Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, 1433-1484
By the fifth decade of the fifteenth century, he was a leading figure in the art of minium, both Florentine and beyond; the artist inaugurated his career and the association to Vespasiano da Bisticci with the three volumes of the Decades of Titus Livius, Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale, mss. B. R. 34-36, made for Alfonsus II of Aragon, king of Naples (1448-1495). His path would therefore take place at the service of the most illustrious patrons of the period, but it will be above all the link with the Medici family that marks his activity–see l’Offiziolo for Lorenzo and Clarice Orsini, formerly Holkham Hall, Viscount Coke collection, ms. 41 or the chorales, currently in the Archives of the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence, but originally intended for the Badia Fiesolana. His “anti-academic position” (original text: Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, p. 137) would have increased from the early 60s of the fifteenth century when, in the ms. Plut. 65. 26-27 of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, signed «Franciscus pinxit» (in the Q letter), showed a more subtle and dynamic design, with an almost impressionistic touch. He often adopted new iconographic subjects. Recurrent elements of his artistic language include the use of vivid and brilliant colors, combined with a pictorial framework that fills the pages with decoration and figures, with obvious references to the ancient. For the collection of Federico da Montefeltro, he illustrates the Urb. lat. 1-2, the Urb. lat. 1324 and the Urb. lat. 350, maybe with Bartolomeo di Domenico di Guido.
Miniatura fiorentina del Rinascimento, pp. 101-170, particularly 101-156; BOLLATI, Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, pp. 228-232; LABRIOLA, I miniatori fiorentini, pp. 53-67; LABRIOLA, Repertorio dei miniatori fiorentini, pp. 227-234.