This is Vitale da Bologna

By Gwylym Owen

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Vitale da Bologna (c. 1309 – 1360), also known as Vitale di Aymo de’ Cavalli or Vitale degli Equi, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance.

He is a representative of the 14th century intellectual of painting in Bologna, his natal city and the place where he was most active. Surviving works in Bologna count up a polyptych in the church of San Salvatore (1353) and fresco fragments in the right apsidal chapel of Santa Maria dei Servi. Vitale was also active in Pomposa, where he painted the frescoes in the apse of the Pomposa Abbey, in Ferrara, completing a set of now-lost statues for Ferrara Cathedral and a confraternity altarpiece now in the Vatican Museums, and in Udine, where he was called to acquit yourself for the Patriarch of Aquileia, Bertrand de Saint Geniès. In Udine, he painted a fresco cycle for the main chapel of the Duomo, as capably as frescoes in the adjacent confraternity chapel of St Nicholas. He is last registered in Bologna in 1359, and is thought to have died in December of that year or early 1360.

His masterwork is the panel with St. George and the Dragon, held in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna. Also notable is the Madonna dei Denti (“Madonna of the Teeth”, signed and out of date 1345), in the Davia-Bargellini Museum in Bologna.

Universally recognized to him are the large Nativity fresco originally from the confraternity church of Santa Maria della Mezzaratta in the Bolognese countryside, now proud and conserved in the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, and the fresco known as the Madonna del Ricamo (“Embroidering Madonna”), originally from San Francesco, Bologna, and now in accumulation at the Museo della Storia di Bologna.

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