GIROLAMO DA CREMONA
Italian illuminator and painter, originally Girolamo di Giovanni dei Corradi, one of the most accomplished miniaturists of the fifteenth century. He probably trained in the circle of Francesco Squarcione in Padua. It is possible that Girolamo is the Gerolamo Padovano described as illuminating manuscripts for S Maria Nuova, Florence, in Vasari's Vita of Bartolomeo della Gatta. Girolamo's first known works are an historiated initial P showing the Baptism of Constantine (1451; Paris, Musée Marmottan) and a letter M inscribed Ieronimus. F. with St Catherine before Maxentius (London, Victoria and Albert Museum), both probably excised from the same Antiphonal. The style of these compositions is eclectic and includes figures with little articulation that appear to derive from Antonio Vivarini's types, combined with studied spatial effects probably learnt from Donatello's main altar at S Antonio, Padua. A subsequent but near contemporary work possibly by Girolamo is the miniature of St Maurice in the Life and Passion of St Maurice (1452/3; Paris, Bibliotheque Arsenal).
Girolamo's fame soon spread beyond Padua and he was summoned to Ferrara to contribute miniatures to the Bible of Borso d'Este (Modena, Biblioteca Estense) produced between July 1455 and December 1461. During his activity in the Estense capital, Girolamo was influenced by the stage-like settings and abstracted backgrounds of Jacopo Bellini, who had been the painter favoured by Leonello d'Este, Marquis of Ferrara. He produced manuscripts at the Gonzaga court in Mantua.
In 1468, he began creating choir books in Siena with Liberale da Verona. He then worked in Venice creating illuminated frontispieces for incunabules (deluxe versions of early printed books). He also received major commissions for both secular and liturgical manuscripts in Padua, Siena, Florence, and Venice.