Bartolomeo della Gatta, 1448-1502
Bartolomeo della Gatta was a painter, illuminator, architect, and Camaldolese monk at San Benedetto fuori Porta a Pinti in Florence. Later he moved to Santa Maria in Gradi, Arezzo, where he was to develop an interesting ecclesiastical career. The dating of several works of his monumental art serves in reconstructing the history of his art, a history that includes (among other significant instances) his work in the Sistine Chapel beside Luca Signorelli for the fresco of the Last Days of Moses. The panorama of his miniature work is different, the catalog of which has been compiled almost exclusively through stylistic comparisons (Martelli, Bartolomeo della Gatta, pp. 235-306, 334-343). He built his artistic language on the particular eloquence of the Florentine workshops of Pollaiolo and Verrocchio, and was influenced by the clear geometric construction of Piero della Francesca. His introduction to the milieu of Urbino was likely possible thanks to Gentile de’ Becchi of Urbino, bishop of Arezzo and a friend of his.
In fact, the ms. Vitr. 22-1 di Madrid, Biblioteca Nacional de España, which contains the Rerum vulgarium fragmenta and the Triumphi of Petrarch, is also attributed to him. Likely he collaborated with Maestro del Senofonte Hamilton for this work, which was copied by Matteo Contugi for Federico da Montefeltro and datable between 1474 and 1476. He also contributed to the Bible of Federico, mss. Urb. lat. 1-2. It is clear, moreover, that he was familiar with the antiquarian designs of the Paduan-Roman area, represented by such artists as Bartolomeo Sanvito and Gaspare da Padova. This expressive style can also be seen in the incipit of the ms. Vat. lat. 1848 of the Vatican Apostolic Library, which conveys the Decas III of Livy’s Ab Urbe condita, made for the protonotary apostolic, Ludovico Agnelli and in the incipit of the ms. Urb. lat. 427, the Curtius Rufus' Historiae Alexandri Magni.
BENTIVOGLIO-RAVASIO, Piero (Pietro) di Antonio Dei, pp. 861-865; MARTELLI, Bartolomeo della Gatta, passim.
Urb. lat. 427, f. 2r - Vat. lat. 1848, f. 1r