Frescoes in the Bardi Chapel

Giotto also received the commission for the second surviving chapel in the Franciscan church of Santa Croce in Florence from a banker. The donor Ridolfo de' Bardi and his brother jointly inherited their father's banking house and commercial interests. This involved maintaining a good relationship with the powers who determined the politics of the day - with the pope, with the Neapolitan ruling house of Anjou, and with the Guelph party. He was able to go on cultivating this highly effective mixture of faith, politics and money for the next three decades until his house went bankrupt in the 1340s.

The Bardi family chapel is situated to the right of the choir, which means that it is the first chapel of the southern transept, and dedicated to St. Francis. As was the case with the neighboring Peruzzi Chapel, these frescoes were also painted over in the 18th century, rediscovered in the 19th century, and reworked. During their restoration in the middle of our own century, all reworked areas were removed and the ruined parts sealed with plaster. For this reason, some of the frescoes have empty spaces, although the actual painting is considerably better preserved here than in the Peruzzi Chapel, since Giotto went back to working with fresh plaster here.

Select one of the scenes from the list at left.