MARTINO DI BARTOLOMMEO
(active 1389-1435 in Siena)
Italian painter and manuscript illuminator (actually Martino di Bartolommeo di Biagio), the last Sienese master of the Trecento, to which his style can still be classified. From specific aspects of his early style, he is believed to have trained in the studio of Taddeo di Bartolo by whom was strongly influenced. As a young man Martino collaborated with Giovanni di Pietro da Napoli (active 1402-1405) in Pisa. His collaboration with Francesco da Valdambrino, amongst others, is documented.
The fresco cycle in the church of San Giovanni Battista di Cascina, outside Pisa, bears Martino's signature, and the date 1398. He returned permanently to Siena in 1405; there he painted several prominent fresco cycles in the Duomo and the Palazzo Pubblico. Further official commissions for altarpieces and for polychromy of sculptures attest to his versatility and to his prestige as one of the city's official artists.
Martino's early activity as an illuminator of manuscripts is based on Luciano Bellosi's recognition of his hand in the set of choirbooks commissioned for the cathedral of Lucca by its bishop, Niccolò Guinigi, in 1394.