Bernardo Barbatelli, called Bernardino Poccetti, was buried on November 10 in 1612. Poccetti, who was most likely born in 1553, began his career as a painter of palace façades and grottoes, activities that gave him the nicknames Bernardino delle Facciate and delle Grottesche, but he eventually established himself as a major painter of the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries in Florence. His numerous works still adorn many of the city’s major monuments and he worked for a wide range of patrons: religious orders, lay confraternities, Florentine patricians, and the Medici dukes. A biography written in the seventeenth century by Filippo Baldinucci (who claimed to have received some of his information from Poccetti’s nephew), describes Bernardino as a prolific artist who oversaw an active workshop, but who was also content to spend his leisure time with his friends eating and drinking at his favorite Florentine tavern, la Trave Torta.
Poccetti made his residence in the Via di Sitorno (now Via della Chiesa), which is not too far from the church of Santa Maria del Carmine. Poccetti not only painted frescoes (destroyed in an eighteenth-century fire) and altarpieces in this church, but he also procured rights to a tomb there. According to Baldinucci, on the day of his burial, Poccetti’s fellow artists from the Accademia del Disegno arranged for a funeral procession to carry the painter to his final resting place. In an effort to maximize the impact of the ritual, the group took a circuitous route from Via di Sitorno to the Carmine, and crossed the Ponte Santa Trìnita so that they could process along the bank of the Arno and return to the Oltrarno via the Ponte alla Carraia before making their way to the church. Just as the cortège reached the Ponte Santa Trìnita, however, a violent storm blew in and sent the members of the procession scrambling for cover. The only nearby place large enough to hold the group happened to be la Trave Torta. Because it would have been indecorous to leave the deceased outside in the rain, hail, and thunder, Poccetti was brought inside where he enjoyed one last chance to spend some time with his friends before the weather cleared and they carried him to his grave.
Baldinucci, Filippo. Notizie dei professori del disegno da Cimabue in qua. Edited by F. Ranalli. 7 vols. 1847. Reprint, Florence: S.P.E.S., 1974
Hamilton, Paul C. “Poccetti, Bernardino [Barbatelli, Bernardo].” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. <Marcucci, Luisa. “Barbatelli, Bernardo, detto Bernardino Poccetti.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani.
Vasetti, Stefania. “La ‘guccia’ di Bernardino Poccetti da San Gimignano.” Paragone 45, no. 529-533 (1994): 154-9.
Vault fresco (detail), Grotta Grande, Giardino di Boboli, Florence
Grotesque ornament and a view of Florence (detail), fresco, Sala Grande, Palazzo Capponi, Florence
Funeral of Saint Bruno, fresco, church of San Lorenzo, Certosa di Galluzzo
Martyrdom of Saint Jude Thaddeus (detail), fresco, atrium of the oratory of the confraternity of SS Annunziata, Florence