NARDO DI CIONE
(b. ca. 1320, Firenze, d. ca. 1365, Firenze)

View of the vault

1354-57
Fresco
Cappella Strozzi di Mantova, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Located in the transept of the Dominican basilica of S. Maria Novella and dedicated to S. Tommaso d'Aquino, the Strozzi chapel (known today as Strozzi di Mantova) is adorned on the walls with frescoes, partly detached, illustrating the Last Judgment, the Heaven and Hell. The iconographic program also includes depictions of St. Thomas and the Virtues in the vault, the Fathers of the Church and the Dominican Saints in the entrance arch, St Thomas Aquinas and the Madonna and Child in the back window.

There are no documents relating to the erection of the chapel and its decoration, while a contract of 1354 relating to the commission of Tommaso di Rossello Strozzi to Andrea Orcagna for the altarpiece, to be carried out within 20 months, is known. No mention is made of the mural paintings in the document, so much so as to lead some scholars to hypothesize that they may already have been completed and commissioned by a different client. The iconographic unity that links the frescoes and the triptych by Andrea Orcagna placed on the altar is unanimously recognized; it leads us to consider the whole as the result of a single decorative campaign. The inscription with the date 1357 present in the triptych therefore constitutes the probable term within which the frescoes were completed.




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