Italian Gothic Era Painter, ca.1330-1410
He had a large studio and was one of the most influential painters working in Siena and the surrounding towns in the second half of the fourteenth century. He registered in the Guild of that city in 1355; he had several children, who all died before him, with the exception of Andrea Bartoli. He was the companion of Andrea Vanni from 1353, and helped decorate the Hall of Council at Siena, in 1361. In 1362 he went to San Gimignano, where, by 1356, he had painted the entire side of the left aisle of the Pieve with scenes drawn from the Old Testament. In 1366 the Council of the city of Gimignano ordered a painting, representing Two Monks of the Augustine Order to be placed in the Palazzo Pubblico, in order to commemorate the settlement of some disputes which had long existed between that order and the city. In the early part of 1367 he returned to Siena, and was employed with Giacomo di Mino in the decorations of the cathedral. In 1372 he rose to a position in the government of the city, and was sent to welcome the new Podesta, on his approach to Siena. In 1381 he was himself made a member of the Council, and in 1382 he executed the Descent from the Cross now in the Sacristy of San Francesco, Montalcino. The same church also possesses panels painted by him containing the Baptism of Christ figures of SS. Peter, Paul, and Francis, and five scenes from the life of St. Philip of Montalcino. In 1389, Bartolo, assisted by Luca Thome, painted the altar-piece for the Shoemakers Company, in the Cathedral, and continued from that year until his death to furnish altar-pieces for the cathedral and other churches of Siena, which have now all disappeared.
His style is marked by the rejection of the concrete figures associated with Pietro Lorenzetti to instead favor flatter decorative otherworldly compositions in the manner of Simone Martini and Duccio. He combined a spirit of fantasy with anecdotal details.
The Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Mus??e des Beaux-Arts (Chambery, France), the Musee du Petit Palais (Avignon, France), Museo Civico e Diocesano d Arte Sacra (Montalcinothe, Italy), the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the University of Virginia Art Museum are among the public collections having paintings by Bartolo di Fredi.