About this artwork

The small size of this beautifully made altarpiece, used as an aid to prayer and meditation, meant that it was easily portable and could be taken on journeys. The open wings reveal an image of Christ's Crucifixion flanked by smaller scenes. The choice of subjects must have had special significance for the patron. On the left are the Nativity and the Crucifixion of St Peter (he was crucified upside down). Opposite, and rather unusual in a wing, are The Enthroned Virgin and Child with Saints and St Nicholas donating the Dowries (thereby allowing an impoverished nobleman's daughters to marry).

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Bernardo Daddi

Bernardo Daddi

Bernardo Daddi ran a large and busy workshop in Florence in the first half of the fourteenth century. He had trained with Giotto, the leading artist of the time, whose innovative style moved away from traditional formulae towards more naturalistic description in which figures appeared to be solid and to exist in a credible space. They also conveyed emotion through gestures and facial expressions. Daddi's workshop would have produced a variety of paintings, but seems to have specialised in the production of relatively small-scale devotional panels and altarpieces.