MASTER OF THE MODENA HOURS (Tomasino da Vimercate)
Initial D, Vocation of the Apostles Peter (Simon) and Andrew
Italy, Lombardy (Milan or Pavia?,) c. 1395
The present leaf comes from a dismembered Gradual, one of a series of Choir Books perhaps made for the Cathedral of Lodi around 1400. In his catalogue of a private Italian collection, Dr. Gaudenz Freuler attributes our leaf and others from the group to the Master of the Modena Book of Hours, who may be identical with Tommasino da Vimercate, who worked for the Visconti court in the 1390s, in the Milan workshop of Giovanni de Grassi, and whose skill is to be noted in, among other works, the extraordinary Prayerbook now in the Biblioteca Estense. Our leaf begins with the Introit for the Mass for the Vigil of Saint Andrew (29 November), which was f. 181v in the parent manuscript. The text reads "Dominus secus mare Galilee vidit duos fratres Petrum et Andream ..." (The Lord, walking by the Sea of Galilee, saw two brothers Peter and Andrew). The soft colors of the water and the garments contrast effectively with the bright red and blue pigments used for the initial, the acanthus, and the other garments. The green and black diapered background characterizes this and the other miniatures from the same series.