He initially trained with painter and architect named Rinaldo Rinaldi in Castello. He moved to Rome to join the studio of Avanzino Nucci who was also from Città di Castello. In Rome, he painted for the churches of San Bernardino ai Monti and San Sebastiano al Palatino. Pope Urban VII knighted him with a Cross of the Order of San Maurizio. Gagliardi joined the Academy of St Luke, and became its president in 1655.
In Rome, he painted the altarpiece San Pellegrino in the church of San Marcello al Corso. He also painted in the cloister of San Francesco in Trevi, Umbria. Also called Bernardo Gagliardi. He appears to be different from, and sometimes confused with, his contemporary, Filippo Gagliardi. He was instructed by Horatio Ferretti of Perugia.
He returned to Città di Castello, where he painted for the Cathedral and for the Church of San Giovanni Decollato. For the local seminary, he painted a Deposition. For the Church of Saint Mary of Combarbio, Anghiari, near Arezzo, he painted a fresco of the Assumption. This Assumption inspired Marco Benefial in his fresco for the Cathedral presbytery.
- Farquhar, Maria (1855). Ralph Nicholson Wornum (ed.). Biographical catalogue of the principal Italian painters. Woodfall & Kinder, Angel Court, Skinner Street, London; Digitized by Googlebooks from Oxford University copy on Jun 27, 2006. p. 68.
- Hobbes, James R. (1849). Picture collector's manual adapted to the professional man, and the amateur. T&W Boone, 29 Bond Street; Digitized by Googlebooks. p. 96.
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