. Wood, 56 x 26.
Eight angels and Saints Peter and Paul flank the enthroned Virgin and Child. This small altarpiece is signed (Bernardus DeFloretia) and indistinctly dated (1334?) along the bottom. Acquired in 1863 from the collection of Conte Giovanni Giovio at Como; transferred from the Accademia to the Uffizi in 1948.
Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels. Wood, 219 x 132.
Two angels and Saints John the Baptist and Luke flank the enthroned Virgin and Child. According to the inscription, the picture was painted in August 1333 for the Arte dei Medici e Speziali (the surgeon-apothecaries’ guild of Florence). Ruined by an old attempt at cleaning. Recorded in the eighteenth century at the Camera di Commerico at Florence. Long consigned to storage because of its condition, it has been exhibited at the Accademia since 1982.
Diptych. Wood, 55 x 48.
The two leaves show the Madonna Enthroned (with Saints John the Baptist, Catherine of Alexandria, Pancras or Nicholas, and Margaret of Antioch) and the Crucifixion (with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist). The two predella panels illustrate the medieval legend of the Quick and the Dead: one shows three living men as horsemen and the other three dead men lying in an open grave. The diptych may date from around 1340. It was already divided into its four constituent parts when it came to the Accademia in 1808-10 from the church or monastery of San Pancrazio. Much abraded.
Coronation of the Virgin. Wood, 186 x 270.
Twenty-one saints are depicted on each side, with Dominicans (Peter Martyr, Dominic and Thomas Aquinas) prominent in the front row. Six musical angels kneel in the foreground. God the Father is shown in the centre pinnacle and seraphim and cherubim appear in the four side pinnacles. The polyptych originally stood on the high altar of the Dominican church of Santa Maria Novella. By Vasari’s day, it had been moved to the Chapterhouse (Spanish Chapel). It was taken to the Accademia in 1810. It was first associated with Daddi only in the twentieth century. Vasari, strangely, thought it the work of the Sienese painter Ugolino di Nerio, and Crowe and Cavalcaselle (1864) ascribed it to ‘an imitator of Agnolo Gaddi’. Van Marle (1924) tentatively gave it to ‘an assistant of Daddi’, a proposal supported by Richard Offner. It is now usually classed as a late work of Daddi himself, dating from around 1340-45. Restored in 1999.
Crucifix with Passion Scenes. Wood, 350 x 275.
The Last Judgement is represented at the top of the cross, the Mocking of Christ at the end of the left arm, Christ carrying the Cross at the end of the right arm, and the Flagellation at the base. The Virgin and St John the Evangelist are depicted full length at the sides. This large crucifix probably came from the church of San Donato in Polverosa, near Porta al Prato. It was at the Uffizi by 1880 and was transferred to the Accademia in 1919. It was among the works attributed by Offner to an ‘Assistant of Daddi’, most of which are now accepted as late works of Daddi himself. Restored in 1987 and in good condition (though the cross has lost its horizontal moulding at the bottom).
Saint Bartholomew; Saint Lawrence. Wood, each 109 x 40.
Two panels from a five-part polyptych, which was painted for a chapel dedicated to Saints Bartholomew and Lawrence in the church of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. The central Madonna and Child is in Cracow (Wawel Castle) and the other two side panels of saints (both now cut down to three-quarter length) are in Milan (Museo Diocesano) and a private collection. For many years the St Bartholomew and St Lawrence were on deposit or in storage; they were returned to the Accademia in 1998.
Crucifixion. Wood, 125 x 60.
The Magdalen clasps the cross; the Virgin and St John the Evangelist stand at the sides; and tiny flying angels catch in chalices the blood that drips from the nail wounds in Christ's hands and flows from the spear wound in his side. God the Father is represented in a medallion in the gable. Dated 1343 on the bottom of the frame. Probably the centre panel of a tabernacle. Removed in 1810 from the convent of the Carmine. Traditionally ascribed to Giottino, it was attributed by Sirén (1917) to Daddi’s workshop and by Offner (1947) to an ‘Assistant of Daddi’, but is now usually classed as a late work of Daddi himself. Rather damaged. Another Crucifixion, virtually identical in composition and probably originally the centre panel of a polyptych, was on loan to the Museo Civico at Pistoia from 1915 to 1981 and then deposited with the San Salvi Museum.
Crucifixion (front); St Christopher (back). Wood, 40 x 18.
From the Augustinian convent of San Gaggio on the outskirts of Florence. Originally the right wing of a triptych. Probably late (1340-48).
Florence. Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
Madonna and Saints. Wood, 131 x 116.
It is extremely unusual for the Madonna to be shown without the Christ Child. She glances and gestures towards a female donor in black (probably a widow or nun). Two other tiny figures kneel in the foreground, one another woman (younger and wearing a patterned dress) and the other a boy (probably a server) holding a tall candlestick. St Catherine of Alexandria stands on the left and St Zenobius on the right. A half-length figure of Christ Blessing appears in the gable. Dated February 1334 (1335 on the modern calendar). The picture has been attributed to the ‘close following of Daddi’ (Offner and Boskovits, Corpus (1991)). Another version (without donors and with different saints) in the Getty Museum at Los Angeles is of high quality and exceptionally well preserved. A third, dismembered version is divided between the Vatican Pinacoteca and the museum at Berne.
Florence. Bardini Museum.
Crucifix. Wood, 476 x 420.
Four Prophets and the Four Evangelists are shown at the sides of the cross. The trefoils at the top and at the ends of the arms are later additions. (It is likely that the original end pieces were damaged and substituted with fragments from another cross.) This enormous crucifix has been identified recently with one that hung over the main altar of Florence Cathedral and disappeared mysteriously from view in the fifteenth century. Probably late (about 1340). Acquired by Stefano Bardini by 1888 from an unknown source. After ten years in storage and two years of restoration, it was put on show again in 2011.
Florence. Horne Museum.
Madonna with Saints; Crucifixion. Wood, each 57 x 27.
The enthroned Madonna is flanked by Saints John the Baptist and Francis (left) and James and Helen or Margaret (right). The two panels originally formed a diptych. The frames are modern. Variously ascribed to Daddi, his shop or his close following. Acquired by Horne in 1906 from the Corsi collection, Florence.
Florence. Museo Diocesano (Santo Stefano al Ponte).
Saint John the Baptist. Wood, 63 x 37.
The panel was originally arched. On deposit from the Pieve of San Giovanni Maggiore at Panicaglia, near Borgo San Lorenzo (northeast of Florence). It was previously housed in the Museo di Arte Sacra at Vicchio. Part of a polyptych, which is also thought to have included the Madonna and Child in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and panels of saints at Philadelphia, Gazzada (Fondazione Paolo VI) and York. It is possible that the polyptych is from the church at Panicaglia, which was under the patronage of the powerful Florentine Minerbetti family.
Florence. Loggia del Bigallo.
*Triptych. Wood, 90 x 82.
Probably one of the earliest and certainly one of the finest of the many portable hinged triptychs produced by Daddi and his workshop. The centre panel shows the Virgin enthroned, with two tiny donors (presumably husband and wife) kneeling in the foreground. Saints and Prophets are depicted round the border of the frame and a half-length figure of Christ Blessing appears in the pinnacle. The inner faces of the wings show the Nativity (left) and Crucifixion (right, with the kneeling St Francis). In the pinnacles above are two small scenes taken from the Life of St Nicholas of Bari. (On the left, the saint frees Adeodatus, the son of a Christian, who had been abducted by pagans and forced to serve as cupbearer to their king. On the right, the saint restores Adeodatus to his family – the dog recognising the child as an old friend.) The outer faces of the wings show four saints: Martin and Christopher, with Margaret and Catherine above in the pinnacles. Dated 1333 at the bottom of the centre panel. (The last figures have been repainted.) The triptych is recorded at the Bigallo foundling hospital since 1843 and may well have been painted for the institution. It was restored in the nineteenth century. Taddeo Gaddi’s triptych, signed and dated 1334, at Berlin repeats the same scenes and practically the same compositions. There are also several similar triptychs by Daddi, his workshop or following (eg. at Siena, Portland (Oregon) and the Louvre).
‘Madonna of Mercy’. Fresco.
The large fresco, high on the wall of the Sala dell’Udienza, was painted for the Compagnia di Santa Maria della Misericordia, which had the building before the Compagnia del Bigallo. It shows the Madonna wearing a mantle with medallions illustrating the Seven Acts of Mercy. Male supplicants are shown on the left and female supplicants on the right. The view of Florence, bottom centre, is said to be the earliest representation of the city. (The Baptistery is near the centre, with the Palazzo Vecchio behind, and the Cathedral and Campanile to the left.) An inscription along the bottom edge gives a verse from the Apocryphal Old Testament (Ecclus, 16:15) and the date 2 September 1342 (formerly incorrectly recorded as 1352). The fresco was damaged and heavily restored when the room was repainted in November 1777. Attributed by Richard Offner to the painter he christened the ‘Assistant of Daddi’.
Florence. Cathedral. Pillar to right of north door of façade.
Saint Catherine of Alexandria. Wood, 207 x 85.
Christ Blessing in the trefoil above. The Medici coat-of-arms at the bottom is a later addition. Recorded hanging on the pillar in the Cathedral in 1657, and probably always an independent panel rather than part of a polyptych. Taken to the Accademia by 1853 but returned to the Cathedral in 1912. The attribution to Daddi was made in 1926 (by Gombosi). It was one of the many pictures attributed by Offner in 1947 to his ‘Assistant of Daddi’. In unusually good condition for a picture of its age.
*Madonna and Child enthroned with Angels. Wood, 250 x 180.
This huge, brilliantly-coloured panel is one of Daddi’s last known works. It was painted in 1346-47 as a second replacement for a miracle-working image of the Madonna and Child. According to Villani’s Chronicle, the original image hung on a pilaster in the grain market and became celebrated for its miracles in 1292. It presumably perished in the fire of 1304 that destroyed the market loggia. Some dozen years after Daddi’s panel was painted, it was enclosed in Orcagna’s magnificent tabernacle (1359). The Madonna was traditionally ascribed to the Sienese painter Ugolino di Nerio. The attribution to Daddi was made in 1870 by Gaetano Milanesi, the great Italian archivist and historian of the Renaissance. Restored in 1997.
Florence. Santa Croce. Pulci-Berardi Chapel (4th to the left of the high altar).
*Martyrdoms of St Stephen and St Lawrence. Frescoes.
The Martyrdom of St Stephen is on the left wall. The saint appears before the high priest (left) and is stoned (right). The Martyrdom of St Lawrence is on the right wall. The saint lies on a gridiron, while executioners feed the fire with charcoal and blow on it with bellows. The decoration of the chapel also includes full-length figures of St Miniatus and St Pancras on either side of the window and half-figures of saints on the entrance arch. The frescoes, mentioned as Daddi’s by Vasari, are the only wall paintings attributed to the painter. There is no documentary and little circumstantial evidence to help date them; but it is generally agreed that they must be early (about or before 1330). Restored in 1937-38. They have been retouched and the outlines reinforced.
(The chapel is in the part of the church usually reserved for prayer and can be difficult for visitors to access.)
Florence. Santa Maria Novella.
Full-length figures. The centre panel (128 x 59) shows the Madonna and Child enthroned, and the four side panels (each 108 x 35) show Saints Peter, John the Evangelist, John the Baptist and Matthew. There are bust-length figures, in trefoils, of Christ Blessing and prophets with scrolls in the pinnacles. Signed ‘Bernardus’ and dated 1344. First recorded in 1790 in the Chiostro Verde (as a work of ‘Simone Memmi’). Now in the little museum (the refectory of the former Dominican convent), the polyptych was almost certainly painted for the altar of the Chapterhouse (Spanish Chapel). The altar was dedicated to the cult of Corpus Domini (which had been celebrated at the church as early as 1294-95), and the texts on the scrolls and books held by the Christ Child, saints and prophets relate to the Sacrament of the Eucharist. (That on the Christ Child’s scroll reads ‘I am living bread that came down from heaven’.) The polyptych was damaged during the 1966 flood and subsequently restored. It has been removed from its late fifteenth-century rectangular Renaissance frame. The panels are considerably abraded.
Florence (Settignano). Villa I Tatti. Berenson Collection.
Madonna and Child. Wood, 83 x 54
A goldfinch perches on the Virgin’s finger. Praying angels in the spandrels. This tender, graceful and exceptionally well-preserved panel was evidently the centre panel of a polyptych with three-quarter length saints. It was previously in the possession of William Beattie of Stirlingshire, and was acquired by Berenson in 1910/11 from a Mr Sully.
Gazzada (Varese). Fondazione Paolo VI.
Saint James the Great. Wood, 61 x 40.
The panel was originally arched. From a polyptych, which is also thought to have included the Madonna and Child in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and the panels of saints at Florence (Museo Diocesano), Philadelphia and York. Bequeathed by Don Guido Cagnola to the Holy See in 1946. The gold background has been renewed. Cleaned in 1990.
Kansas City. Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art.
Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels. Wood, 55 x 51.
The eight saints are Elizabeth (or Dorothy), Lucy, John the Baptist, Francis, Catherine(?), Margaret, Paul and Peter. Probably the centre of a small, portable triptych. An assistant is likely to have had a hand in the execution. Mentioned by Crowe and Cavalcaselle (1864) in the collection of a Captain Stirling of Glentyan. Sold at Christie’s in 1887 as a work of Taddeo Gaddi, and later in the collection of Henry Goldman of New York. Acquired by Samuel H. Kress in 1940 from Duveen and assigned to the Kansas City museum in 1952. The frame is original.
London. National Gallery.
Coronation of the Virgin. Wood, 112 x 76.
The composition, like that of many fourteenth-century Florentine representations of this subject, appears to be based on the centre panel of the Baroncelli Altarpiece, signed by Giotto, in Santa Croce. The Coronation was the upper part of a larger panel, which included four musical angels and probably four saints. A fragment of the lower part is at Christ Church, Oxford. The Coronation is first recorded at the beginning of the twentieth century, when it was in the possession of the art historian Herbert Horne. It was sold at Christie’s in 1944 (as a work of Nardo di Cione) with the property of John Pierpont Morgan’s Hertfordshire house (Wall Hall at Aldenham). Acquired in 1955 by the Swiss collector Heinz Kisters, it remained with his wife and son until 2004, when it was bought by the National Gallery at Sotheby’s. Described by Richard Offner (in the 1958 volume of his Corpus of Florentine Painting) merely ‘as close to an assistant of Daddi’, but attributed to Daddi himself by Boskovits and Lusanni (Corpus of Florentine Painting, 1989) and other recent writers. The National Gallery and Christ Church fragments were reunited for a small exhibition at the National Gallery in autumn 2005.
On loan from a private collection.
Saint Dominic. Wood, 70 x 38.
The saint is shown half-length, wearing the black habit of the Order he founded and holding a book and white lily. Presumably a side panel of a polyptych that had a Virgin and Child at its centre. The panel was once in the Paris collection of Alexis-François Artaud de Montor, a French diplomat, historian and pioneering collector of Italian 'primitives'. It later belonged to the American art historian Charles Loeser, was sold in London in 1959, and later passed through the hands of several New York dealers (Wildenstein & Co., Piero Corsini and Richard L. Feigen). On loan to the National Gallery since 2017.
London. Courtauld Institute.
The centre panel (88 x 42) shows the Virgin and Child enthroned with eight saints (John the Baptist, Francis, Dorothy, Lucy, Paul, Peter, Margaret and Catherine) and eight angels. There is a tiny trefoil medallion of the Redeemer in the pinnacle. When open, the wings (62 x 17) show the Nativity and Crucifixion, with the Annunciation above. When closed, they show the Adoration of the Kings, with two bishop saints in the spandrels. Dated 1338 on the base of the centre panel. The triptych is unusually complete (only the finials above the twisted columns are missing) and unusually well preserved. It was acquired in 1956 by Count Antoine Seilern from Prince Oktavian Collalto, in whose family it had been since the early seventeenth century. Bequeathed to the Courtauld with the ‘Princes Gate Collection’ in 1978.
*‘San Giorgio a Ruballa Polyptych’. Wood.
The centre panel (156 x 83) shows the Crucifixion. Angels catch in basins blood from the wounds in Christ’s hands and side. The Magdalen is at the foot of the cross. On the right, soldiers cast lots and the Centurion, on horseback, points to Christ. On the left, the Virgin collapses into the arms of St John. The four side panels (138 x 52) show saints in pairs: Lawrence (with gridiron and martyr's palm) and Andrew (with cross); Bartholomew (with flaying knife) and George (with shield and lance); Peter (with key) and Paul (with sword); and James (with pilgrim's staff) and Stephen (with a stone embedded in the top of his head). God the Father is in the centre gable and the Four Evangelists are in the side ones. The polyptych is Daddi’s last known work, signed and dated 1348. It is from the church of San Giorgio a Ruballa at Bagno a Ripoli (near Florence). It remained in the church until 1821, when it was sold secretly. Acquired by Thomas Gambier-Parry in 1863 at the London sale of the collection of the Rev. Walter Davenport Bromley, and bequeathed to the University of London in 1966 by his grandson Mark Gambier-Parry.
There was originally a predella, which showed the Madonna and Child with Angels between four pairs of half-length saints. Two of the predella saints (St Margaret of Antioch and St Agnes) are in the Strasbourg museum. Another two (St Gregory the Great and an Evangelist) were formerly in the New York collection of Stanley Simon (sold in 1987, after the lawyer and politician was convicted of racketeering). The remaining two pairs of saints (St Lucy and St Catherine of Alexandria and St John the Evangelist and St Nicholas of Bari) were formerly in the collection of Michel van Gelder at Château Zeecrabbe in Belgium (sold at Christie’s, New York, in January 2012). The central predella panel was bought in Florence in 1844-45 by Sir Lawrence Jones and remained with his descendants in London until at least 1958. It was later in the hands of the Florentine antiques dealer Carlo de Carlo.
London. Royal Collection.
Marriage of the Virgin. Wood, 26 x 31.
The subject is from the Golden Legend. The Holy Spirit, descending as a dove, chooses Joseph as Mary ‘s husband by causing his rod to flower. The rejected suitors break their rods over their knees. The small panel is from the predella of the so-called San Pancrazio Polyptych (painted, in fact, for Florence Cathedral). Most of the polyptych, including the seven other predella panels, is in the Uffizi. The Marriage of the Virgin became separated from the other panels in 1817, when the Accademia let it go to a dealer called Luigi Marzocchi. It was acquired in 1845 by Queen Victoria, who gave it to Prince Albert as a birthday present. It was kept at first at Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight and then moved to Buckingham Palace in 1902. It has been on loan to the National Gallery on several occasions.
London. Wallace Collection.
Nativity. Wood, 14 x 12.
Probably a fragment of the left wing of a small triptych from Daddi’s workshop. The composition, with the Virgin placing the Child in the manger, is repeated in other works (eg. the predella of the San Pancrazio Polyptych at the Uffizi and the left wing of the triptych at Edinburgh). On the back is a fragmentary figure of a monk holding a martyr's palm. Purchased by Sir Richard Wallace in 1872 from Vicomte Both de Tauzia.
Los Angeles. Getty Museum.
*Triptych. Wood, 121 x 56.
The centre panel shows the Virgin holding a book in one hand (open at a page inscribed with the Magnificat from Luke’s Gospel) and reaching over the marble parapet with her other hand (perhaps gesturing to an altar or tomb below). There is a tiny figure of Christ Blessing in the pinnacle. St Thomas Aquinas (displaying a book of his writings) is shown on the left wing and St Paul (with sword) on the right. The triptych, which is too large to have been easily portable, was probably commissioned by a Dominican patron for a small chapel. Acquired in 1993. A (controversial) restoration in 1996 removed a figure of the Christ Child, reclining in front of the parapet, which had been added in oil some 150-200 years after the triptych had been painted. The triptych is remarkably well preserved: the colours are still fresh, and the gilding and tooled decoration are original. Another version, belonging to the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, is dated February 1334 (1335 on the modern calendar).
Arrival of St Ursula at Cologne. Wood, 60 x 63.
The foremost boat carries St Ursula, in the stern, with some of her 11,000 virgin attendants; the second boat, flying a standard with crossed keys, carries Pope Cyriacus and his bishops; and the third boat more of the 11,000 attendants. There is a companion panel, showing the Martyrdom of St Ursula, at Zurich. The panels may have been the wings of a triptych that had a Crucifixion in the centre. (A triptych with these subjects was once in the church of Sant’Orsola at Florence and is now on deposit with the museum at Arezzo.) Once in the Walpole collection at Strawberry Hill and later that of Adolphe Stoclet in Brussels. Acquired by the Getty Museum in 1970.
Madrid. Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.
Crucifixion. Wood, 37 x 22.
Probably half of a diptych; the other half has been identified as the Madonna and Child with Four Saints in the museum at Nantes (which is similar in size and shape, and has similar decoration on the haloes). Probably relatively early. First recorded at the end of the eighteenth century in the possession of the Tuscan Neoclassical painter Lamberto Cristiano Gori. In the twentieth century, it was in private collections in Brussels and Florence. Acquired by Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1972.
Virgin and Child. Wood, 84 x 55.
An intimate devotional image, in which the Child looks up at his mother, clutching the neck of her tunic with one hand and holding one of her fingers with the other. Probably the centre panel of a five-part polyptych. According to Miklós Boskovits (in his 1990 catalogue of early Italian paintings in the collection), the polyptych also included the panels of half-length saints at Florence (Museo Diocesano), Gazzada (Fondazione Paolo VI), Philadelphia and York. It is recorded on the Florentine art market in the 1860s and was later in several private British collections. Acquired by Baron Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza in 1928 from the Böhler & Steinmeyer Gallery at Lucerne. It has been badly restored and the gold background has been renewed. Richard Offner, who accepted relatively few pictures as from Daddi’s own hand, ascribed it to the anonymous painter he called ‘Assistant of Daddi’; but Boskovits considers it an autograph late work. On loan to the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya at Barcelona.
Malines (Mechelen, Belgium). Musée Communal.
Saint Peter. Wood, 61 x 33.
A panel from the right side of a polyptych. The Female Martyr at San Francisco probably came from the same altarpiece. Bequeathed to the museum in 1885 by Emile de Meester de Ravenstein, who served as a Belgian diplomat in Rome.
Melbourne. National Gallery of Victoria.
Small Cross. Wood, 43 x 38.
One side shows the dead crucified Christ (Christus patiens), with the Virgin and John the Evangelist in the trefoils at the ends of the arms and God the Father (or the Redeemer) in the trefoil at the top. The other side shows the live crucified Christ (Christus triumphans), with three Evangelists in the trefoils. Small crosses such as this were placed on altars during Mass, used by priests delivering the last rites, and carried in funeral processions. Acquired for the Melbourne Gallery in 1960 for £1,000 from Charles F. Worel of London. The paint surface is somewhat worn (and dirty). Previously catalogued simply as 'Fourteen-century Florentine'. An attribution to Bernardo Daddi was published in 2001 (by Miklós Boskovits in his revised edition of Offner's Bernardo Daddi and His Circle). An article by Hugh Hudson in the Victoria Gallery's Art Journal (2012) supports the attribution, but considers workshop intervention likely.
Milan. Poldi Pezzoli Museum.
The centre panel (45 x 21) shows the Virgin and Child enthroned with six saints. The Virgin holds a goldfinch (a familiar symbol of Christ's Passion). The red cloth of honour behind her is patterned with gold pomegranates (an equally familar symbol of Christ's Passion and Resurrection). John the Baptist and a deacon saint (Lawrence or Stephen) stand at the sides of the throne. Behind them are four female saints: Apollonia (with a tooth) and Lucy (with lamp) on the left, and two crowned martyrs (possible Catherine of Alexandria and Reparata) on the right. The two wings (51 x 12) show the Nativity and Crucifixion, with the Annunciation above. Probably relatively late (around 1440?). The triptych was heavily restored in the nineteenth century, when the centre panel was repainted and the frame replaced. Bequeathed to the museum in 1973 with the collection of Margherita Visconti Venosta. Restored in 2008.
Milan. Museo Diocesano.
Saint Cecilia. Wood, 90 x 50.
Donated to the museum in 2000 with Alberto Crespi’s collection of ‘gold ground’ paintings. Cut down at the bottom: the saint was originally full-length. A panel from a five-part polyptych painted for the convent of the Carmine at Florence. The other parts are in Cracow (Wawel Castle), Florence (Accademia) and a private collection. All five panels were reunited for an exhibition held at the Museo Diocesano in 2009.
Minneapolis. Institute of Arts.
Triptych. Wood, 59 x 51.
In the centre panel (59 x 25), the enthroned Madonna and Child are flanked by St Helen (with miniature cross), St Peter (with key), St Catherine (with martyr’s palm) and St Paul (with sword). The inner faces of the wings (47 x 13) show St Francis receiving the Stigmata and the Crucifixion, with the Annunciation in the pinnacles. While the scenes on the inner faces are well preserved (the colours remaining remarkably fresh), those on the outer faces are almost completely effaced. The date 1339 appears in large gold letters on the base. The little triptych was acquired, before 1862, in Siena by the painter and collector Johann Anton Ramboux of Cologne, and was later in other private collections in the city. Acquired by the Institute in 1934. Called a work of Daddi’s ‘close following’ by Offner (1930), but now usually classed as a work of Daddi himself.
Montauban. Musée Ingres.
Triptych. Wood, 38 x 41.
The centre panel shows the Virgin and Child in Glory with sixteen saints and fourteen angels; the left wing shows the Crucifixion and the right wing standing figures of St Christopher and St John the Baptist. Tiny busts of God the Father and the Four Evangelists appear in the medallions. The paint surface of the ornate little triptych is very worn. The old attribution was to Giottino; it was Richard Offner (Corpus, 1934) who recognised the connection with Daddi. Often classed as the work of a follower. Among the works of art bequeathed to the City of Montauban by Ingres in 1867.
Nantes. Musée des Beaux-Arts.
Madonna and Child with Four Saints. Wood, 37 x 22.
The Child reaches for the goldfinch held by St Peter. The other saints are Augustine(?), Michael and John the Baptist. Probably the left leaf of a small diptych. The right leaf was identified in 1984 (by Miklós Boskovits) as a Crucifixion in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection at Madrid. The Nantes panel is recorded in 1788 in the collection of the Italian Neoclassical painter Lamberto Cristiano Gori. Acquired by the City of Nantes in 1810 with the collection of the diplomat François Cacault, who was an early collector of Italian ‘primitives’.
Madonna and Child with Four Saints. Wood, 44 x 31.
The saints are Bernard, Francis, Augustine and John the Baptist. The frame is surmounted by a tiny roundel with the Angel of the Annunciation. Originally the left leaf of a diptych; the right leaf was probably a Crucifixion. Generally dated to the mid-1330s. In the eighteenth century, the panel was in the collection of Stefano Borgia at Velletri. Acquired from the Museo Borgia in 1817.
Madonna and Child. Wood, 62 x 48.
The Child clutches a goldfinch in his left hand. Probably the central panel of a polyptych with half-length saints. First recorded in 1908 in Rome (Frattini collection). Acquired in 1921 from Durlacher Brothers.
New Haven. Yale University.
Vision of St Dominic. Wood, 38 x 35.
St Dominic sees, in a vision, St Peter and St Paul descending from heaven with a book and staff (later restored as a sword). The gravely damaged panel had been repainted at least twice. Rigorous cleaning in 1957 exposed what little remained of the original paint surface. Part of a predella that also included panels at Berlin, Paris (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) and Pozna?. Acquired by Yale in 1871 with the Jarves collection.
New Orleans. Museum of Art.
Polyptych. Wood, 129 x 259.
Half lengths of the Madonna and Child between Saints John Gualbertus, Pancras(?), Michael and Benedict. In the gables are painted trefoils with busts of Prophets. From the Palazzo Rucellai in Florence, and probably painted for the Rucellai Chapel in the neighbouring church of San Pancrazio. Attributed by Richard Offner to the ‘close following of Daddi’ and catalogued as such by the museum (though Boskovits (Corpus, 1991) judges it an early work of Daddi himself). Briefly in the collection of Achillito Chiesa of Milan, the polyptych was acquired by Samuel H. Kress in 1932 from Contini Bonacossi and assigned to the New Orleans museum in 1961. It was removed from a late fifteenth-century rectangular Renaissance frame after its acquisition by Kress.
New York. Metropolitan Museum.
Three Scenes from the Life of St Reparata. Wood.
In one scene (27 x 35), St Reparata appears before the Emperor Decius. In a larger scene (33 x 42), Roman soldiers torture her with red-hot irons. In the third scene (24 x 35), her hair is shaved in preparation for her execution. The St Reparata Tortured with Red-Hot Irons was bequeathed to the museum in 1941 by George Blumenthal and the other two panels were bequeathed in 1943 by Maitland F. Griggs. All three panels are much damaged. They came from a predella that also included the St Reparata in a Furnace at Cologne. It is possible that the altarpiece to which the predella belonged was painted for Florence Cathedral, which originally had St Reparata as its titular saint.
Assumption of the Virgin. Wood, 108 x 137.
The upper part of a large altarpiece. The lower part, now lost, would have shown St Thomas reaching up to grasp the Virgin’s girdle (his fingers and the top of his halo are just visible at the bottom edge), and may also have included the other apostles gathered round her empty tomb. It has been supposed that the panel is a fragment of an altarpiece painted in 1337-38 for the Chapel of the Sacro Cingolo in Prato Cathedral, which houses the greatly venerated relic of the Virgin’s girdle. The predella from the altarpiece is in the Museo Civico at Prato. By the mid-nineteenth century, the fragment was in the Lombardi-Baldi collection at Florence. Acquired by Robert Lehman around 1957 and bequeathed to the Metropolitan Museum in 1975 with the Lehman collection.
Crucifixion (no. 1999.532). Wood, 46 x 29.
The Virgin and St John sit grieving at the sides of the cross. Probably a fragment of the right half of a diptych. Unrecorded before 1950, when it was sold at Sotheby’s as a work of the ‘Romagnole School’. Attributed to Daddi as an early work (1325-30) in 1984 (by Miklós Boskovits in Painters of the Miniaturist Tendency). Given to the museum by Asbjorn R. Lunde of New York in 1999. The angels are mainly modern restoration.
The centre panel (50 x 29) shows the Madonna and Child Enthroned with two kneeling donors and four angels. The wings (46 x 14) show St Francis receiving the Stigmata and the Crucifixion, with the Annunciation in the two pinnacles. By the end of the eighteenth century, the little triptych was in the collection of the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II. Later with the Counts of Ingenheim in Silesia, it came into the hands of Osvald Sirén, who published it as a work of Daddi in 1917. Acquired shortly afterwards for $8,000 from Kleinberger of New York by Michael Friedsam, who bequeathed it to the museum in 1931. The execution has been ascribed to Daddi’s workshop.
Crucifixion (no. 41.190.12). Wood, 47 x 26.
Originally the centre panel of a small altarpiece. The composition (with the Magdalen clutching the foot of the cross and the Virgin and St John standing at the sides) is almost identical to that on the right wing of the triptych at the Metropolitan Museum. Once owned by the English art historian Herbert Horne, it was published as a work of Daddi in 1914 (by Sirén in Art in America) shortly after it had been acquired by the New York financier George Blumenthal. Bequeathed in 1941. Attributed by the museum to Daddi’s workshop.
Oxford. Christ Church.
*Four Musical Angels. Wood, 44 x 53.
The angels play a tambourine, two portable organs and a lira da braccio. This charming panel is one of the best-known works in the gallery. As recognised first in 1961 (by Klara Steinweg), it is a fragment from the lower part of a much larger panel. The upper part, representing the Coronation of the Virgin, was acquired by the National Gallery, London, in 2004. The Christ Church panel has been reduced considerably in width, and fragments of two saints (probably John the Baptist and Stephen) can be seen at the two sides. Among the early Italian painting acquired by William Fox-Strangways when he was Secretary of Legation at Florence and donated to the college in 1828. The old attribution was to Taddeo Gaddi. Richard Offner (Corpus of Florentine Painting, 1958) ascribed the panel to ‘an assistant of Daddi’, while Byam Shaw (in his 1967 gallery catalogue) cautiously classed it simply as ‘Florentine School’. Boskovits and Lusanna (Corpus of Florentine Painting, 1989) and other recent writers are agreed on an attribution to Daddi himself.
Annunciation. Wood, 43 x 70.
The presence of a second angel behind Gabriel is unusual. To judge from its size and shape, the panel is probably from the centre of a predella. The colour has remained remarkably fresh. Acquired in 1862 with the Campana collection (most of which is now at Avignon).
Triptych. Wood, 62 x 58.
The subjects are those often found in portable triptychs produced by Daddi and his shop: the Madonna and Child enthroned with Saints and Angels is in the centre; the Nativity is on the left; and the Crucifixion is on the right. Tiny medallions in the gables show the Redeemer Blessing in the centre and the Annunciation at the sides. Variously classed as the work of Daddi (Boskovits), a ‘close follower’ (Offner) or Daddi’s workshop (Louvre). From the Campana collection.
Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
Miracle of St Peter Martyr. Wood, 37 x 35.
The Dominican saint miraculously halts a runaway horse during a sermon in a piazza. Part of a predella that also included panels at Berlin, Hew Haven (Yale University) and Pozna?. Bequeathed to the museum in 1905 with the collection of Emile Peyne. Scratched and worn.
Parma. Museo Nazionale.
Madonna and Child; Saints Peter and Paul. Wood.
Three panels from a five-part polyptych. The Madonna and Child (89 x 46) was in the centre and the panels of Saints Peter and Paul (each 78 x 34) were on the left. One of the right-hand panels (representing St John the Baptist) is in the Museo Civico Amedeo Lia at La Spezia. The other (representing St Francis) is last recorded in 1917 in the hands of a Parisian dealer. The polyptych was attributed by Offner (1930) to ‘the remote following of Daddi’, but is usually now accepted as one of Daddi’s earliest surviving works (early 1320s?). Its original location is unrecorded. One theory is that it was commissioned for the Florentine church of San Pier Maggiore, which was demolished in 1784. The polyptych was already dismembered in 1786-87, when it was sold by Marchese Alfonso Tacoli Canacci.
Pasadena. Norton Simon Museum of Art.
Madonna and Child with Four Saints. Wood, 46 x 24.
The saints are John Gualbertus, John the Baptist, Francis and Nicholas(?). Originally the left leaf of a diptych, and a near replica of the little panel at Naples. First recorded at the end of the eighteenth century in the collection of the French archaeologist Jean-Baptiste Seroux d’Agincourt. For many years it belonged to Miss Belle da Costa Greene of New York (librarian and mistress of J. P. Morgan, who left her a fortune in his will).
Philadelphia. Museum of Art.
Madonna and Child and Two Saints. Wood.
The centre panel (85 x 43) of the Madonna and Child is very similar to that of the Ognissanti Triptych, dated 1328, in the Uffizi. The side panels (each 77 x 36) show St John the Baptist and a Bishop saint (identified formerly as Giles and now as Zenobius). Half-length figures of Christ Blessing and two Prophets appear in the pinnacles. Dated 1334. The three centre panels of a five-part polyptych. The other two panels are in the Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, Massachusetts) and the Fitchburg Art Museum (also in Massachusetts). Previously in the hands of the Florentine dealer Elia Volpi, the three Philadelphia panels were acquired in New York by John G. Johnson in 1916 for $7,200. Much abraded (in areas, only the reddish brown ground remains). The frame is original, but heavily restored.
Saint John the Evangelist. Wood, 70 x 41.
A panel from a polyptych, which is also thought to have included the Madonna and Child in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and panels of saints at Florence (Museo Diocesano), Gazzada (Fondazione Paolo VI) and York. The St John the Evangelist would have been on the far left. Bought by Johnson in 1907 (or 1909) from Langton Douglas for £100. The panel was then completely repainted; cleaning in 1941 revealed the original paint surface to be very damaged and abraded. Not on view.
Pisa. Museo Civico.
Two Scenes from the Life of St Cecilia. Wood, 19/20 x 42/45.
One panel shows St Cecilia converting Valerian and the other panel her martyrdom. From a predella. Two other parts are known. One, a fragment of a scene representing the Baptism of Tibertius, is at Cracow (Czartoryski Museum). Another, representing the Wedding Feast of St Cecilia, is in private ownership (formerly on loan to the Folkwang Museum at Essen). The predella’s provenance is unknown. The two Pisa panels were acquired by the Opera del Duomo in 1796 with the collection of the Canonico Sebastiano Zucchetti. They are greatly damaged.
Pittsburgh. Frick Art Museum.
Triptych. Wood, 44 x 43.
The centre panel (38 x 19) shows the Madonna and Child enthroned between St Francis and a Bishop saint. The hinged wings (43 x 12) show Saints Peter and Paul on the left and the Crucifixion on the right, with the Annunciation in the pinnacles. The frame is modern. This small portable triptych may have been produced in Daddi’s workshop around the mid-1330s. Formerly in the Ducal Palace at Meiningen in Germany, it was acquired by Helen Clay Frick in 1926 from Knoedler & Co. of New York.
Portland (Oregon). Art Museum.
‘Aldobrandini Triptych’. Wood. 96 x 66.
The centre panel shows the Madonna and Child enthroned with eight saints (Paul, Margaret of Antioch, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, Nicholas of Bari, John the Baptist, Anthony Abbot and James the Great), the left wing shows the Nativity and the right wing shows the Crucifixion. The Annunciation is depicted in the pinnacles of the wings and the Redeemer Blessing in the centre gable. Previously in the collection of Oscar Bondy of Vienna, the triptych was bought by Samuel H. Kress in 1952 at an auction in New York and allocated to the Portland museum in 1961. Usually attributed to Daddi’s workshop or following. A rather similar triptych at Siena is dated 1336.
Poznan (Posen). National Museum.
Miracle of St Dominic. Wood, 37 x 33.
St Dominic appears posthumously to save a ship travelling from Trapani to Genoa. Part of a predella that also included panels at Berlin, Paris (Musée des Arts Décoratifs) and New Haven (Yale University). From the collection of the Polish art historian and diplomat Athanasius Graf Raczy?ski, which passed to the Berlin gallery in 1883 and thence to the Pozna? museum in 1903.
Prague. National Museum.
The centre panel (50 x 26) shows the Madonna and Child enthroned with eight saints (Agnes, Lucy, Margaret, Catherine, John the Baptist, Bartholomew, Lawrence or Stephen, and Peter) and four angels. The wings (50/49 x 14/13) show the Nativity and the Crucifixion, with the Annunciation in the pinnacles. In the late eighteenth century, the little triptych was in the collection of the Marchese Tommaso degli Obizzi in his castle at Catajo, near Padua. It was bequeathed in 1805 to the Austrian branch of the Este family, and transferred to the Prague Gallery in 1940 from the castle of Konopišt?.
Prato. Museo Civico.
Three-quarter length figures. The centre panel (85 x 46) shows the Madonna and Child, and the four side panels (each 77 x 35) show Saints Francis (with arms folded on his chest), Bartholomew (with knife), Barnabas (with olive branch) and Catherine of Alexandria (with martyr’s palm). From the Spedale della Misericordia in Prato, which was dedicated to St Barnabas. It was probably commissioned by the rector of the hospital, Frate Francesco di Tieri, who also ordered an altarpiece for the Misericordia from Giovanni da Milano. Attributed by Offner (1930) to the ‘close following of Daddi’, but now usually accepted as a comparatively early work of Daddi himself, similar in type and style to the Ognissanti Triptych of 1328 in the Uffizi. The panels are in a fair state, but the frame is largely modern.
Legend of the Holy Girdle. Wood, 27 x 215.
There are seven scenes: St Thomas takes the Virgin’s girdle as the apostles are gathered round her empty tomb; St Thomas gives the Virgin’s girdle to the elderly High Priest of the church of Jerusalem; Michele de Dagomari of Prato secretly marries in Palestine; Michele is given the girdle in a bag as a dowry by his bride’s mother; Michele and his bride return from the Holy Land to Italy by sea; Michele is visited by angels as he sleeps on the lid of the chest containing the relic; and Michele, on his deathbed, entrusts the girdle to Bishop Uberto. A final, eighth scene is missing: it probably showed the girdle being taken to the Cathedral. The predella belonged to the altarpiece of the Chapel of the Sacro Cingolo in Prato Cathedral, which houses the relic of the girdle. Payments for the altarpiece are recorded between April 1337 and June 1338. The altarpiece was sold in 1434 to the nuns of San Martino but was returned four years later. The predella appears to have remained at San Martino. By 1724 it was in the Bishop’s palace at Prato and in 1888 it was transferred to the gallery. There is no record of what happened to the rest of the altarpiece. It is thought that an Assumption in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, is a fragment of the main panel.
[The museum has been closed for restoration for many years; some of the more important works have been transferred to the Cloister of San Domenico.]
Rome. Vatican Pinacoteca.
The Finding of St Stephen. Eight panels, each 27 x 30.
The story is told in the Golden Legend. The eight panels represent: the stoning of St Stephen; St Gamaliel appearing in a dream to St Lucian to reveal where the saint was buried; St Lucian telling John, Patriarch of Jerusalem, of his dream; the discovery of the bodies of St Stephen and other saints; the transfer of the bodies to Jerusalem; the transfer of the bodies to Rome; the interment of St Stephen with St Lawrence in the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura; and the sick praying at the saints’ tomb. The panels are attributed to Daddi as late works (mid-1340s). They almost certainly came from a predella. Their provenance is unknown. One theory is that they belonged to an altarpiece from the Florentine church of Santo Stefano al Ponte. Another is that they formed a second predella of the polyptych from Prato Cathedral (which is dedicated to St Stephen). The panels, which were damaged, dirty and retouched, were cleaned in 1974-81.
‘Madonna del Magnificat’. Wood, 72 x 53.
The Virgin’s open book is inscribed with the Magnificat from Luke’s Gospel. Originally the centre of a small triptych; the wings (representing St Thomas Aquinas and St Paul) are at Berne. Until 1852, the complete triptych was in the Palazzo Rinuccini in Florence. The Madonna was transferred to the Pinacoteca from the Vatican Library in 1909. There are other versions in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence.
Madonna and Child. Wood, 96 x 61.
One of a number of similar half-length Madonnas; one at Philadelphia (the centre panel of a polyptych) is dated 1334, and there is another in the Berenson collection at I Tatti. Sometimes ascribed to Daddi’s School; but a work of high quality and unusually well preserved. Transferred to the Pinacoteca in 1909 from the Vatican Library; moved in 1964 to the Sala dei Papi in the Pontifical Apartments.
San Francisco. De Young Museum.
Crowned Female Martyr (St Catherine of Alexandria?). Wood, 62 x 31.
A panel from the left side of a polyptych. A Saint Peter in the museum at Malines, Belgium, probably came from the right side. Attributed either to Daddi, as a late work, or to a close follower. Said to have come from ‘an ancient Florentine family’. Acquired by Samuel H. Kress in 1932 from Contini Bonacossi and assigned to the San Francisco museum in 1955.
Scandicci (6km southeast of Florence). San Giusto.
Madonna with Two Saints and Two Angels. Wood, 198 x 110.
St Peter (with keys) on the left; St Paul (with sword) on the right. The Child takes a rose from the angel on the right. There are no early references to this large altarpiece, which was discovered in 1890 behind a picture of a later date. Attributed by Offner (1930) to Daddi’s ‘close following’, but now usually accepted as a work of Daddi himself.
Seattle. Art Museum.
Virgin and Child with Donor. Wood, 109 x 47.
The Child, standing on the Virgin's knee, holds a fluttering goldfinch. A tiny donor kneels in the bottom left corner. Probably the central panel of an altarpiece produced in Bernardo Daddi's workshop around the late 1340s. There are no early records of the panel, which was once owned by Prince Vladimir Galitzine, a Russian aristocrat who had settled in England after the Revolution. Acquired by Kress in 1939 from the dealer Contini Bonacossi and allotted to the Seattle Museum in 1954. The top of the panel is modern and the Virgin's mantle is heavily restored.
Siena. Pinacoteca Nazionale.
Triptych. Wood, 80 x 75 (doors open).
The centre panel shows the Madonna and Child enthroned with four saints (Peter, John the Baptist, Paul and Nicholas) and sixteen angels. The gable contains a medallion of Christ Blessing. The wings show the Nativity and Crucifixion, with scenes from the Life of St Nicholas in the two pinnacles. Dated 1336, centre bottom. Much damaged by scaling (several heads are virtually effaced) The outer faces of the wings originally had paintings of saints, but only traces of these remain. The triptych is a variant (with the same subjects but differences of compositional detail) of the famous triptych, dated 1333, in the Loggia del Bigallo at Florence. It has been recorded in the Pinacoteca since 1842, but its provenance is unknown.
Signa (some 12 km west of Florence). San Pietro a Lecore.
Madonna and Child Enthroned. Wood, 98 x 50.
The sprig of red coral hung around the Child's neck and the goldfinch he holds are symbols of his future Passion. The church, of nineth-century foundation, was rebuilt in the early twentieth century. The picture hangs over the high altar in a seventeenth-century frame decorated with scenes representing the Mysteries of the Rosary. It was probably the central panel of a polyptych. Attributed to Bernardo Daddi (as a comparatively early work) or to his following. Both the picture and the frame were under restoration in 2020.
La Spezia. Museo Civico Amedeo Lia.
Saint John the Baptist. Wood, 71 x 34.
A panel from a five-part polyptych. Three other panels (representing the Madonna and Child, which was in the centre, and Saints Peter and Paul, which were on the left) are in the Galleria Nazionale at Parma, and one (representing St Francis, which was on the far right) is untraced. The St John the Baptist was previously in the collection of the Marchese Pallavicini in Siena and then, until 1962, that of Carlo Sestieri in Rome.
Strasbourg. Musée des Beaux-Arts.
St Margaret of Antioch and St Agnes. Wood, 22 x 38.
St Margaret is crowned and holds a cross; St Agnes holds her lamb. From the predella of the San Giorgio a Ruballa Polyptych. The polyptych is Daddi’s last signed and dated work (1348). The main panels are in the Courtauld Institute, London. The other parts of the predella (which showed the Madonna and Child between four pairs of half-length saints) are still in private hands. The Strasbourg panel was acquired for the museum in 1901 by Wilhelm von Bode. Formerly catalogued as the work of a follower of Simone Martini, it was attributed to Daddi’s workshop in 1930 by Richard Offner (Corpus).
Turin. Galleria Sabauda.
Coronation of the Virgin. Wood, 41 x 26.
Christ Blessing in the gable. A fragment of the centre panel of a small triptych (about a third appears to be missing from the bottom). The frame is modern. Donated in 1864 by the Marchesi Falletti di Baroli.
Washington. National Gallery.
Saint Paul. Wood, 232 x 90.
The saint, life-size and full-length, holds a sword and book. Twelve tiny donors – men on one side and women on the other – kneel at his feet. The inscription along the bottom gives the date 1333. This tall panel is unlikely to have been part of a polyptych and may originally have hung against a pillar in a church. Once in the monastery of San Felice at Florence, it passed into the hands of dealers (Stefano Bardini and then Elia Volpi) and was sold in New York in 1916 as a work of the ‘Primitive School of Tuscany’. By 1933, it was with Duveen, where it was ascribed to Giotto and then Maso di Banco. Acquired by Andrew Mellon in 1936 and donated to the National Gallery the following year.
Madonna and Child with Saints and Angels. Wood, 57 x 31.
The Child holds a pomegranate and reaches out with his other hand to touch a goldfinch offered by an angel. The three saints in the left foreground are Mary Magdalene (with her jar of ointment), John the Baptist (wearing camel hair) and Andrew (holding a cross). Behind them are St Apollonia (holding a tooth) and another female martyr. The three saints in the right foreground are Paul (with sword), Peter (with keys) and Agnes (with lamb). The two female saints behind them are possibly Margaret (with cross) and Catherine of Alexandria (wearing a gold crown and holding a book). Two angels kneeling before the throne play a portable organ and a viol, while two standing at the sides of the throne play a ciaramella (shawn) and a salterio (psaltery). The panel was almost certainly the centre of a small, hinged triptych and probably dates from the 1330s. The frame, with delicate spiral columns, is original. Said to have been given in 1872 by the abbot of the monastery at Vallombrosa to a painter and restorer called J. Stark. Bought from Stark by the potter Sir Henry Doulton. Acquired by Kress (via Contini-Bonacossi) in 1950. Well preserved (except for the Virgin’s face).
Crucifixion. Wood, 35 x 24.
Flying angels catch the blood flowing from Christ’s wounds. The Magdalen clasps the foot of the cross, and the other Maries and St John support the swooning Virgin. The figures on the right include the Centurion gesturing towards Christ. This tiny panel probably formed one half of a folding diptych. It was acquired in New York in 1908 by the archeologist Dan Fellows Platt of New Jersey. He bequeathed it in 1938 to Princeton University, but it was sold in 1943 to Samuel H. Kress. Previously classed by the museum merely as ‘attributed to Daddi’. But in his 2016 entry to the gallery's online catalogue, Miklós Boskovits expressed his convction that it is a fully autograph early work.
Washington. Dumbarton Oaks.
Madonna and Child with Four Saints and Four Angels. Wood, 88 x 44.
Originally the centre of a small altarpiece. Dated 1337. First recorded in 1874 in the collection of Giulio Sterbini in Rome. Bought in New York in 1936 by Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss, who donated Dumbarton Oaks and its collections to Harvard University in 1940.
York. Art Gallery.
A Bishop (Saint Zenobius?). Wood, 66 x 39.
The identification of the bishop as St Zenobius, a patron saint of Florence, is suggested by the lilies (an emblem of the city) embroidered on his cope. The dragon motif around his mitre occurs in other paintings by Daddi. The panel was part of a polyptych, which is also thought to have included the Madonna and Child in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection and panels of saints at Florence (Museo Diocesano), Gazzada (Fondazione Paolo VI) and Philadelphia. It would have been on the far right. Once owned by the Bishop of Truro, it was one of more than one hundred paintings bequeathed to the gallery in 1955 by the engineer and industrialist F. D. Lycett Green. Restored in 2014.
Martyrdom of St Ursula and Her Companions. Wood, 59 x 63.
Greatly damaged. Originally the right wing of a triptych; the left wing, showing the Arrival of St Ursula at Cologne, is in the Getty Museum, Los Angeles. The triptych is recorded in 1757 in the convent of Sant’Agata at Florence, but was probably painted for the church of Sant’Orsola. The Zurich panel was acquired in 1903 from a private collection in Rovio, Switzerland.