MARIOTTO DI NARDO
(active 1394, Firenze, d. 1424, Firenze)

Biography

Italian painter. He was the son of the sculptor Nardo di Cione (active c. 1380; namesake of the painter) and was probably trained by his father. Realizing his talent for painting at a young age, Mariotto established himself as a painter of frescoes and panel paintings and an illuminator of manuscripts. He was in great demand for public and private commissions. Early in his career, he became the principal artist for the cathedral in his native Florence. Following suit, most of the important churches in Florence also commissioned frescoes from him, and religious orders commissioned him to paint illuminated manuscripts. He worked in Santa Maria Maggiore and at Orsanmichele.

In 1400 Mariotto collaborated with one of the most famous artists in Florence, the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, on an altarpiece in the town of Pesaro. Following the predominant Florentine style of his time, Mariotto's altarpieces featured saints and religious scenes set against flat, often gold backgrounds.

Mariotto's interest in sculpture and his almost obsessive rendering of plastic form in painting remain constant factors in his style, which is easily identifiable and markedly different from that of his contemporaries. He worked in a conservative style with a capacity for clear story-telling, without ornament or fantasy.