Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1345-1396
Son of Taddeo Gaddi. Through both his brother Giovanni and his father, Agnolo was heir to the Giottesque tradition and to a successful family enterprise, which he directed with enormous success up to the turn of the 15th century. He is first mentioned as a painter in 1369, when he assisted his brother Giovanni and Giovanni da Milano in decorations for Urban V (reg 1362-70) in the Vatican. Although he probably did not assume full responsibility for the workshop until his brother Giovanni death, he must have begun accepting his own commissions as early as the 1370s. The nature of his early work and whether it included an altarpiece dated 1375 (Parma, G.N., 435), however, remains a matter of debate. Logical or likely though it may be, the notion that this early activity developed out of his brother Giovanni still little-known art is hypothetical. Whereas the works grouped around Giovanni name are all small panels, Agnolo was an artist who, like his father, excelled in wall painting. Indeed, three monumental fresco cycles (see below), in the Castellani Chapel (painted c. 1384) and the choir (painted c. 1388-93) of Santa Croce, Florence, and the chapel of the Sacra Cintola (doc. 1393-5) in Prato Cathedral, constitute the artist most notable surviving works and offer a basis for reconstructing the content and chronology of his oeuvre.