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Life of MICHELINO DA BESOZZO


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  Italian painter and illuminator. Milanese writers from the humanist Uberto Decembrio (13501427) to Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo in the 16th century described Michelino as the greatest artist of his time. He was especially praised for his skill and prodigious talent in the naturalistic portrayal of animals and birds. Records of payments made in 1388 to a Michelino pictore who painted scenes from the Life of St Augustine in the second cloister of the Augustinian convent of S Pietro in Ciel d Oro, Pavia, are thought to be the earliest references to the artist. He was still resident in Pavia in 1404, when the Fabbrica of Milan Cathedral decided to consult him as the greatest in the arts of painting and design . The frescoes in S Pietro in Ciel d Oro and a panel by Michelino dated 1394 that was in S Mustiola, Pavia, in the 17th century have not survived, but two of the manuscripts with illumination firmly attributed to Michelino date from his time in Pavia: St Augustine s Commentary on the Psalms (Rome, Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica), which was probably made for Marco Gallina, an Augustinian professor of theology at Pavia University, in 1396, and the Funeral Eulogy and Genealogy of Giangaleazzo Visconti (Bibliothque Nationale, Paris), dated 1403.
  Similarities in the style of illuminated initials and in the scale and layout of the foliate borders painted by Michelino with those of the Augustinian friar Pietro da Pavia suggest a direct relationship between the two artists at the beginning of Michelino s career. Stylistic analogies with the work of Stefano da Verona, now known to be the son of Jean d Arbois, painter to Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy from 1373 to 1375, raise the question of whether both artists may have trained with the French painter, who is thought to have been in Pavia from 1385.
  
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Eulogy for Giangaleazzo Visconti
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Visconti genealogy
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The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, St John the Baptist, St Antony Abbot
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