Nardo di Cione

Born: Active 1343  - Death: 1466    Located in: 14th Century Florentine Painting Room

A Florentine painter, sculptor and architect of the 14th century. He was the brother of the more accomplished Andrea di Cione, called Orcagna (1308 – 1368) and younger brother Jacopo di Cione; they were both important members of the Painter’s Guild of Florence. While Orcagna has been noted as the more accomplished artist, Nardo developed his own unique style, described as “a pronounced lyrical vein, a feeling for poetic values, strong human sympathies and great sensitivity to colour as a means of subtle differentiation and soft modeling.” (The Grove Dictionary of Art)

The brothers collaborated on a number of works from their studio together, including the decorations from the Cappella Strozzi in the Santa Maria Novella. While Orcagna painted the altarpiece, Nardo executed the frescos of The Last Judgment, Paradise and Hell. Of Nardo’s independently attributed works is his, Crucifixion, a central panel of a tabernacle. In the predella of the piece are depictions of Saints Jerome, James the Less, Saint Paul, James the Great and Saint Peter the Martyr. The work is of unknown origin, but was acquired from the Accademia in Florence and now in the Uffizi Gallery.

There is also Nardo’s, Standing Madonna with Child, executed sometime in the 1350s. This piece has been noted of works created in Florence after the ravages of the bubonic plague of 1348, where religious art was commissioned in order to bring spiritual relief to the survivors. (Minneapolis Institute of Arts) This Standing Madonna is very similar to the surviving work of Nardo’s smaller devotional pieces for the home, one of which is housed in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Madonna and Child with Saints Peter and John the Evangelist.

(This text is taken from the entry on Nardo di Cione, available under GNU Free Documentation license.)

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