MASTER of Bigallo
(active 1225-1255 in Florence)

Biography

Bigallo Master (Master of Bigallo), Italian painter, named after the Crucifix (c. 1225-30) now in the Bigallo Museum, Florence. This master's work shows the moderate plasticity and warm tones typical of much Florentine 13th-century painting. Certain stylistic features of the Bigallo Crucifix are similar to those found in the work of Berlinghiero Berlinghieri from Lucca, although perhaps too much attention has been paid to this. The painter's ability to keep up with developments in contemporary painting is shown by the reflection of Giunta Pisano's expressionism in another Crucifix (c. 1230-40; Art Institute, Chicago). The measured composition and breadth of plan in the dossal of St Zenobius, with four scenes from his life (Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence), demonstrates the Master's competence as a narrative painter. Another painting attributed as a late work, a beautiful painted Crucifix (c. 1240s; Palazzo Barberini, Rome), documents the links between the Bigallo Master and contemporary painting in Umbria and Lazio.