RICCIARDO DI NANNI, Ser
(active 1449-1480 in Florence)
Italian illuminator. He was trained between 1449 and 1452 by Battista di Niccolò da Padova (active from 1425; d. 1452) and after Battista's death collaborated occasionally with Filippo di Matteo Torelli. Ricciardo was one of the first Florentine artists to be concerned with archaeological discoveries, and this is consistently reflected in his painting. A copy of Plautus's Comedies (Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence), datable before 1450, and belonging to Piero de' Medici, is thought to be his first autograph work.
In early commissions from the Medici, Ricciardo shows a strong interest in a wide range of Classical ideas, partly derived from gems and cameos in the Medici collections. He was also sensitive to Florentine painting, from the work of Domenico Veneziano to that of the Master of Pratovecchio, and to the narrative style typical of paintings on cassoni. His illustrations are full of biblical symbolism, providing a rich pictorial commentary on the text. This tendency characterizes the works of his early period (1456-59).
The artist illustrated numerous choir books for Florence and Fiesole. In his last period he became more interested in apocalyptic themes. Two works which are characteristic of his last phase are a Book of Hours in Florence (Biblioteca Riccardiana) and Petrarch's Triumphs in Madrid (Biblioteca Nacional).