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Artistic Exchange between Liguria, Piedmont, and Tuscany: Taddeo di Bartolo, Pietro Gallo da Alba, Barnaba da Modena, Niccolò da Voltri, and Francesco di Michele


Gail E. Solberg


It is curious and unfortunate that late Trecento painters who lodged long- or short-term in Genoa are not survived by as much as a single painting. An inevitable conclusion is that many were painters of ephemera, objects of quotidian use that perished – signs, standards, shields, furniture, and no doubt many sails for the maritime city and places along its coast. Genoa was a radiant center for all of Liguria and beyond. More important works must have existed, but evidently they were not luxury objects that ensured, or helped ensure, their safeguarding. The number of paintings by Taddeo di Bartolo and Barnaba da Modena prove them to be heavily over-represented. It seems that patrons were a smaller pool than elsewhere, for how else does one account for the fact that, compared to other places, so little painting for Genoa or Liguria has come down to us? This essay examines artistic exchanges between Liguria, Piedmont, and Tuscany – as well as the bitter personal rivalries that were engendered – through stylistic analysis, patronage networks, and documentary evidence.