Pentecost

Object Details

Title:

Pentecost

Artist/Maker(s):

Girolamo da Cremona (Italian, active about 1450 - 1485)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1460 - 1470

Medium:

Tempera colors and gold paint on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 20.1 x 12.9 cm (7 15/16 x 5 1/16 in.)

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Aligned with the figure of the Virgin Mary, the dove of the Holy Spirit descends toward the apostles, who hold their hands folded together or outspread in a variety of positions of prayer. A sense of serenity and calm pervades this depiction of the Pentecost.

Although only eight inches tall, this miniature has an impressive monumentality. The illuminator Girolamo da Cremona used the compositional and mathematical principles employed by fifteenth-century painters who worked on a larger scale. The miniature is symmetrically organized around the clear central axis of the Virgin and the dove: windows flank the dove, an equal number of apostles kneel in parallel rows, and candlesticks and books on the mantelpiece frame the Virgin. To relieve the monotony of the strict symmetry, the artist varied details such as the colors of the apostles' robes, the men's gestures, and the arrangement of books around the candles. Similarly, an open window opposes a closed one.

The Pentecost miniature was made for a liturgical book or a book of private devotion. No other part of the manuscript has come to light.

Related Works
Exhibitions
Masterpieces of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscript illumination (December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to March 22, 1998
Italian Manuscript Illumination (May 9 to July 30, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 9 to July 30, 2000
Illuminating Color (May 22 to August 26, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 22 to August 26, 2001
A Treasury of Fifteenth Century Manuscript Illumination (March 26 to June 16, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 26 to June 16, 2002
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance (March 29 to June 12, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 29 to June 12, 2005
Masterpieces in Miniature: Italian Manuscript Illumination from the J. Paul Getty Museum (September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), September 25, 2005 to January 2, 2006