(active 1315-1336)


Italian painter (originally Buonamico di Cristofani), a tantalizingly enigmatic figure. Various early sources attest to his celebrity as an artist - evidently one of the leading painters of the post-Giotto generation - and a burlesque character. Their cumulative testimony is impressive, but as no works can be securely attributed to him, many critics have regarded him as a legendary rather than a historical figure. Recently, however, there have been attempts to give Buffalmacco a stature commensurate with his literary reputation by attributing to him the famous frescoes of The Triumph of Death in the Campo Santo, Pisa, which until the essay by Luciano Bellosi in 1974 was considered the work of Francesco Traini.

Buffalmacco is recorded as ‘Bonamichus magistri Martini' among the painters in the Florentine Matricola dei Medici e Speziali of 1320, but he was first recorded there c. 1315. He was in Pisa in 1336 and worked on the Campo Santo. According to a document of 1341, some time previously he had painted a fresco in Arezzo Cathedral. The record of ‘Buonamico Cristofani detto Buffalmacco' in the Compagnia dei Pittori of Florence in 1351 is a forgery.

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