Berardo da Teramo (fl. 1325-1350)
BAPTISM OF CHRIST, initial ‘B’ on an antiphonal leaf [Teramo, 1st half 14th century]
One of the eleven leaves excised from a lost antiphonal commissioned for the Benedictine monastery of San Benedetto a Gabiano, the only known work of the Abruzzese illuminator Berardo da Teramo (fl. Abruzzo, 1325-1350).
On another leaf from the manuscript the artist signs his work ‘Berardo da Teramo’: nothing further is known of Berardo and no corpus of work can be securely attributed to him beside these eleven leaves from an antiphonal (for a discussion of the group see Pia Palladino, Treasures of a Lost Art
, Metropolitan Museum, 2003, pp. 34-37). Evidently he was capable of very fine illumination, in a style apparently inspired by the art of the Angevin court at Naples at this time, where Neapolitan and Abruzzese illuminators worked closely together.Provenance
•The parent manuscript was made for Benedictine monastery of San Benedetto a Gabiano, near Teramo. Four sister leaves are in the Cini Collection, Venice (2084, 2085, 2087, 2090: ex-Hoepli Collection, Milan, 1927, along with five further leaves) while another is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Robert Lehman Collection): the opening leaf of the manuscript (Cini 2084) holds the key to the identification of its commissioner and illuminator. Above a splendid miniature is the inscription ‘Dominus Beradus de Teramo fecit hoc opus’ and below ‘Archipresbiter Jacobus de sancto Flaviano fecit fieri hoc opus pro anima fratris Mathei propositi Gabiani cuius anima benedicatur’ (Archpresbyter Giacomo of San Flaviano had this made for the soul of brother Matteo curate of Gabiano whose soul be blessed).
•Mensing et Fils sale, Amsterdam, 1929, lot 66.
•Private collection, London.
Leaf: 580 x 392mm.; initial: 95 x 85mm. The initial ‘B’ opening the first response at vespers for the commemoration of the Baptism of Christ, ‘Baptizans miles regem servus’. Mounted.θ
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