BICCI DI NERI
(b. 1419, Firenze, d. 1491, Firenze)
Bicci di Neri (or more frequently Neri di Bicci), Italian painter. Neri was the third in line from a family of artists: his father Bicci di Lorenzo and his grandfather Lorenzo di Bicci had been successful painters before him. He was a member of the Compagnia di San Luca in Florence by 1434 and began his artistic career as an assistant in his father's workshop, taking over its running after Bicci di Lorenzo became ill in 1446. It was after his father's death in 1452 that Neri di Bicci became an independent artist in his own right and he began keeping a diary, both professional and personal, which covers his principal years of activity from 1453 to 1475. This account, called Le Ricordanze, has been described as 'the most extensive surviving original document to record the activity of a 15th-century painter'.
His paintings successfully integrate the early Quattrocento models of his father's paintings with those of the more naturalistic artists of his own generation, such as Fra Angelico, Domenico Veneziano, Filippo Lippi and Andrea del Castagno. Neri di Bicci and his workshop received a constant stream of commissions from the Florentine nobility and religious institutions, and a number of talented artists were employed by him over the years: Cosimo Rosselli, Giusto d’Andrea, Francesco Botticini and Bernardo di Stefano Rosselli are amongst those documented in the Ricordanze.