As with most aspects of Giotto’s career, the dates of these frescoes are disputed. The Bardi Chapel, to the right of the church’s main chapel, was largely painted a secco, a quicker but less durable technique. The Peruzzi Chapel was especially famous during the Renaissance and his work later influenced Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, as well as Michelangelo, 200 years later, who is known to have studied the Santa Croce frescoes.
After a series of commissioned works in Rome, Naples and Bologna, Giotto spent his last years working as an architect, almost always in Florence. In 1334, he was appointed chief of the construction sites in piazza Duomo and superintendent of public works for Florence. That same year, he began working on the cathedral’s new bell tower. Interestingly, even though the tower is today known as “Giotto’s Bell Tower,” the artist actually only completed the lower floor before his death and the finished product was not entirely faithful to his original designs.