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The Burke Collection of Early Italian Miniatures

Christ Enthroned with David Playing a Psaltery.

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Christ Enthroned with David Playing a Psaltery.
Cristoforo Cortese
Cristoforo Cortese (Venice, c. 1405) Christ Enthroned and King David Playing the Psaltery (254 x 172 mm) in an initial B. This richly ornamented miniature is the earliest known work by Cristoforo Cortese who was the most important Venetian illuminator at the end of the fourteenth century to the middle of the fifteenth century. It comes from a dismantled, long-lost Antiphonal for the nuns of Corpus Domini, a Venetian Dominican Nunnery newly founded in 1394. Beata Chiara Gambacorta of the parent house in Pisa sponsored production of the Antiphonal, and she is most likely the nun portrayed kneeling at David’s feet. This miniature closely follows the opening page of a Psalter illuminated by Don Silvestro dei Gherarducci in 1368 in Florence and subsequently shipped to Venice to San Michele in Murano. This discovery helps clarify details of Cortese’s early career and the influence of Gherarducci’s style on his art and on Venetian painting.
Date & Place of Origin:
Venice, [ca. 1401 - 1405]
Stanford University. Libraries. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Manuscript number: