ATTAVANTE di Gabriello di Vante di Francesco di Bartolo (Castelfiorentino, 1452 ; 1517)
Le Songe de saint Romuald
parchemin (peint, doré) H. 44 cm ; l. 34 cm
Inscrit en bas : SIASTI.
don Wildenstein Daniel (donateur) (1981 acquis)
The opulence of the decorated margins and the delicacy of the line have prompted attribution of this sheet, along with the three other fragments kept by the Musée Marmottan Monet, to a prolific illuminator, the Florentine Attavanti. Although the artist, who was close to Domenico Ghirlandaio, mastered perfectly the rules of costruzione legittima, here he used the medieval trope of the dream to illustrate the legendary founding of the Camaldoli monastery. Saint Romuald (d. 1027) is represented with his eyes closed, his head resting on his hands, with nearby a ladder rising up to the sky, rather like Jacob’s, being climbed by men dressed in white. Significantly, the first rungs of this heavenly ladder, a veritable allegory of man’s spiritual elevation, are represented in front of the conventual church where the divine office is celebrated every day. The buildings of community life, such as the monks’ cells, are set well away from the busy world, in a circular clearing, a closed space: a place of perfection.