All Saints, initial 'G' cut from a choirbook [northern Italy, possibly Ferrara, final third 15th century] 



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150 x 137mm. Initial 'G' likely opening the introit 'Gaudeamus omnes in domino' for the feast of All Saints (some light rubbing to the faces). 

An appealing and brightly coloured miniature by an accomplished artist closely associated with the great Guglielmo Giraldi (fl. 1445-89), one of the leading illuminators of the Italian Renaissance. In treatment and vocabulary this initial is especially close to the series of manuscripts that Borso d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, had Guglielmo illuminate for the Certosa di San Cristoforo from 1462 to the mid-1470s: a mammoth undertaking that cemented the artist's status and fame (see G. Mariani Canova, Guglielmo Giraldi Miniatore Estense, 1995, pp. 97-110). We find the same colourful exuberance in the present miniature, and a similar rendering of features: the long-nosed, almond-eyed saint to the Virgin's left, and the elongated figures are all tropes found in Giraldi's work in the Certosa manuscripts. Further stylistic parallels can be found in a Pentecost once in the collection of Luigi Grassi in Florence (P. Palladino, Treasures of a Lost Art, 2003, appendix no 10, p. 179). The stave of the initial, with fantastical grotesques forming the body of the letter 'G', shows the influence of the Veronese artist Francesco dai Libri (1452-1503), but is more archaic in features such as the patterned background.

Stock Code: 225288

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