The prevailing characteristic of Taddeo di Bartolo’s work being rich colour and spatial inventiveness. His gold backgrounds don’t sharpen but soften the mood and lend a dazzling glow to his paintings. Bartolo’s figures express raw, unfettered passion–passionate emotions that are not manufactured or abstracted. His concern was with dramatic action and human emotion. To make that dramatic action more effective, Bartolo placed his figures in a space more convincingly than earlier painters. His depiction of Christ is kind and gracious, as if he has pity upon the longing of the soul of the believer. He avoids all contrived effects and labors in the same style as Segna di Buonaventure, in whose works also the figures have roundness and shadows. Bartolo’s work is confident, exploratory and intense. He opened up a new world of emotion and passion, but with a lyricism and deep sensitivity to color. His subjects, like his predecessors, are all religious ? the Virgin Mary, the Life of Christ, the Apostles, Angeles and the Life of St. Francis.
His great painting of Saint Christopher is housed in the famous Civic Museum inside the Palazzo Pubblico overlooking the Piazza del Campo. The Palazzo Pubblico was built in the early 1300s by the Government of Nove. It is a masterpiece of medieval urban architecture. In the Great Council Hall there are extraordinary frescoes by Martini depicting a beautiful Maestà and next door, in the Hall of Nine there is the amazing fresco cycle by Ambrogio Lorenzetti showing the Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government. More on Taddeo di Bartolo
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