(c. 1315—1336)

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(active first half of 14th century).

Italian painter, a tantalizingly enigmatic figure. Various early sources, not only Ghiberti and Vasari, but also the authors Boccaccio and Sacchetti, attest to his celebrity as an artist—evidently one of the leading painters of the post-Giotto generation—and also as a practical joker (hence his nickname, which might be translated as ‘jester’). Their cumulative testimony is impressive, but no works can be securely attributed to him and there has been a tendency to regard him as a figure more of legend than of history. In the 1970s, however, he was proposed as the painter of the famous frescos of the Triumph of Death in the Campo Santo, Pisa (see Traini), an attribution that if correct would give him a stature commensurate with his literary reputation. Another school of thought has it that Buffalmacco may be identified with another obscure personality, the Master of St Cecilia.

Subjects: Art.

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