ATTAVANTE DEGLI ATTAVANTI
(b. 1452, Castelfiorentino, d. ca. 1525, Firenze)
Manuscript (Ms. 9008)
Bibliothèque Royale de Belgique, Brussels
The full-page miniature is a page (folio 205v) of a Missal (Missale Romanum) signed by Attavante who was one of the outstanding miniaturist of the Florentine Renaissance. He came from an aristocratic family and studied with Francesco di Antonio del Chierico, the most significant Florentine miniaturist of the time. In the 1480s he already worked independently, his first dated and signed work is a Missal in Lyon. Later he worked in the court of the humanist Hungarian King Matthias and he decorated here more than 30 manuscripts among them the Missal presently in Brussels.
The miniature depicts the scene of Calvary which is framed by several small pictures, which are at left from the top down: Annunciation, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi, Circumcision, Christ among the Doctors; at right from the bottom up: Christ in the Getshemane Garden, Kiss of Judas, Christ before the Judges, Flagellation, Carrying the Cross. The pictures reflect the influence of contemporary altarpieces.
The codex was made for Matthias, King of Hungary. In 1526 it was brought to the Netherlands by the flighting Queen Mary, widow of the Hungarian King Louis II who died in the Battle of Mohács against the Turks. Mary became the governess of the Netherlands and the following governors took their oaths on this Missal.