On this day in 1419, painter Gentile da Fabriano requested a letter from Pandolfo III Malatesta, Lord of Fano, Bergamo and Brescia for safe passage to travel to Florence on horseback in the company of seven others. Gentile had been in the service of Malatesta for at least five years, primarily working on frescoes for the chapel of the Brescia court house known as the Broletto. Gentile was invited to join the court of Pope Martin V, then resident in Florence, and he left Brescia four days after requesting, and presumably receiving, his permission. Gentile is widely seen as one of the most important early Quattrocento painters and is praised for his naturalism and engaging narratives. He is also associated with the so-called International Gothic style known for its elegant, delicate forms and lavish use of gold and brilliant colors.

Reference: Hellmut Wohl. “Gentile da Fabriano.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.

Coronation of the Virgin, ca. 1420. Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 77.PB.92

Adoration of the Magi, tempera on panel, 1423. Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi; photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY

Nativity, predella panel of the Adoration of the Magi altarpiece

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