(active 1320-50 in Firenze)

View of the Bardi di Vernio Chapel from the Southwest

c. 1335
Cappella di Bardi di Vernio, Santa Croce, Florence

The Bardi di Vernio Chapel in Santa Croce is one of the ten that were built at the same time as the transept between 1295 and 1310. It is located in the northern arm of the transept. The chapel was frescoed c. 1335 by Maso di Banco, one of Giotto's pupils and followers. Patronage of this chapel was not transferred to the Bardi di Vernio until 1602. In the fourteenth century it was the Bardi di Mangona, a branch of the family named after the Castello di Mangona near Florence, who were its patrons.

In the upper part of the left (north) wall the St Sylvester cycle of Maso di Banco can be found. The two tomb monuments are unusually elaborated for family chapels of this period. The larger of the two, whose sarcophagus and marble baldachin were later added to the niche decorated by Maso, was for the male member of the family, the smaller one (the arcosolium, an arched recess used as a place of entombment) for the female members. Maso painted only the front wall of the latter, the interior of the niche is attributed to Taddeo Gaddi.

On the fresco a male member of the Bardi family kneels on his sarcophagus, quite alone on the desolate plain of the afterlife. His sarcophagus is decorated with marble reliefs of the Man of Sorrows and the Bardi arms, while the image of Christ as a judge, displaying his wounds and surrounded by angels is painted in fresco on the wall above.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.