Nicolò di Giacomo di Nascimbene, f. 1349-1403
As a miniaturist who was pivotal in the Bolognese manuscript production of the second half of the fourteenth century, he starts his career in 1349 with the illustrative apparatus of the Officium B. Mariae Virginis (Kremsmünster, Stiftsbibliothek, Schatzkasten 4). The corpus of codices that may be attributed to Nicolò is truly considerable and manuscripts of an exceedingly assorted content have been assigned to him by critics. In addition to liturgical books he also dedicated himself to figures intended for legal manuscripts and classical texts, such as the copy of the Novella sulle Decretali of Giovanni d’Andrea dating from 1353, where his signature may also be found(ms. Vat. lat. 1456). Other examples include the manuscript with the Pharsalia di Lucan for the Boiardo family of Ferrara (London, British Library, Add. 11990), and the Tragedies of Seneca (mss. Vat. lat. 1645; Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, ms. C 96 inf.). Nicolò was influenced by the Emilian culture of the Gothic period and can doubtless be considered as a follower of the figurative line initiated by artists such as the Maestro of 1346 and the Illustrator. The style of the maestro is characterized by the pronounced expressiveness of the characters, the narrative ability and the brilliant color range. Then, towards the last quarter of the century, he turned towards a greater sobriety of execution and a more controlled use of color. Around the figure of Nicolò a large bottega had already been formed, as can be seen from the different hands that collaborate within manuscripts that are attributed to the Maestro and in illustrated codices of a lower calibre, executed by artistic figures who had been formed in the circle of Nicolò but in which there is no trace of his presence, as is the case with the miniaturist who worked on the codex containing the Tebaide of Stazio (ms. Vat. lat. 1615) or the De bello civili of Lucan (ms. Vat. lat. 1619).
D’ANCONA, Nicolò da Bologna, pp. 1-22; I corali di San Giacomo; PASUT, Nicolò di Giacomo, pp. 827-831.
Vat. lat. 1615, f. 12r - Vat. lat. 1619, f. 11v