Active in Venice from the end of the sixteenth century, here he learned a miniature technique called “a granito”, probably a sort of pointillism, like the use of a gold background in the technique called “a la persiana” (Szépe, Mariani, Valerio, p. 723). He also described such methods in his Trattato sulla pittura e sui colori written in 1620, preserved in three archetypal manuscripts (New Haven, Beinecke Library of Yale University, ms. 372; Leiden, University Library, ms. Vossius Germanici Gallici 5q; Vatican City, Vatican Library, Urb. lat. 1280). The Venetian years were momentous both on account of what he learned from his teacher, Giovanni Francesco Bodovino, and on account of the works that he must have observed−the Grimani Breviary, for example (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Lat. I, 99 = 2138) or the Grimani Evangelistary of Giulio Clovio (Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, Lat. I, 103 = 11925). Starting from 1603, he was at the court of Francesco Maria II Della Rovere in Urbino, where he alongside other artists worked on such commissions such as the Vita di Francesco Maria I Della Rovere (Urb. lat. 1764), the Vita di Federico da Montefeltro (Urb. lat. 1765) and the completion of the famous Commedia, Urb. lat. 365, which was begun by Guglielmo Giraldi and Franco dei Russi. In these works it is possible to identify the main characteristics of his art: the “pointillism”, the transparent shades of color, the use of pen ink for the contours, the spaces of parchment that he used for the highlights.
HERMENS, Valerio Mariani, pp. 93-102; SZÉPE, Mariani, Valerio, pp. 723-727.
Urb. lat. 365, f. 197r - Urb. lat. 1764, f. 1r
Urb. lat. 365, f. 197r - Urb. lat. 1765, f. 2r