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TADDEO GADDI (Florence, active 1332-1363)
TADDEO GADDI (Florence, active 1332-1363)

Saint John the Evangelist

Details
TADDEO GADDI (Florence, active 1332-1363)
Saint John the Evangelist
tempera on a gold ground panel
21 7/8 x 13¾ in. (55.5 x 35 cm.)
Provenance
Anon. Sale, Sotheby's, London, 3 December 1978, lot 116, as attributed to Pacino da Buonaguida.
Literature
A. Ladis, Taddeo Gaddi: Critical Reappraisal and Catalogue Raisonné, Missouri, 1982, p. 202, no. 34, pl. 34-1.
Exhibited
London, Matthiesen Fine Art Ltd., Early Italian Paintings and Works of Art 1300-1480, 1983, no. 3.

Lot Essay

One of Giotto's closest pupils, Taddeo Gaddi in all probability collaborated on even the signed works of his master, such as the Baroncelli Chapel polyptych in Santa Croce, which were often in part executed by the shop. The present work probably formed part of the right hand side of the polyptych. The particularly high quality of this painting, which is extremely close to Giotto in style, is typical of Taddeo Gaddi's work in the period before c.1330. The fine treatment of the hands and the powerful mass of the body are worthy of Giotto's classic style of the 1320s, when he was working on the Bardi frescoes.

It seems reasonable to assume the present work was executed by Gaddi before the Baroncelli Chapel frescoes, which the majority of critics date to the 1330s. Comparison can be made with the Madonna and Child lunette in the Giovanni di Balduccio tomb outside the same chapel in 1328. However, a more telling comparison may be made with another panel, the beautiful fragment of a Maestà in the Civic Museum at Castiglion Fiorentino, where the artist, although still faithful to the Giottesque prototype, develops a more gothic style.
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