(active 1353-1370)


Italian painter. He is first recorded in a Venetian document of 1353, and he may have had some initial training in Venice. An unsigned panel of the Coronation of the Virgin (1355; Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) has been cited as evidence of the formative impact of Paolo Veneziano although it reflects neither Paolo's nor Semitecolo's own later style.

In 1367 Semitecolo signed (as Nicholeto Semitecholo da Venexia) and dated one of a series of panels showing scenes of the Martyrdom of St Sebastian, a Madonna of Humility, a Holy Trinity and figures of St Daniel and St Sebastian, possibly all once part of a reliquary cupboard (Padua Cathedral, Sagrestia dei Canonici). These show his style to have been decisively moulded by that of Guariento, with whom he may have collaborated on the choir frescoes in the church of the Eremitani in Padua. Semitecolo combined gem-like colour and a refined and elegant figure style with a narrative animation close to Guariento and an interest in space and architecture more typical of Paduan than Venetian painting. The high-cheekboned faces of St Daniel and St Sebastian, however, have a delicate melancholy that is quite distinct from contemporary Paduan and Venetian painting. A more characteristically Venetian Crucifix (Padua, Eremitani) can be dated to the same period.

In 1370 Semitecolo signed and dated either frescoes or a panel (untraced) of the Story of the Holy Face in Santa Maria dei Servi, Venice. The surviving vault frescoes of the Doctors of the Church, Evangelists, Saints and Prophets show the more vigorous side of his expressive range. The design of the Last Judgement mosaics in Prague Cathedral is also attributed to Semitecolo.

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