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Cosmè Tura  

b. about 1430 Ferrara, Italy, d. 1495 Ferrara, Italy
painter; illuminator

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Cosmè Tura was an influential and prominent artist in fifteenth-century Ferrara. He developed a sophisticated and exhuberant style in which the figures are often unnaturally attenuated and highly expressive. In 1458, he was officially made court artist under Borso d'Este, ruler of Ferrara. In his capacity as court artist, he was not only a panel and fresco painter, but did everything from painting mule blankets, to designing silver for wedding banquets, to creating tapestry designs. Unfortunately, a number of his most important documented works have been lost, including the decorations of the ducal villa at Belfiore, the library of the humanist Pico della Mirandola; and a chapel at Belriguardo, another ducal retreat. While he is not documented as a manuscript illuminator, in his early years at the Este court he is documented working with the manuscript illuminator Giorgio d'Allemagna on several boxes with religious scenes.

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John the Baptist / Tura
John the Baptist

Italian, about 1470