Mariotto di Nardo

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Mariotto di Nardo di Cione
Nardo Maiestas Domini.jpg
Christ in Majesty (c. 1395), Czartoryski Museum, Kraków
Born before 1365[1]
Florence, Italy
Died between 1424 and 1427[1]
Nationality Florentine

Mariotto di Nardo or Lionardo di Cione was a Florentine painter who flourished through 1394-1424. He became famous for his fresco and altarpiece works in famous churches, and later developed a personal style that would make him unique and defined from his associates. Like many Italian artist at the time he was heavily influenced by Gothic theme art, which was very popular and common at this time. About all of his works were frescos, altarpieces, and panel paintings, and most of his documented works are all have religious motives and are decorated in Florentine churches to this day.

Personal life[edit]

Mariotto di nardo or Lionardo di Cione was a Florentine Painter who was flourished through 1394-1424. He was the grandson of Andrea di Cione di Arcangelo, and the son of, and also the apprentice of, Nardo di Cione.[2] Nardo had worked in Siena in 1380 and in Volterra in 1381 as a stone-cutter.[3] It was believe that Nardo had nothing to do with the di Cione family, but for a while it was later believed that he was the son of Nardo di Cione.[3] His father trained Mariotto along with his brothers in his crafts. Mariotto's obsession with sculpture influences his paintings, and also his interest in plastic form style paintings were a constant theme through his career of works, which made his art work to be easily identified and separate from his colleagues.[2] With the lack of personal information on Mariotto, there is essentially no information on Mariotto's direct family, or if he had one at all.


His style belongs to the Florentine Gothic, and shows the influence of Spinello Aretinoand Lorenzo Monaco. He worked at the Duomo of Florence, at the church of Santa Maria Maggiore and at the Orsanmichele. He also was heavily influenced by Niccolo di Pietro Gerini with close relationship also to Spinello Aretino. Mariotto's Later style was influence slightly by Lorenzo Monaco.


There is little information on Mariotto's training, but since his father, Nardo di Cione, was his mentor it can be inferred that Mariotto learn and applied much of what his father knew to his own works. Mariotto's father, Nardo was an artist that emerge with his own style which was complimented by his strong human sympathies and great sensitivity to color differentiation. But with the lack of concrete evidence of his stylistic development, it is hard to pinpoint exactly his timeline of artistic traits, however it can easily be suggested by such artistic considerations that he was well above artisan quality. In addition Nardo also was extremely active in creating frescos for churches, similar to Mariotto, which probably heavily influenced Mariotto's desire to create religious frescos, panels, and altarpieces. 


Mariotto di nardo, madonna tra i santi michele e francesco

Mariotto was a member of the Physicians and Apothecaries Guild sometime between 1386-1408, and was also a member of the Company of Saint Luke 1408.[3] Many documents that are still an existence pertaining to Mariotto show that he was a popular and much sought after painter in both public and private affairs in Florence. It is believed that Mariotto may be have been the principal artist in charge of the art work in the cathedral, which most paintings have been since been tarnished.[2] Mariotto was an avid altarpiece painter, and in 1398 he painted an altarpiece for the chapel of the Madonna della Neve in Florence, commissioned by the Board of Works. He began working on this piece in 1397 and was compensated with 15 florins in part payment for the creation of the panel for the "opera" of Sta. Reparata for the altar of the new chapel of the Virgin Mary.[3] He also painted an alter piece for the Florence Cathedral around 1402-4.[2] Mariotto's uncle, Jacopo di Cione, acted as an guarantor on behalf of Mariotto for the cathedral workshop on 2 May 1398.[4]

Mariotto di Nardo, Virgin with Child four saints

Mariotto was employed and commissioned for the fresco decoration he created for two of the most important catholic churches in Florence; the Santa Maria Maggiore and the Orsanmichele (around 1400). Mariotto also executed frescoes for the officials of the Orsanmichele to be placed in their residence. At this stage of his promising career, he was also commissioned to create illuminated manuscripts for Santa Maria degli Angeli, Florence, which gave him access to the manuscript workshop that later on greatly altered and influenced his style (Examples of this include two fragments of St Lawrence (Cambridge, Fitzwilliam) and St Mary Magdalene).[2] The last know work to be given to Mariotto which there is any record of was a painting for the altar of the Captains of the Company of Sta. Oratory, which they had commissioned him to paint (2 March 1415/16).[3]

In 1400, Mariotto may have accompanied Lorenzo Ghiberti to Pesaro. Ghiberti mentioned the journey in his Commentarii, but failed to give the name of his escort. However, the hypothesis that it was Mariotto is verified by the existence in Pesaro of a triptych of the Virgin and Child with SS Michael and Francis (Pesaro, Mus. Civ.), dated 1400, by Mariotto.

As Mariotto went on throughout his career, his paintings became more and more repetitive, and gained a personal trademark that made his works develop distinguishable traits. Although his works were often considered to have narrowly been above artisan quality, his success in his time period baffled later critiques, but his pinnacle was evidently measured off his works in the early 14th century. His production introduced to Florence new gothic techniques such as oblique perspective, nervous tension of the figures and deserted, rocky landscapes.[2]

 Stylistic Elements[edit]

Mariotto di nardo, Polittico Serristori, 1424

Through Mariotto's flourishing years, stylistic change is noticed in his works. From his early works his, such as the large polyptych in the church of S. Donnino at Villamagna in 1394-1395 (which is his first known artistic commitment) to his large polyptych in the Serristori house in Florence (Shown to the right) his stylistic elements shifted and are noticeably altered. Mariotto had originally preferred to arrange is bold, powerful figures, who move their heavy burdens with the finest possible grace. But, In the first decade of the 14th century he advances his style and lightens the weight of his figures and uses more subtle and less dramatic line weight to give a more elegant and delicate persona to his figures. These new elements that Mariotto had discovered and began practicing were heavily influenced by, and seen as parallel to, Lorenzo Monaco.[3]

 Surviving Works[edit]

Mariotto di nardo, dottore della chiesa 1404 01

A relatively large number of securely attributed works by Mariotto survive. These include an altarpiece of the Virgin and Child with Saints for the church of S Donnino at Villamagna, Bagno a Ripoli (in situ); a triptych of the Assumption of the Virgin with St Jerome and St John the Evangelist (1398; Fiesole, Fontelucente Church); a polyptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints and a predella with scenes from the Life of the Virgin (Florence, Accad.) from the convent of S Gaggio, Florence; the Coronation of the Virgin (Florence, Certosa del Galluzzo, Pin.); the Trinity (Impruneta, S Maria); and an altarpiece of the Virgin and Child Enthroned with Saints for S Leolino at Panzano in Chianti (in situ).[3]

Career Works of Mariotto di Nardo[edit]

*Noli me tangere
Natività, ca. 1385, now in the Vatican Museums

Natività, ca. 1385, now in the Vatican Museums

*Natività, in the Vatican Museums
*Ultima cena,[3]


  1. Cecilia Frosinini. "Mariotto di Nardo." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. 24 April 2017.
  2. G. Kreytenberg. "Cione." Grove Art OnlineOxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. 24 April 2017. 
  3. Fermantle, Richard (1975). Florentine Gothic Painters. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd. pp. 450-453.
  1. ^ a b S. Chiodo (2014). Mariotto di Nardo di Cione (in Italian). Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 70. Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Frosinini, Cecilia (Grove Art Online). "Mariotto di Nardo". Oxford Art Online. Retrieved Web. 24 April 2017.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Fremantle, Richard (1975). Florentine Gothic Painters. Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd. pp. 450–453. 
  4. ^ Kreytenburg, G. (Grove Art Online). "Cione". Oxford Art Online. Retrieved 24 April 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  5. ^ Frosinini, Cecilia (Grove Art Online). "Mariotto di Nardo". Oxford Art Online. Retrieved 24 April 2017.  Check date values in: |date= (help)

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