ATTAVANTE DEGLI ATTAVANTI (Gabriello di Vante; active in Florence, born 1452, died 1520/25)
Saints Sergius and Bacchus, initial ‘A’ from a Choir Book (150 x 127/130 mm.)
Italy, Florence, c. 1475-1485
This brightly colored initial ‘A’ from a Choir Book depicts the martyr saints Sergius and Bacchus, both Roman soldiers, in fantastic Renaissance armor. They stand in a landscape holding weapons and wearing brightly contrasting colors with Burgonet-style helmets. This miniature is attributed to Attavante, noted by Giorgio Vasari as the most “celebrated and famous of miniaturists.” Attavante is known primarily through a series of luxurious Missals and Breviaries illuminated for important patrons, including Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary. The pigments and parchment are in good condition, with some rubbing to the gold leaf and some isolated smudges.