Oderisi da Gubbio
Oderisi da Gubbio (Gubbio, circa 1240 - Rome, 1299) was an Italian painter and manuscript illuminator of the 13th century. Few details of his life are known. Documents to his activities in Bologna span from 1262 to 1271. In 1292, he was called to Rome by Pope Boniface VIII to illuminate manuscripts in the papal library.
Attributed to Oderisi are:
- Illuminated missals from the Canonica della Basilica di San Pietro of Rome;
- Digestium infortiatum of Justinian, National Library of Turin;
- Conradin Bible, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, Maryland, USA;
- Psalter 346, University Library of Bologna;
- A Bible, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.
Oderisi in Dante's Purgatory
Oderisi was immortalized by Dante Alighieri, who placed him in Canto XI of Purgatory. Recognizing him, Dante refers to Oderisi as honor of Gubbio and the honor of that art of illumination sought after in Paris? Oderisi replies that vanity brought him here; that the brush of his pupil, Franco Bolognese is more worthy. In some of the more stunning poetry of the Cantos, he bemoans the ills brought about by earthly vanity:
Oh, vain glory of all human power!
How soon the green from the summit fades,
If not rotted by the age's grossness!
Once the painter Cimabue thought
He held the field; now Giotto is all the rage,
Obscuring the fame of the former.
Also true, no sooner one man takes from another
The glory of our tongue, thereupon another
Is born, who will chase them both from that nest.
Their mundane rumors are but a gust
of wind, shifting from here to there,
changing names, because they change sides.
Even if you could age a thousand years
After the crib and breast; it would be an inch
To eternity, a blink of an eyelid compared
To the slowest of the turning spheres.
Translation from Dante, Purgatorio, XI, 79-123
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