Taddeo Crivelli

  • died about 1479, active about 1451 - 1479
  • Illuminator
  • Italian

Taddeo Crivelli was one of the illuminators who introduced the Renaissance style into manuscript painting in Ferrara. His first known miniatures date to the early 1450s. In the period roughly coinciding with the rule of Borso d'Este over Ferrara, Crivelli and his workshop were engaged in a number of projects, producing a variety of books for aristocratic patrons as well as for religious institutions. His most important commission was the costly and magnificent Bible of Borso d'Este, one of the greatest achievements of Italian manuscript illumination. A team of artists headed by Crivelli and Franco dei Russi took six years, from 1455 to 1461, to completely decorate this large, two-volume work. Crivelli left Ferrara sometime shortly after the death of Duke Borso in 1471 and worked sporadically in Bologna until his death.

Although he may have been a student of Pisanello, Crivelli's style is characterized by the sort of mannered artfulness and powerful illusionistic effects that can be associated with northern Italian court artists like Andrea Mantegna. Like the work of these artists, whose careers flourished in the second half of the 1400s, Crivelli's miniatures demonstrate a creative use of motifs derived from the art of classical antiquity.