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Jesus and Apostles

Jacobello di Bonomo

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

The life of Jacobello is quite enigmatic, since the scarce news concerning him was dispersed within the fourteenth century. However, his art is high quality, and obviously cannot be separated from the Venetian environment, in particular the influence of Paolo and Lorenzo Veneziano. The only work definitely attributed to the painter is the Polyptych of Sant’Arcangelo, signed and dated 1385. In this beautiful work we can see a compositional approach, still owing to the Byzantine style, but naturally transformed by the new gothic sensibility. The rhythm of the colors in the Apostles’ clothes is combined with the slight sinuosity of their bodies, giving movement to this series of characters painted against a gold background. The compactness and solidity of the forms, the play of hands, and the effectiveness of the large white marble base gives the whole of the work a peculiar and truly convincing harmony, nevertheless expressing a quiet tension that translates into contemplative ardor.

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