- Hans-Joachim Eberhardt
[Liberale di Jacopo dalla Biava]
(b Verona, c. 1445; d Verona, 1527–9).
Italian illuminator, painter and woodcut designer. His father, the baker Jacopo, came from Monza; his mother, Jacoba, was the daughter of the Veronese painter Zeno Solimani (flc. 1438) and sister of the painter Nicolò Solimani (flc. 1462–1493). The latter, according to Vasari, was Liberale’s teacher (but mistakenly called Vincenzo di Stefano in the Vite). Liberale is documented in Verona in 1455 and 1465, but works from this period are not known. His career thereafter may be divided into two periods: as a young artist he was based in Siena, where his work on a group of choir-books for the cathedral demonstrates his originality as an illuminator; in or soon after 1476 he returned to Verona, where he established himself as one of the city’s major painters. During both periods he travelled and worked in other centres.
Called to Siena before 1467 by the Olivetans, Liberale illuminated four choir-books (Chiusi, Mus. Cattedrale, Cods A, Q, R and Y) for the abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. The miniatures show a mixture of styles: Sienese influences, especially the Late Gothic ornament of Sano di Pietro, are combined with such stylistic components from the Veneto and Emilia as sculpturally modelled, animated draperies, expressive physiognomies and tense, nervous gestures. Liberale worked as an illuminator for Siena Cathedral from ...