Niccolò da Bologna was one of the most important and prolific manuscript illuminators of the fourteenth century in Bologna, a university town famous for its law faculty. He is known especially for his expressive figures and crowded, action-filled narrative scenes. The first signed works by Niccolò are all copies of Gratian's Decretals, one of the standard works of canon law. He and his workshop later illuminated a variety of other manuscripts, including university texts, choir books and other liturgical texts, private devotional books, and even works of secular poetry and drama. Niccolò also illuminated a number of specialty books made for various corporate groups in the city, such as statute books and guild registers. He was a financially successful artist who was appointed illuminator to the city in the 1380s and was also an active member of city government.