National Gallery of Art, Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumincations from the J. Paul Getty Museum
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Regions: Lombardy and the Duchy of Milan (2 of 2)

Image: Belbello da Pavia, Initial A: A Young Christ Blessing, Venice, 1467 - 1470, leaf from an antiphonal, Initial: 18 x 15.5 cm (7 1/16 x 6 1/8), The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 96, verso, 2005.29
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Many of the great artists of northern Italy were itinerant, moving from court to court for their patronage, sometimes adapting their style to the idiom of the court or region. Such an artist was Belbello da Pavia (active by c. 1430–died after 1473), the foremost Lombard manuscript illuminator of the International style, represented by works such as his Annunciation to the Virgin. Belbello worked at all of northern Italy’s major courts and enjoyed a long career. The historiated initial of the young Christ, a beautiful example of his idiosyncratic late style, was removed from a set of choir books made for the church of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice in northeastern Italy. In this illumination, the youthful Christ possesses a dignity and poise uncommon for his age. The illuminator emphasized the underlying geometry of the figure, giving him a monumental quality. The head is a circle within the circle of the halo while the eyes are almond-shaped and the eyebrows exactly echo their top contours. Within the simple forms, however, a rhythmic play of undulating drapery folds and a subtle use of only a few colors give the figure a luminous presence.

Regions: Ferrara, Mantua, and the Veneto (1 of 2)image: forward arrow image: back arrowRegions: Lombardy and the Duchy of Milan (1 of 2)

image: National Gallery of Art image: Manuscripts in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum