Girolamo da Cremona
He was one of the exponents of the renewal of miniatures in the fifteenth-century, first in the Paduan-Ferrarese area, and then with a subsequent distribution throughout the Italian peninsula and beyond (Armstrong, The Agostini Plutarch, passim; Fumian, Due codici veneti poco noti, passim; Guernelli, Perle ai margini, pp. 151-171; Toniolo, Girolamo da Cremona, pp. 310-315). His training took place in the wings of Mantegna’s imaginary as well as under the influences of the Ferrarese style over the years of Borso d’Este (he took part in the decoration of the Bible, Modena, Biblioteca Estense Universitaria, lat. 422 and lat. 423). He then worked for the court of the Gonzaga family and in the major centers of book production of the era: namely, Padua, Ferrara, and Venice, by decorating both manuscripts and incunabula. Through this activity, he developed his own particular expression, based on the use of space in perspective and illusion, often accentuated by complex architectonic frontispieces, which he decorated by painting fake parchment sheets as torn, to display other paintings of rural landscapes or motifs taken from the country landscapes and Venetian antiquity (for example, satyrs or centaurs) or other similar scenes. Another connotative element of his pictorial imagery was the use of the so-called “jewel-initials,” displayed in works such as De architectura, Urb. lat. 264, but also in the incunabula that the illuminator decorated for Peter Ugelheimer between 1478 and 1483; some of his most famous works include, for example, a Decretum Gratiani of 1477 (Gotha, Landesbibliothek, Mon. Typ. 1477, 2° 12), and a Plutarch (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, ms. 77565).
FUMIAN, Due codici veneti poco noti, passim; ARMSTRONG, The Agostini Plutarch, passim; TONIOLO, Girolamo da Cremona, pp. 310-315; GUERNELLI, Perle ai margini, pp. 151-171.
Urb. lat. 264, ff. 19v and 66v