Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Lo Scheggia, Childbirth tray (desco da parto) with the Triumph of Fame (recto, detail), 1448–49,
tempera, silver, and gold on panel, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Travel guide for Tuscany

Lo Scheggia

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni Guidi, known as Lo Scheggia, was the younger brother of Masaccio. 'Born in 1406 in San Giovanni Valdarno, Giovanni was the son of a notary, whose name he took, and of Monna Jacopa. He was also the younger brother of Masaccio (1401-1428), a much more famous painter one of the great innovators of Florentine Renaissance art, along with Brunelleschi and Donatello. His grandfather Mone, who was a cassaio, that is a craftsman specialised in the construction of chests, had a decisive influence on Giovanni’s training and set him on the path to his artistic career, where he was to specialise prevalently in the decoration of domestic furnishings, such as wedding chests, birth trays, spalliera panels, strongboxes and headrests. Giovanni was nicknamed lo Scheggia (the splinter), on account of his slender build, but also probably because of the particular specialisation of his work, constantly in contact with wooden artefacts.
After a period as a mercenary, he settled in Florence and between 1420-1421 entered the workshop ofBicci di Lorenzo, an artist still bound to outmoded, traditional stylistic features and insensitive both to the new perspective approaches and also to the more modern sophistication of the international Gothic. Consequently Giovanni moved on to the workshop of his brother Masaccio, with whom he lived in Via de’ Servi with their mother. In effect, Giovanni’s early activity is characterised by the marked influence of Masaccio, which led Giovanni to translate the forms into geometric terms (as in the small ancon with the Madonna and Child and Two Angels in the Museo Horne in Florence).
In 1432 he registered in the Guild of Stonemasons and Carpenters and the following year in that of the Physicians and Apothecaries, which was the Guild the artists enrolled in, a sign that he was by this stage specialised in his profession as a decorator of interiors and domestic furnishings, collaborating with carpenters and inlayers. His work was considerably appreciated in the city, so much so that he received commissions even for Palazzo Medici, including a spalliera panel (lost) illustrating the joust of 1469, which was set above strongboxes and chests in the first-floor chamber of Lorenzo il Magnifico (Cavazzini 1999, p. 13). As a painter of sacred subjects, in altarpieces and large-scale wall paintings, lo Scheggia’s commissioners were instead largely located in the rural district, in particular the Valdarno.
Between 1436 and 1440 he collaborated on the intarsia cupboardsforthe Sagrestia delle Messe in the Duomo. In the interim, after the death of his brother (1428), Giovanni turned his attention to those artists who had shown themselves to be the most gifted interpreters of Masaccio’s teaching, such as Beato Angelico, Domenico Veneziano and Filippo Lippi.
Around 1449 he created his masterpiece, the birth tray for Lorenzo il Magnifico portraying the Triumph of Fame (New York, Metropolitan Museum).
Dating to 1456-1457 is the only signed work by loScheggia: the fresco portraying the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian and Scenes from the Life of Saint Anthony Abbot in the oratory of San Lorenzo in San Giovanni Valdarno. It is around this work that the critics have reconstructed the corpus of the painter’s works, drawing partly on catalogues gathered under the conventional names, Master of the Cassone Adimari and Master of Fucecchio.
Among the most important works referred to lo Scheggia are the so-called Cassone Adimari, or Adimari Wedding Chest, actually a spalliera panel (Florence, Accademia Gallery), the birth tray showing the Gioco del civettino and the curved panels portraying the Triumphs of Death, of Fame, of Love and of Eternity, now in Palazzo Davanzati (the latter originating from the Medici collections) and the altarpiece of the Madonna and Child with Saints Lazarus, Martha, Mary Magdalene and Sebastian originating from the Collegiate church of Fucecchio (now in the Museo Civico).'[1]


Lo Scheggia was the younger brother of Masaccio, the short-lived revolutionary artist of the early quattrocento in Florence. Scheggia, on the contrary, had a long, successful career and was particularly adept at the production of secular domestic objects.
This salver was commissioned to celebrate the birth of Lorenzo de' Medici (1449–1492), de facto ruler of Florence from 1469 until his death, and is the largest and most elaborate surviving birth tray. Twenty-eight men on horseback are shown pledging allegiance to Fame, a beautiful winged woman who holds a sword and a statuette of Cupid as she stands atop a globe on an enormous pedestal. This scene, known as the Triumph of Fame and based on Boccaccio's Amorosa Visione (1342) and Petrarch's Trionfi (1354–74), clearly shows the dynastic ambitions of Piero de' Medici, Lorenzo's father, who commissioned the work and gave it to his wife Lucrezia Tornabuoni. The tray must have had considerable commemorative value to Lorenzo, as it was hanging in his bedchamber at the time of his death.

The back of the salver, once resplendent with silver decoration that has now oxidized, is embellished with Piero de' Medici's emblem, a long-standing Medici family symbol of eternity, usually encircling three feathers in reference to the ostrich, associated with the Resurrection. The feathers, red, white, and green represent the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity.
At the top are the coats of arms of the Medici and the Tornabuoni. To the left of the central feather are the eight red balls of the Medici, and to the right the rampant lion of the Tornabuoni.'[0]


Childbirth tray (desco da parto) with the Triumph of Fame (recto) and Medici and Tornabuoni arms and devices (verso), 1448–49



Reclining Youth

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, Lo Scheggia, Reclining Youth, Musée du Petit Palais, Avignon

Cassoni (wedding chests) were constructed by specialized carpenters who delivered them to the painters' workshop to be adorned with scenes on the front and side panels and often on the lids. The inside was often decorated with textile patterns and a male or female nude reclining in the entire length of the lid.

The picture shows the inner lid of a wedding chest with the image of a reclining youth. The female pendant of it is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. This images of a private nature promoted fertility, the female nudes are notable predecessors of Titian's and Giorgione's naked Venus figures.


Ameto's Discovery of the Nymphs

Master of 1416 (Italian, Florentine, early 15th century), twelve-sided childbirth tray (desco da parto) with scenes from Boccaccio's Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine: Ameto's Discovery of the Nymphs and Contest between the Shepherds Alcesto and Acaten, ca. 1410, The Metropolitan Museum, New York

The Master of 1416 is the name given to the painter of an altarpiece of the Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints, dated 1416, in the Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence.
The panels are the recto and verso of a marriage salver. They show episodes from the Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine, an amatory allegory written about 1342 by Giovanni Boccaccio.
The right panel, the obverse, or front, of a marriage salver, illustrates an episode in which the hunter Ameto, dressed in red, peers over a hill and then approaches some nymphs in a thicket, attracted by the singing of Lia. In the background Ameto and the nymphs hunt. The nymphs instruct Ameto in the meaning of love in a later episode of the story. The salver dates about 1410.[2]



Frederick III and Leonora of Portugal in Rome

Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, Lo Scheggia (1406–1486), Frederick III and Leonora of Portugal in Rome, 1452,
Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts

In 1452, the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick III, visited Italy to marry Leonora of Portugal and be crowned. At the left, in front of old St. Peter's in Rome, the pope crowns the kneeling emperor. In the center, the imperial procession makes its way through the city. At the right, Frederick III knights his brother on the Ponte Sant'Angelo. This chest is unusual because it depicts contemporary political events. Smaller panels originally decorated the ends of the cassone (and were in the same positions as installed here). They show the Empress Leonora returning to her palace, and Frederick III riding through Rome after his coronation. On the sides of the pedestal: Leonora and Ladislaus Returning to the Vatican and Frederick III's Procession through Rome

'The Sienese provenance of this cassone may not be accidental, as four spalliera panels by the artist are in the Pinacoteca Nazionale there.

The picture was acquired by 1914 by the great New York collector and philanthropist, Otto Kahn, who owned such masterpieces as Ghirlandaio's Portrait of Giovanna Tornabuoni and Carpaccio's Young Knight (both now, Madrid, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum). It was subsequently purchased by Sir Thomas Merton, presumably in or after 1950, when Dr. Alfred Scharf published his A Catalogue of Pictures and Drawings from the Collection of Sir Thomas Merton, F.R.S. at Stubbins House, Maidenhead, which is the fullest account of the collection.'[4]
Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, Lo Scheggia (1406–1486), Frederick III and Leonora of Portugal in Rome, (detail), 1452,



Art in Tuscany | Florence | Palazzo Davanzati

Galleria dell'Accademia, Florence | The virtues of love | Nuptial painting in XV century Florence
The bedroom was the fulcrum of the Renaissance home: the most intimate and protected place where the wedding was consumed, children were born, and one died. Spalliere/headboards like the so-called Cassone Adimari of the Galleria dell'Accademia, which occasions the exhibition, and the historiated panels of chests are extraordinary testimonies of the Florentine Renaissance home, high fashion, the celebration of festivities, the rituality that accompanied marriage, from engagement to the wife's entrance into her husband's house. Moreover, with the stories depicted, "nuptial painting" served the fundamental function of conveying messages of warning and encouragement to a couple to adopt a conduct considered as exemplary. This aspect helps us today to focus in on a mainstay of fifteenth-century Florentine culture: the role of the family and those of the husband and wife. Drawing on classical mythology, the Bible, historical episodes and contemporary literature, all of the facets of love are depicted, along with the ensuing duties: from love triumphant over adverse circumstances (The Marriage of Thetis and Peleus), to the virtues of obedience and abnegation that the woman must pursue (The Legend of Griselda from Boccaccio's Decameron), to the courage of the heroines Lucretia and Virginia, who choose death as source of redemption. An entire section illustrates the harmful consequences of love as sexual beguilement capable of totally subduing a man's will. We must not forget, however, that marriage meant first and foremost to give life to new progeny and perpetuate the family. Towards this end, the last section of the exhibition is dedicated to family pride, asserted in stories that recount the foundation of famous families like those of Aeneas and David or that, following the texts of Petrarch, celebrate the Triumphs of Fame, Time and Eternity. These images could also be painted on deschi da parto (birth salvers), which were tondos painted on both sides, offered as ceremonial gifts to women of the upper classes who had just given birth. A particularly famous one is the desco da parto realised on the occasion of the birth of Lorenzo the Magnificent (Triumph of Fame, New York, Metropolitan Museum). Finally, the exhibits feature works by illustrious painters like Botticelli (Story of Virginia Romana, Bergamo, Accademia Carrara), Filippino Lippi (Story of Lucretia, Florence, Galleria Palatina), and Pesellino (Stories of Susanna, Avignon, Musée du Petit Palais), which open an extraordinary view onto the Florentine workshops engaged in the production of these objects that enjoyed their greatest fortune precisely in the fifteenth century. The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with the Museo Horne of Florence which will present an itinerary valorising a consistent nucleus of painted chests (cassoni) from its collection which come from the original collection that belonged to Herbert Percy Horne, for the occasion joined by several works on exceptional loan from private collectors.
Immagini Scaricabili | Download images

Cristelle Baskins, The Triumph of Marriage: Painted Cassoni of the Renaissance, Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Periscope, 2008.
The Triumph of Marriage is the show catalogue of an art exhibition jointly curated by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
During the Renaissance, wealthy families in Florence and Siena cultivated honor and public prestige through the celebration of marriage. The joyful procession of a bride to the home of her new husband was a magnificent display of luxury goods. Such parades also reminded citizens of ancient Roman triumphs - processions that celebrated military victories. The paintings in this exhibition once adorned cassoni - large wedding chests - that contained the bride's trousseau. Made in pairs, cassoni were originally carried in bridal processions and then placed in bedrooms. Cassoni were often painted with allegories and historical subjects related to the ideals of marriage. The images dramatized conflicts between love and duty and commemorated weddings by depicting triumphal themes. Opulent wedding parades were sometimes criticized for being decadent and immodest, and in the 1460s they were restricted in Florence. However, the painted chests continued to refer to triumphal processions.

Ms. Jacqueline Marie Musacchio Ph.D. (Author), Art, Marriage, and Family in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, Yale University Press (February 24, 2009).
Jacqueline Marie Musacchio is associate professor of art at Wellesley College. She is the author of The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy (Yale).
In Renaissance Italy, middle- and upper-class families spent enormous amounts on marriages that were intended to establish or consolidate the status and lineage of one or both of the respective families.
Art, Marriage, and Family in the Florentine Renaissance Palace, explores the social and economic background to marriage in Renaissance Florence and discusses the objects—paintings, sculptures, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and household items—associated with marriage and ongoing family life. By analyzing urban palaces and their furnishings, Jacqueline Marie Musacchio shows how families interacted with art on a daily basis. This began at marriage, when the bride brought a dowry and the groom provided the home and its furnishings. It continued with the accumulation of objects during the marriage and the birth of children. And it ended with the redistribution of these same objects at death. Through the examination of art, documents, literature, and more, this lively book traces the life cycle of the Florentine Renaissance family through the art and objects that surrounded them in their home.

Musacchio, Jacqueline Marie. "The Medici-Tornabuoni Desco da Parto in Context." Metropolitan Museum Journal, Vol. 33 (1998) | PDF

[0] Childbirth tray (desco da parto) with the Triumph of Fame (recto) and Medici and Tornabuoni arms and devices (verso), 1448–49 |
[1] Mediateca di Palazzo Medici Riccardi | Giovanni di ser Giovanni, known as lo Scheggia (San Giovanni Valdarno (Arezzo), 1406- Florence, 1486)
[2]'During the early fifteenth century, Europe continued to evolve out of a series of medieval feudal states ruled by wealthy landowners into concentrated town centers or cities functioning as powerful economic nuclei. As these cities took on greater political and financial authority, the middle classes, made up of artisans, bankers, and merchants, played more substantial roles in commerce with their greater wealth and independence. Along with this prosperity, particularly marked in Italy, an increased number of palaces and villas were constructed, subsequently creating a greater demand for extravagant furniture and domestic art, both for established aristocratic patrons and the newly wealthy. (...) The manufacture of secular art objects, usually for the purpose of commemoration, personalized these lavish Italian Renaissance interiors. Because childbirth and marriage were richly celebrated, a number of objects were made in honor of these rituals. The wooden birth tray, or desco da parto, played a utilitarian as well as celebratory role in commemorating a child's birth. It was covered with a special cloth to function as a service tray for the mother during confinement and later displayed on the wall as a memento of the special occasion. A desco da parto was usually painted with mythological, classical, or literary themes, as well as scenes of domesticity. The reverse often displayed a family crest. In some cases, a birth tray was purchased already painted, but custom-decorated with heraldry that personalized what might otherwise be a line item from a shop. The Metropolitan's Triumph of Fame (1995.7) by Lo Scheggia, Masaccio's younger brother, is the finest and most extravagant surviving example of a birth tray. It is noteworthy for its condition, beauty, and association with the great Florentine Medici family. This tray was specially commissioned by Piero de' Medici and Lucrezia Tornabuoni to commemorate the birth of their first-born son Lorenzo.' [Voorhies, James. "Domestic Art in Renaissance Italy". In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000 | (October 2002)]

[3] The panel The Story of Lionora de' Bardi and Ippolito Buondelmonte was attributed to the Master of Fucecchio in 1975. On the basis of illustrations, and noting the condition of the panel, Everett Fahy very tentatively points to compositional similarities with works by Domenico di Michelino, including the Story of Susanna at Avignon and the cassone front with the Triumph of Love and Chastity, sold at Sotheby's, New York, 26 January 2006.
The Story of Lionora de' Bardi and Ippolito Buondelmonte was told in a short story (novella) by the Florentine architect and theorist, Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472). The two belonged to celebrated families which were hereditary enemies. But, as with the issue of the Montagus and Capulets of Shakespeare's Verona, they fell in love. Buondelmonte was caught in the Bardi palace, accused of theft and, as he refused to explain his presence to avoid compromising Lionora, was condemned to death. On the left, under the loggia, Lionora is seen, habited as a widow, declaring her love for the fair-haired Buondelmonte, before the judge. They are married, and the narrative that follows, set in a piazza with an open loggia between two of the towers of the city walls, shows the two, Lionora still in her widow's veils, going to the Buondelmonte palace. They are preceded by a servant carrying a cassone on his shoulders and bent by the weight of this, a boy with a sack over his shoulder and other men, perhaps relations, carrying the more precious items of Lionora's dowry, including a tazza and a two handed vase, both ostensibly of gold. Two boys carrying rich fabrics are behind the bridal couple. No other panel, perhaps, offers such direct visual evidence of the function of the cassone as part of the ceremonial of marriage alliances in quattrocento Florence.

Lo Scheggia was the younger brother of Masaccio. He trained in 1420-1 under the Florentine master, Bicci di Lorenzo, but was subsequently influenced by the example of his brother. In 1969 it was recognised by Luciano Bellosi that the large group of panels assigned by Longhi to his Master of the Adimari Cassone were by the same hand as the fresco of 1457 which is the only known signed work by Scheggia. The artist specialised in the production of small devotional pictures, deschi da parto (birth trays) and other decorative works, including cassone and spalliera panels. While not of the same intellectual or artistic calibre as his brother, Scheggia was evidently a friend of the greatest architect of the day, Filippo Brunelleschi, and so it is not surprising that he was also aware of the writing of another of the great men who transformed Florentine artistic perceptions in his generation, Alberti.
[4] Giovanni di ser Giovanni Guidi, lo Scheggia (San G - by Christie's) |

Holiday houses in Tuscany | Residency in Toscany for writers and artists | Podere Santa Pia


Florence, San Miniato al Monte
Podere Santa Pia
Siena, Piazza del Campo

Florence, San Miniato al Monte

Bagni San Filippo

Bagni San Filippo
San Quirico d'Orcia



Florence, Duomo
Orvieto, Duomo
Monte Christo, evening sunset
Boasting Etruscan origins and having then developed as a Roman colony with the name Florentia, today Florence is a charming city attracting every year thousands of tourists, fascinated by the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the church of San Marco, San Miniato al Monte, Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio, the Loggia dei Lanzi and its statues and many other famous monuments. The many Medicean villas scattered in the countryside surrounding Florence and Fiesole, with its Roman amphitheatre and the magnificent view of the Tuscan main city, are two fundamental stops while visiting Florence.
To those who love historical commemorations and folklore, Florence offers various events in the course of the year: the Cavalcata dei Magi (evoking the trip the Three Wise Men did in order to give their presents to Jesus) in January, the Calcio in costume (football as it was played in the Middle Ages) in June and the Scoppio del carro (explosion of the cart) on Easter Day.
Florence is also synonym with haute couture, with the various Pitti Immagine events, shopping, handicraft and good cuisine, thanks to its restaurants and the numerous trattorias in the historical centre, where to taste the dishes of Tuscan culinary tradition sipping some Chianti wine.
Paganico, near Podere Santa Pia offers an excellent bus connection to the city.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence
| A multitude of artists, including Arnolfo di Cambio and Filippo Brunelleschi, worked for 140 years - from 1296 to 1436 - to the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Duomo of Florence.
A must-see for all of the tourists who visit the capital of Tucany, the Duomo stands in an area completely closed to motor vehicles.
One of the biggest churches in Europe, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore boasts two stunning records: its renowned cupola, the fruit of Brunelleschi`s talent, is the biggest masonry dome ever built; moreover, thanks to Vasari and Zuccari, it features the broadest frescoed surface in the world.
And if that is not enough, next to the cathedral Giotto`s bell tower (which is about 85 metres tall) commands the houses, palaces, historic residences and villas of Florence.
Close to the cathedral stands the Baptistery of San Giovanni, an octagonal building dating back to the 4th-5th centuries whose walls are decorated with superlative mosaics and whose three doors are embellished with wonderful panels by Andrea Pisano and Ghiberti.
So if you are planning your next holidays and you would like to admire Brunelleschi`s dome, Giotto`s bell tower and the baptistery from the balcony or the windows of your apartment in Florence, you had better look for a holiday house in the "Quartiere 1" (district 1), that is, Florence historic centre.
Last but not least: after having visited these three masterpieces, you should visit the Museo dell`opera del Duomo as well.

Art in Tuscany | Florence Firenze
Art in Tuscany | The Duomo or Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

At a short distance from the Duomo, the Basilica of San Lorenzo was the official church of the Medicis. Not only did the membres of this influential family contribute to the construction of the building that tourists can still admire today; they chose it as their mausoleum: indeed, the mortal remains of the grand dukes of Tuscany and of their relatives lie in the so-called Medici Chapels.
Going on towards the river Arno, you arrive at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella. With its green and white marble façade, it was designed by Leon Battista Alberti. The church houses works by Giotto, Brunelleschi, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, Giambologna...
Crossing the river, you arrive in the district called Oltrarno, where the road begins to rise towards Piazzale Michelangelo. Over the upper-class houses and apartments emerges the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte.

At the end of your tour, go down from Piazzale Michelangelo, cross the river again and go towards the Basilica of Santa Croce, or the "tempio dell`Itale glorie" (the temple of Italian celebrities), as Foscolo called it, where you can find the tombs of Michelangelo, Galilei, Alfieri...