Taddeo Gaddi (c.1300-1366) was an Italian painter and architect, active during the early Renaissance. As a painter, he created altar-pieces and murals and is primarily noted as a pupil and follower of Giotto. As an architect, he is credited with the design of the Ponte Vecchio.
Life and Art
Son of Gaddo Gaddi, an artist of whom little is known, Taddeo's art education came primarily as a pupil of, and assistant to, the painter Giotto di Bondone. Cennino Cennini referred to Taddeo as Giotto's godson and claimed that their relationship lasted 24 years.
Early works such as the The Stigmatization of Saint Francis (c.1325-1330, tempera on wood panel) demonstrate a subtle recasting of Giotto's style.
Perhaps his most famous works are the series of frescoes depicting the lives of the Virgin and of Christ in the Giugni Chapel (neé Baroncelli Chapel) at Santa Croce in Florence (1328-38). The Angelic Announcement to the Shepherds (depicted at right) illustrates Taddeo's interest in light and its effects. His study of solar eclipses in particular would eventually lead to serious eye injury in 1339.
Two facts point to Taddeo Gaddi's importance as a Florentine artist:
- Giorgio Vasari included a biography of Taddeo Gaddi in his Lives.
- Taddeo's name appears atop a list of 'the best masters of painting who are in Florence'.
Taddeo Gaddi produced four sons, three of whom were known artists: Giovanni Gaddi, Agnolo Gaddi and Niccolò Gaddi. There is no evidence to demonstrate that his fourth son, Zanobi, was ever a serious artist.