Bartolomeo d'Antonio Varnucci, 1412/13 c. - 1479
By the fourth decade of the fifteenth century, he was a leading figure in the art of Florentine minium (but for the beginnings of his activity, see Dillon Bussi, Albinia C. de la Mare, Vespasiano da Bisticci, pp. 323-332, con bibliografia). The artist inaugurated his career with his brother Giovanni (d. 1459; Dillon Bussi, Albinia C. de la Mare, Vespasiano da Bisticci, p. 325). Bartolomeo illustrated especially manuscripts of sacred and liturgical content for the Badia fiorentina, the Florence Cathedral, Monteoliveto Maggiore Abbey (Pasut, Varnucci, Bartolomeo, p. 981). His style is both innovative (it is perhaps to him may be attributed the invention of the winged putto among the bianchi girari; see Dillon Bussi, Albinia C. de la Mare, Vespasiano da Bisticci, pp. 324-325, with bibliography) and archaic (in particular flat colours and little variety in physiognomies; Pasut, Varnucci, Bartolomeo, p. 980). During the Florence Council in the 1439, the illuminator worked for several illustrious patrons, as Tommaso Parentucelli (then pope Niccolò V, 1447-1455), Eugenio IV (1431-1447) and Antonio Rosselli, who offered to the emperor Sigismund of Luxemburg his Monarchia sive tractatus de potestate imperatoris et papae (Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, ms. lat. 4237). The incipit page of the ms. Reg. lat. 1988 was assigned to Bartolomeo; the manuscript was probably made together with Francesco di Antonio del Chierico.
DE LA MARE, Vespasiano da Bisticci as Producer, pp. 167-207; DE FLORIANI, Per Bartolomeo Varnucci, pp. 49-60; PASUT, Varnucci, Bartolomeo, pp. 979-982; DILLON BUSSI, Albinia C. de la Mare, Vespasiano da Bisticci, pp. 323-332.