GHERARDO DI GIOVANNI
(active 1460-1497 in Florence)
Biblioteca Medicea-Laurenziana, Florence
Gherardo and Monte di Giovanni were brothers and together with Attavante di Attavanti and Francesco Antonio del Cherico they were the most significant miniaturists of the period in Florence. The brothers worked together, Gherardo making the figurative illuminations while Monte the decoration. Gherardo was a humanist, he is mentioned as the friend of Leonardo da Vinci. He was the pupil of Domenico Ghirlandaio and was influenced by Netherlandish art. The masterpiece of the brothers is the representation of King David in the Florentine Bible.
This is the title page of volume III of the so-called Florentine Bible. The principal character of the picture is the kneeling King David as begging God. The background is very rich in representation of scenes with David. The three historical figures behind the kneeling David can be recognized as Queen Beatrix (or Anne de Beaujeu), King Matthias of Hungary and King Charles VIII of France. The Renaissance town in the background symbolizes Jerusalem. At the bottom of the page two scenes from the life of David are represented.