Key to Umbria

A document preserved in the archives of the the Collegio di Spagna, Bologna records that Cardinal Egidio Albornoz had commissioned a book from the poet Bartolomeo de' Bartoli in 1359, and miniatures for it from Bartolomeo’s brother, Andrea.  The next document in the archive records that Cardinal Androine de Rocha commissioned frescoes from Andrea de’ Bartoli in 1365 for the the palace of the defeated Galeazzo Visconti at Pavia.

These documents had almost certainly belonged to Cardinal Albornoz, who built the palace in Bologna that became the Collegio di Spagna.  Specifically, he built the place in 1361 and endowed it in his will so that it could subsequently be used as a college for Spanish students at the famous university in the city.

In 1368, the year after the death of Cardinal Albornoz, his heirs paid ‘Andreas pictor de Bononia’ 450 florins for painting the frescoes in his funerary chapel at Assisi (see below) and a further 10 florins for painting his tomb there.  This artist was almost certainly Andrea de’ Bartoli.  Fragmentary frescoes (ca. 1368) in the Collegia di Spagna are also attributed to him.

Frescoes in Cappella di Santa Caterina (ca. 1368)

As noted above, the heirs of Cardinal Albornoz paid ‘Andreas pictor de Bononia’ 450 florins in 1368 for painting the frescoes in Cappella di Santa Caterina in the Lower Church of San Francesco, and a further 10 florins for painting his tomb there.   

Scenes from the life of St Catherine of Alexandria

These eight scenes are on the walls and under the entrance arch of the chapel.  They include this scene, in which angels destroy the wheel on which St Catherine was to be martyred (under the arch, on the left).

Standing Saints

These two fictive triptychs are under the entrance arch, with one on each side of the chapel.  The depict:
  1. SS Sabinus, Clement and Francis (on the left, illustrated here); and

  2. SS Blaise, Eugene (of Toledo?) and Louis of Toulouse.

In the scene on the left, the kneeling Cardinal Albornoz lays his cardinal’s hat at the feet of St Clement, who wears a papal tiara: this is a reference to Pope Clement VI, who had created him Cardinal Priest of San Clemente  in 1350.   

Frescoes in Cappella di San Lorenzo (ca. 1368)

The frescoes in Cappella di San Lorenzo in the Lower Church of San Francesco are attributed to Andrea de’ Bartoli.  They depict:
  1. the martyrdom of St Laurence (on the curved wall of the buttress, illustrated here);

  2. scenes from the Passion of Christ above the entrance arches:

  3. the capture of Christ (on the left); and

  4. Christ’s agony in the Garden of Gethsemane; and

  5. Christ the Redeemer and the Evangelists (in the vault).

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Andrea de‘ Bartoli (died after 1368)  

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Andrea de‘ Bartoli in:  Assisi