Pisa as a Center of Tuscan Painting in the 1390s: The Case of Taddeo di Bartolo*
Gail E. Solberg
This paper examines artistic exchange at Pisa with a focus on Taddeo di Bartolo’s activity there in the mid 1390s. Carpentry design is the aspect of style that shows how Taddeo’s altarpieces for the city were influenced by local works and by paintings in and around Pisa by masters from Florence, notably Spinello Aretino. A counterintuitive argument is laid out: Taddeo’s huge triptych for Montepulciano signed in 1401 was begun at Pisa though completed at Siena. The painting’s heavily gridded framework and its figural arrangement – unusual for Siena – are explained by Taddeo’s contacts at Pisa as well as by the requests of his patrons. Problems of distant production and the transportation of large polyptychs are addressed. Test cases for what is claimed about Pisa as a crucible are altarpieces by Turino Vanni and Nicolò da Voltri that bring Liguria into the discussion.