Taddeo Gaddi (Italian, Florentine, active by 1334–died 1366)
Tempera on wood, gold ground
Overall 43 1/4 x 90 1/8 in. (109.9 x 228.9 cm); Lawrence 43 1/4 x 15 1/2 in. (109.9 x 39.4 cm); John 43 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. (109.9 x 34.3 cm); Madonna and Child 43 1/4 x 28 1/2 in. (109.9 x 72.4 cm); James 43 1/4 x 15 3/4 in. (109.9 x 40 cm); Stephen 43 1/4 x 16 3/4 in. (109.9 x 42.5 cm)
This important altarpiece was painted by Giotto's pupil Taddeo Gaddi. Originally, the figures were shown on individually framed, arched panels, as was traditional with Gothic altarpieces. It would have had pinnacles and a base (predella). A century and a half later the Gothic frame, which by then would have been considered old-fashioned, was removed and the present, rectangular one in Renaissance style was added. The spandrels between the panels were painted in an updated style by Davide Ghirlandaio (1452–1525). For a possible reconstruction of the original altarpiece, see metmuseum.org/collections.
The Artist: Together with Maso di Banco (for which see 43.98.13), Taddeo Gaddi was Giotto’s most celebrated pupil and assistant. He descended from a family of artists: his father, Gaddo Gaddi, was a mosaicist, and his son Agnolo also became an important painter (see 41.100.33). According to Agnolo’s pupil Cennino Cennini—the author of a celebrated treatise on painting—Giotto christened Taddeo and kept him in his workshop for twenty-four years. Taddeo developed a highly original style notable for its vivacious quality of narration: his work was enormously admired by the great fifteenth-century sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, who in his Commentari said of the painter that he had a marvelous imagination, was most learned, and painted very many chapels, frescoes, and altarpieces. His most famous surviving work is a cycle of frescoes in a chapel (the Baroncelli Chapel) in the Franciscan basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, carried out between 1328 and 1330. In it he shows an interest in architectural settings and in effects of light that look forward to Renaissance painting.
The Altarpiece: The important altarpiece in the Metropolitan dates from his maturity and must have been an important work, though it has come down to us in an altered state. The figures depicted are, left to right: Saint Lawrence, dressed as a deacon and holding the grill on which he was martyred under emperor Valerian in 258 A.D.; John the Baptist; the Madonna and Child with angels; the apostle James, patron of pilgrims and thus holding a staff and a book decorated with a pilgrim’s shell; and Saint Stephen, who is, like Lawrence, shown in the robes of a deacon (he is usually considered the first deacon of the early Church), and with the stones of his martyrdom embedded in his head (his stoning is described in the Acts of the Apostles 7:58–60). In the last quarter of the fifteenth century all applied framing elements of what had been a Gothic polyptych with gabled panels and pinnacles were removed and the top of the center panel was cut off to make it the same height as the four lateral panels. All five panels were then encased in a classicizing Renaissance frame, with the areas between their upper edges filled with images of the four Evangelists: Luke, John, Mark, and Matthew. These additions have been attributed to Davide Ghirlandaio (Fahy 1967) and would seem to date from the 1480s. Although further reinforcements have been added on the reverse, much of the original system of attachment is preserved (see Additional Images, figs. 1–2, and Technical Notes). This kind of modernization was far from uncommon. The process is described in Neri di Bicci’s Ricordanze (ed. Bruno Santi, Pisa, 1976, pp. XX, 382) and we may cite by way of two famous examples Giotto’s altarpieces for the Badia in Florence and the Baroncelli chapel in Santa Croce (the same chapel Taddeo frescoed). In the case of the Badia altarpiece, the fifteenth-century frame has now been removed, but photographs of it are in the older literature (the re-framing was undertaken in 1451–53 and cherub heads between the upper edges of the panels painted by Jacopo d’Antonio; the frame was removed in 1958). In the case of the Baroncelli chapel altarpiece, the original predella was retained when the polyptych was updated with a Renaissance frame (see Additional Images, fig. 3)—now also removed. The MMA altarpiece must also have had a predella, though it cannot be said whether, when the altarpiece was reframed, the original predella was substituted with a plain, painted and gilt "box" (like the modern one made by the Museum to exhibit the altarpiece) or whether the predella was retained and, as was the case with Giotto’s Baroncelli altarpiece, the scenes were incorporated into the new framework. The matter is of importance in reaching some conclusion regarding the various hypotheses put forward concerning the original destination of Taddeo’s work.
Possible reconstruction of its appearance and early history: There is no certain information regarding the original location of the altarpiece, which most scholars date to about 1340–45. It was purchased by the Museum in 1910 on the recommendation of Roger Fry—the great British critic was employed by the Museum as an advisor. It had been brought to his attention by "the indefatigable" Herbert Horne. (Fry wrote to the MMA curator Bryson Burroughs in 1909: "As we have to buy cheap things we must try to get them as effective as possible and this would certainly contribute to that end. You know what Taddeo Gaddi is and what he isn’t. He’s not supremely interesting or great as a creator . . . but he has all the great academic qualities of his time and an altarpiece like this would always make its effect of splendor and dignity. What say you?"). Its owner was Marcello Galli-Dunn, who lived in the Castello di Badia in Poggibonsi, midway between Florence and Siena (the castle dates back to the twelfth century but was basically rebuilt in the nineteenth century). Yet from the first (Mather 1910) the possibility was raised that it might be identified with an altarpiece mentioned by Vasari in his life of Taddeo Gaddi as in the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte in Florence: "Dipinse in S. Stefano del Ponte Vecchio la tavola e la predella dell’altar maggiore con gran diligenza" ([Taddeo Gaddi] painted the altarpiece and the predella of the high altar in Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio with great care). Vasari does not mention that the altarpiece had been in any way altered, and this alone might be thought to exclude the identification of the MMA altarpiece with that work were it not for the fact that he does not mention the precisely similar transformations of Giotto’s two polyptychs, cited above. From the important, well-informed Jesuit, Giuseppe Richa (1755), we learn that Taddeo’s altarpiece, which he says was commissioned by the Bellandi family, had been removed from the high altar and placed in the sacristy. Richa notes the predella mentioned by Vasari and then goes on to say that in 1728 the predella was divided into individual pieces for placement in the cells of the friars ("All’Altar maggiore per i Bellandi Taddeo Gaddi avea dipinta una tavola, e predella accennata dal Vasari, la quale levata dal suo primo luogo stette assissa in Sagrestia fino al 1728. e dipoi spartita in quadretti vedesi nelle Celle de’ Religiosi."). Despite the vagueness of these descriptions, several factors may be thought to weigh in favor of the identification of the altarpiece mentioned by Vasari and Richa with that in the MMA.
In the first place there is the inclusion of Saint Stephen—the titular saint of the church. Although this is an insufficient basis for identifying the work with that mentioned by Vasari, it at least suggests the possibility. Interestingly, Vasari ascribed the predella to a later artist, Antonio Veneziano (active 1369–1419), in his life of that artist ("Afterwards, in S. Stefano al Ponte Vecchio, on the predella of the high altar, [Antonio Veneziano] made some stories of Saint Stephen, with such great lovingness that it is not possible to see either more gracious or more beautiful figures, even if they were done in miniature.") and this, at the very least, suggests that the main panels and the predella of that altarpiece were not necessarily by the same master. This is of interest because a second hypothesis (Paatz and Paatz 1953) would associate as the predella of the MMA altarpiece a series of eight panels relating the life of Saint Stephen by Bernardo Daddi that are in the Pinacoteca Vaticana, and although this association has been rejected as "arbitrary" (Offner 1958 and Ladis 1982), it deserves careful consideration (see Additional Images, fig. 4).
The Vatican panels measure 26.5 x 30 cm each and thus would have formed a predella a bit over 240 cm. This is approximately ten centimeters more than the cumulative width of the five MMA panels (228.6 cm), minus the Renaissance framing elements. (On the Vatican panels, see Federica Baldini in Giotto e il Trecento: "Il più Sovrano Maestro stato in dipintura," ed. Alessandro Tomei, [exh. cat., Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome], Milan, 2009, vol. 2, p. 196.) However, if we imagine the panels with their original Gothic frame—similar to that on Taddeo Gaddi’s polyptych in Santa Felicita, Florence—then there is no reason to reject Daddi’s panels on the basis of their combined width, for there would have been colonnettes between the panels as well as piers to either side of the altarpiece. (The current, modern predella, which was made by the Museum to be proportionate to the cornice, is 259 cm wide, underscoring that there is adequate space to accommodate Daddi’s eight scenes.) The subject of the Vatican pictures is quite unusual, for although they follow the narrative of Saint Stephen found in the Golden Legend, they begin with the martyrdom of Saint Stephen—not his birth and ministry, as we find, for example, in Filippo Lippi’s fresco cycle in the Collegiata in Prato. The series then continues with scenes relating to the retrieval of his relics in Jerusalem in 417 by a priest, Lucian, their transfer first to Constantinople and then to Rome (424 A.D.), where they were buried with the relics of Saint Lawrence, and conclude with miracles at the tomb of the saints in the basilica of San Lorenzo, Rome. The union of the relics of Saint Stephen with those of Lawrence could be taken to explain the presence of the latter in the MMA altarpiece. Although the gold tooling of the predella and the polyptych is typical of each artist (Skaug 1994), Klesse (1967) did notice a textile pattern associated with Daddi that recurs in the Metropolitan polyptych—a unique occurance. (Skaug cautions that "brocade patterns have a restricted value alone in questions of attribution and workshop relationships.") Finally, as we learn from a sermon given on August 3, 1305, by the Dominican preacher Fra Giordano da Rivalta (1260–1311), the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte celebrated the feast of the translation of the relics of Saint Stephen and those with whom he had been buried in Jerusalem with great festivities (see Prediche del beato Fra Giordano da Rivalta . . . , Florence, vol. 1, 1831, p. 216, sermon 29). Taken together, these points may be thought to provide some circumstantial evidence favoring the association of Daddi’s predella panels both with Taddeo Gaddi’s altarpiece and with the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte.
Santo Stefano is an ancient church; the first mention is in 1116, but its foundation goes back much farther (Paatz and Paatz 1953). It was the seat of the Chapter of the canons of the cathedral. The church passed to the Augustinian order in 1585 and after this date underwent radical restorations, especially between 1631 and 1641. These may have resulted in the removal of many works of art and the transfer of Taddeo Gaddi’s altarpiece to another location.
[Keith Christiansen 2014]
When, during the fifteenth-century renovation of the altarpiece, the Gothic framing elements were removed, the panels were not separated but, rather, joined together. The Renaissance-style pilasters between the tooled gold backgrounds were painted on the area that had been covered by the fourteenth-century frame. The original two crosspieces (or battens) holding the five panels together on the reverse side are still intact. Interestingly, they have a mortise and tenon extension that allowed the five panels to be assembled in two sections. By contrast, the topmost crosspiece runs uninterrupted across all the panels and was added in the fifteenth century, at the same time as the Renaissance frame, together with another horizontal crosspiece above the bottom fourteenth-century one and two vertical battens at the outer extremities; the remaining pieces are self-evidently modern.
[George Bisacca 2011]
Inscription: Inscribed (on frame): S.LAVRENTIVS S.IOHANES S.MARIA: MATER·DEI S.IACOBVS S.STEFANVS (Saint Lawrence; Saint John; Holy Mary, Mother of God; Saint James; Saint Stephen)
Marcello Galli-Dunn, Castello di Badia, Poggibonsi, Tuscany (by 1904–10; sold to MMA)
Siena. Palazzo della Repubblica. "Antica arte senese," April–August 1904, no. 5 (as "Madonna col Putto," by Taddeo Gaddi, lent by Castello di Badìa, Poggibonsi).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries," November 15, 1970–February 15, 1971, no. 179.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Florentine Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum," June 15–August 15, 1971, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Uris Center. "Collaborations: Artists Working Together," 1983, unnumbered cat.
Giorgio Vasari. Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori. Ed. Gaetano Milanesi. 1906 ed. Florence, 1568, vol. 1, p. 574, mentions a painting and predella by Taddeo Gaddi, possibly this work, on the high altar of the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio in Florence; later attributes the predella to Antonio Veneziano [p. 663].
Giuseppe Richa. Notizie istoriche delle chiese fiorentine. Vol. 2, Florence, 1755, p. 77, reports that the altarpiece from the church of Santo Stefano in Florence, mentioned by Vasari, was painted by Taddeo Gaddi for the Bellandi family; adds that it had been removed from the high altar and placed in the sacristy, and that in 1728 the predella was divided into individual pieces for placement in the cells of the friars.
Corrado Ricci. Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena e la mostra d'antica arte senese. Bergamo, 1904, p. 69, notes that it was reframed in the fifteenth century by a follower of Ghirlandaio who added the pilasters and the figures of the Evangelists.
F. Mason-Perkins. "La pittura alla mostra d'arte antica in Siena." Rassegna d'arte 4 (October 1904), p. 153 [same text as Burlington Magazine, September 1904], considers it Gaddesque, and notes that it was lent to the exhibition by sig. Galli Dunn.
F. Mason Perkins. "The Sienese Exhibition of Ancient Art." Burlington Magazine 5 (September 1904), p. 584 [same text as Rassegna d'arte, October 1904], considers it Gaddesque.
Osvald Sirén. Giottino und seine Stellung in der gleichzeitigen florentinischen Malerei. Leipzig, 1908, p. 88, lists it as a work of Taddeo Gaddi in the Galli-Dunn collection, Poggibonsi.
Roger E. Fry. Letter to Bryson Burroughs. March 12, 1909 [published in Letters of Roger Fry, ed. Denys Sutton, 1972, vol. 1, p. 316], recommends buying it.
Frank Jewett Mather Jr. "An Altarpiece by Taddeo Gaddi." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 5 (November 1910), pp. 252–54, ill., considers it a late work of Taddeo Gaddi and suggests that it may be the altarpiece from the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio recorded by Vasari; mentions six scenes from the life of Saint Stephen in the Brooklyn Museum, but rejects the possibility that they once formed the predella.
Martin Wehrmann. Taddeo Gaddi, ein Florentiner Maler des Trecento. Stettin, 1910, p. 16.
Oswald Sirén. "Pictures in America by Bernardo Daddi, Taddeo Gaddi, Andrea Orcagna and His Brothers: I." Art in America 2 (June 1914), p. 268, considers it a late work of Taddeo Gaddi.
Basile Khvoshinsky and Mario Salmi. I pittori toscani dal XIII al XVI secolo. Vol. 2, I fiorentini del trecento. Rome, 1914, p. 16, list it with a question mark.
Osvald Sirén. Giotto and Some of His Followers. Cambridge, Mass., 1917, vol. 1, pp. 154, 269; vol. 2, pl. 132, believes that the Quattrocento transformation left the main figures unmodified.
B. C. Kreplin inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Ulrich Thieme. Vol. 13, Leipzig, 1920, p. 32, lists it as a work of Taddeo Gaddi with Quattrocento additions.
Georg Graf Vitzthum and W. F. Volbach. Die Malerei und Plastik des Mittelalters in Italien. Wildpark-Potsdam, 1924, p. 294, relate it to other late works of Taddeo Gaddi from about 1353–55.
Raimond van Marle. The Development of the Italian Schools of Painting. Vol. 3, The Florentine School of the 14th Century. The Hague, 1924, p. 341, fig. 200, refers to the Evangelists in the spandrels as prophets, and suggests it is contemporary with a Madonna, signed and dated 1355 by Taddeo Gaddi, in the Uffizi.
Bernhard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance. Oxford, 1932, p. 215, lists it as a work of Taddeo Gaddi, and refers to the Evangelists as "four small Prophets".
Lionello Venturi. Italian Paintings in America. Vol. 1, Romanesque and Gothic. New York, 1933, unpaginated, pl. 49.
Bernhard Berenson. Pitture italiane del rinascimento. Milan, 1936, p. 185.
Harry B. Wehle. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Catalogue of Italian, Spanish, and Byzantine Paintings. New York, 1940, pp. 10–11, ill., considers it a comparitively early work of Taddeo Gaddi.
Luigi Coletti. I primitivi. Vol. 2, I senesi e i giotteschi. Novara, 1946, pp. XLVI–VII, challenges the attribution to Taddeo Gaddi; names Giovanni and Agnolo Gaddi as possible alternatives.
Richard Offner. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Vol. 5, section 3, New York, 1947, pp. 88–89 n. 10, lists it among Gothic altarpieces that were modified, but not completely repainted, in Florence during the late fifteenth century.
Walter Paatz and Elisabeth Paatz. Die Kirchen von Florenz. Vol. 5, Q–Z. Frankfurt am Main, 1953, pp. 222–23, 234 n. 95, tentatively identify it with the altarpiece from the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio in Florence recorded by Vasari; suggest that the predella was composed of scenes from the lives of Saints Stephen and Lawrence possibly by Bernardo Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana [a hypothesis first published by Mario Salmi in "Antonio Veneziano," Bollettino d'arte 8 (1928), p. 452 n. 17].
Theodore Rousseau Jr. "A Guide to the Picture Galleries." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 12, part 2 (January 1954), p. 1, ill. p. 9.
Richard Offner. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Vol. 8, section 3, New York, 1958, p. 202, note to p. 68 in vol. 3, rejects as arbitrary the suggestion that the panels by Bernardo Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana originally formed the predella of this painting [see Ref. Paatz and Paatz 1953].
Dario Covi. "A XIV Century Italian Altarpiece." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 16 (January 1958), p. 155, ill. p. 153 (detail), compares the head of Saint James to that of Christ in "The Coronation of the Virgin, and Saints" by Giovanni di Tano Fei, also in the Metropolitan Museum (50.229.2).
Roberto Longhi. "Qualità e industria in Taddeo Gaddi ed altri, II." Paragone 9 (March 1959), pp. 4, 8, supports the hypothesis that its predella was composed of panels by Bernardo Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana; dates it early 1340s.
Bernard Berenson. Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: Florentine School. London, 1963, vol. 1, p. 71, lists it as a work of Taddeo Gaddi.
Luisa Marcucci inKindlers Malerei Lexikon. Ed. Rolf Linnenkamp. Vol. 2, Zürich, 1965, p. 523, ill. p. 522, dates it about 1345–50.
Pier Paolo Donati. Taddeo Gaddi. Florence, 1966, p. 28, dates it 1345–53.
Brigitte Klesse. Seidenstoffe in der italienischen Malerei des 14. Jahrhunderts. Bern, 1967, p. 454, dates it 1360–70 based on the pattern of the textile behind the Madonna.
Everett Fahy. Letter to Elizabeth E. Gardner. 1967, attributes the spandrels to Davide Ghirlandaio, comparing them with the "Crucifixion" in the Musée Dobrée, Nantes.
Introduction by Kenneth Clark inMasterpieces of Fifty Centuries. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1970, p. 196, no. 179, ill., attributes the Evangelists to a follower of Ghirlandaio, and dates them around the beginning of the sixteenth century.
Federico Zeri with the assistance of Elizabeth E. Gardner. Italian Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Florentine School. New York, 1971, pp. 23–25, ill., date it about 1340 on the basis of style, and note the influence of Maso di Banco.
Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri. Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1972, pp. 77, 221, 315, 393, 403, 410, 422, 450, 606, attribute the four Evangelists to an unknown fifteenth-century Florentine painter.
Miklòs Boskovits. Pittura fiorentina alla vigilia del Rinascimento, 1370–1400. Florence, 1975, pp. 194–95 n. 40, accepts it as the altarpiece from the church of Santo Stefano al Ponte Vecchio in Florence, and agrees that its predella was composed of scenes from the lives of Saints Stephen and Lawrence by Bernardo Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana.
Massimo Ferretti. "Una croce a Lucca, Taddeo Gaddi, un nodo di tradizione giottesca." Paragone 27 (July–September 1976), p. 28, dates it late 1340s.
Richard Offner. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Ed. Hayden B. J. Maginnis. supplement, A Legacy of Attributions. New York, 1981, p. 69.
Marvin Eisenberg. "The First Altar-piece for the 'Cappella de'Signori' of the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena: '. . . tales figure sunt adeo pulcre . . .'." Burlington Magazine 123 (March 1981), p. 145 n. 41.
Keith Christiansen. "Fourteenth-Century Italian Altarpieces." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 40 (Summer 1982), p. 7, fig.6, states that it cannot be proven to be the altarpiece mentioned by Vasari as in the church of Santo Stefano.
Andrew Ladis. Taddeo Gaddi: Critical Reappraisal and Catalogue Raisonné. Columbia, Mo., 1982, pp. 48, 142, 149–52, 155, 183, 217–18, 220–22, 224, no. 14, figs. 14–1, 14–2 (overall and detail), dates it about 1340–45 and compares it stylistically with other works by Taddeo Gaddi; rejects the connections proposed with the altarpiece mentioned by Vasari and the predella panels by Bernardo Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana.
Collaborations: Artists Working Together. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Uris Center. New York, 1983, unpaginated, unnumbered, ill. (detail), describes the fifteenth-century alterations.
Stefania Ricci inLa pittura in Italia: il Duecento e il Trecento. Ed. Enrico Castelnuovo. Milan, 1986, vol. 2, p. 573, mentions it with other Gaddi works of the 1340s.
Wolfgang Fritz Volbach. Catalogo della Pinacoteca Vaticana. Vol. 2, Il Trecento: Firenze e Siena. Vatican City, 1987, p. 28, under no. 27.
Miklós Boskovits in Richard Offner et al. A Critical and Historical Corpus of Florentine Painting. Vol. 3, section 3, The Fourteenth Century: The Works of Bernardo Daddi. new ed. Florence, 1989, p. 54 n.81, pp. 267, 306–7 n. 2, p. 386, notes that most critics no longer accept the hypothetical connection to the predella panels by Daddi in the Pinacoteca Vaticana.
George Bisacca and Laurence B. Kanter inItalian Renaissance Frames. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1990, p. 23, fig. 17, detail the Renaissance alterations, noting that the modernization of Gothic polyptychs was common in fifteenth-century Florence.
Cecilia Filippini inMaestri e botteghe: pittura a Firenze alla fine del quattrocento. Ed. Mina Gregori, Antonio Paolucci, and Cristina Acidini-Luchinat. Exh. cat., Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Milan, 1992, pp. 205–6, discusses the fifteenth-century alterations attributed to the workshop of Ghirlandaio.
Magnolia Scudieri inIl Museo Bandini a Fiesole. Ed. Magnolia Scudieri. Florence, 1993, p. 82.
Keith Christiansen. "Simone Martini's altar-piece for the commune of Siena." Burlington Magazine 136 (March 1994), p. 154, p. 153 fig. 11, maintains that its provenance is unknown.
Erling S. Skaug. Punch Marks from Giotto to Fra Angelico: Attribution, Chronology, and Workshop Relationships in Tuscan Panel Painting. Oslo, 1994, vol. 1, pp. 93, 97 n. 89; vol. 2, punch chart 5.2, figs. 31, 42 (details of punch marks), states that "although brocade patterns have a restricted value alone in questions of attribution and workshop relationships . . . , it should be noted that the Metropolitan polyptych is the only case where Taddeo Gaddi's patterns coincide with one of Daddi's" [see Ref. Klesse 1967].
Cathleen Hoeniger. The Renovation of Paintings in Tuscany, 1250–1500. Cambridge, 1995, pp. 101–4, 154, 156, 167–68 n. 3, colorpl. 7, dates it about 1340–45, and discusses the Quattrocento alterations.
Keith Christiansen in "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 55 (Fall 1997), p. 24, considers it contemporary with the Saint Julian by Taddeo also in the MMA (1997.117.1); dates both pictures to the early 1340s.
Mojmír S. Frinta. "Part I: Catalogue Raisonné of All Punch Shapes." Punched Decoration on Late Medieval Panel and Miniature Painting. Prague, 1998, pp. 442, 519, classifies the punch marks appearing in this painting.
Klaus Krüger. "Medium and Imagination: Aesthetic Aspects of Trecento Panel Painting." Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento. Ed. Victor M. Schmidt. Washington, 2002, p. 57, fig. 2.
Michel Laclotte. "Observations on Some Polyptychs and 'Altaroli' by Ambrogio Lorenzetti." Italian Panel Painting of the Duecento and Trecento. Ed. Victor M. Schmidt. Washington, 2002, p. 191.
Angelo Tartuferi inDagli eredi di Giotto al primo Cinquecento. Ed. Gabriele Caioni and Flavio Gianassi. Florence, 2007, pp. 18, 24.
Erling Skaug. "The Santa Felicita Altarpiece and Some Observations on Taddeo Gaddi's Punchwork and Halo Style c. 1345–1355." Il polittico di Taddeo Gaddi in Santa Felicita a Firenze: restauro, studi e ricerche. Ed. Mirella Branca. Florence, 2008, p. 53, notes that two kinds of tooling can be found in this altarpiece—stippling with a tiny ring punch, such as Gaddi used before the mid-1340s, and granulation with a stylus, which he used afterwards—and that this marks a transitional moment in his career.
Mirella Branca. "Il polittico di Taddeo Gaddi in Santa Felicita." Il polittico di Taddeo Gaddi in Santa Felicita a Firenze: restauro, studi e ricerche. Ed. Mirella Branca. Florence, 2008, p. 20.
Isabella Bigazzi. "Motivi tessili nel polittico di Taddeo: raffronti e approfondimenti o 'l'arte dell'inganno'." Il polittico di Taddeo Gaddi in Santa Felicita a Firenze: restauro, studi e ricerche. Ed. Mirella Branca. Florence, 2008, p. 69.
Angelo Tartuferi inL'eredità di Giotto: arte a Firenze 1340–1375. Ed. Angelo Tartuferi. Exh. cat., Galleria degli Uffizi. Florence, 2008, p. 122.
Stefan Weppelmann. Spinello Aretino e la pittura del Trecento in Toscana. Florence, 2011, p. 85 n. 30.
Art in America illustrated this altarpiece on the title page of every issue from December 1928 to October 1935.