Master(s) of Giustino di Gherardino da Forlì The Ascension, historiated initial ‘U’ from an illuminated manuscript choirbook on vellum [Venice, c.1370].
100 × 95 mm, a cutting with initial ‘U’, laid down on card, doubtless from the antiphon ‘Viri Galilei’, depicting a three-quarter length Virgin Mary with hands raised in an orans pose, surrounded by the disciples, above whose heads four angels bear a mandorla towards heaven, with only the lower half of Christ still visible (some losses of pigment and gold, especially at the extremities and in the Virgin’s head-covering, the lower right corner patched with a small piece of another initial). Laid down on card, and framed.
This cutting can be attributed to the Master(s) of Giustino di Gherardino da Forlì, one of the two illuminators responsible for the Antiphonaries of Pavia cathedral (on whom see Andrew Chen, ‘Giustino di Gherardino da Forlì and the Antiphoners of Pavia Cathedral’, Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 59 (2017), pp. 409–19, and Susy Marcon in Dizionario biografico dei miniatori italiani: secoli IX–XVI, ed. by Milvia Bollati (Milan, 2004), pp. 315–16). It is uncertain whether Giustino di Gherardino da Forlì is the name of an illuminator, or the scribe who signed a Gradual in 1365 for the Scuola Grande di Santa Maria della Carità (Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, cod. Lat. II, 119), and work to clarify the separate identities of more than one illuminator continues.