Giovanni del Biondo

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Martyrdom of St Sebastian

Giovanni del Biondo was a 14th-century Italian painter of the Gothic and early-Renaissance period. He was active in the period 1356-1399 and is mainly known for his panel paintings. He specialized in religious-themed works, many of which have survived.


Giovanni del Biondo’s precise date of birth is unknown.[1] From tax records it is known that Giovanni del Biondo lived and flourished in Florence where he died in 1399.

He may have trained in the workshop of Andrea and Nardo di Cione where he also worked at the start of his career.[2]


His earliest surviving works are frescoes. These works clearly bear the mark of the influence of Giotto's style. He later started making tempera paintings on panel. These works often show the influence of the works of Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Andrea di Cione, Jacopo di Cione and Bernardo Daddi. Nearly all of Biondo’s paintings depict religious subjects and were originally part of large-scale polyptych altarpieces.[1]

From the Saint Sebastian Triptych

His earliest works are simple compositions with bright colors and typically lack dimensional depth. Gradually Biondo's figures gained more ornamentation and detail and a more naturalistic appearance. The figures also became more spontaneous in their arrangements. In his later paintings, Biondo paid more attention to foreground and background details in his composition. He created a greater sense of depth but his figures became more formalized and hardened.[1]

The idiosyncrasies of his style include the wayward proportions, sharp, spiky features and a strong sense of design.[3] There are only two surviving altarpieces that bear his signature.[1] Because of his distinctive style it has been possible to confidently ascribe a significant number of works to the artist.

His style remained the same in his later career. The use of studio assistants with various levels of proficiency in his later period led to a certain loss in quality.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Artist Biography: Giovanni del Biondo (Florence, active 1356-1399) at the University of Delaware, accessed 22 March 2016
  2. ^ a b Brendan Cassidy. "Giovanni del Biondo." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 22 March 2016
  3. ^ Giovanni del Biondo (d. 1399), The Virgin Annunciate c.1385-90, at the Royal Collection Trust, accessed 22 March 2016

External links[edit]

Media related to Giovanni del Biondo at Wikimedia Commons