It was probably through his connection to Giotto that Daddi was commissioned to paint the frescoes showing the Martyrdom of Saints Lawrence and Stephen for the Pulci Beraldi Chapel in the prestigious Franciscan church of Santa Croce. These are Daddi’s only known frescoes. His great contribution to Florentine gothic painting, however, was the popularization of the decorative portable triptych. This was a format which he and his workshop produced in large quantities and which became a staple of Florentine, indeed Italian painting, from the early 1330s onwards. A prime example of this is the triptych in the Museo del Bigallo, Florence and depicts a Madonna enthroned with Saints in the center, a Nativity on the left wing and a Crucifixion on the right. Other artists who adopted the small format include his contemporaries Taddeo Gaddi (1290–1366) (on occasion), Lippo di Benivieni (active 1296–1327) and Pacino di Buonaguido (1280–1340). Such works which Offner characterized as showing a ‘miniaturist tendency’ display Daddi’s capacity to produce lyrical, precious images whose flowing line and brilliant coloring owe as much to Daddi’s Sienese contemporary Pietro Lorenzetti (1280–1348) as to his presumed master Giotto.
Books on Bernardo Daddi
Richard Offner, A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: The Fourteenth Century, sec. 3, vol. 5, Bernardo Daddi and His Circle, Miklós Boskovits, Ada Labriola, and Martina Ingendaay Rodio, eds., Florence, 2001, pp. 209 – 220.
Richard Offner, Miklós Boskovits, and Enrica Neri Lusanna eds. , A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting: The Fourteenth Century, sec. 3, vol. 3, The Works of Bernardo Daddi, Florence, 1989, pp. 312 – 349.
Giorgio Vasari, The Lives of the Artist, 1550, trans. Julia Conway Bondanella and Peter Bondanella, New York, 2009.