Bono da Ferrara
( fl 145052).
Italian painter. An artist of this name is documented working in Siena Cathedral in 1442 and 1461, but he cannot be identified with certainty as the painter mentioned in the payments registers of the dEste family for 145052, who frescoed a loggia in the delizia of Migliaro for Borso dEste, 1st Duke of Ferrara and Modena, and who worked in the houses at Casaglia and in the studiolo of the Palazzo di Belfiore (all these works are untraced). The latter was certainly the painter whose signature OPVS BONI appears on the large fresco of St Christopher (destr. 1944) in the Ovetari Chapel in the church of the Eremitani, Padua, for which he received payments on 24 and 30 July 1451. The St Jerome (ex-Gal. Costabili, Ferrara; London, N.G.), signed BONVS FERRARIENSIS PISANJ DISCIPVLVS (Bono da Ferrara pupil of Pisanello), may reasonably be assigned to Bono on the basis of technical analysis and probably pre-dates the Paduan work. The undeniable mark of Pisanello in the painting led Venturi and Longhi, among others, to reject the signature and assign the painting to Pisanello himself. This argument is supported by a contemporary statement by Guarino Veronese documenting a painting of St Jerome by Pisanello in Ferrara. It seems preferable, however, to accept the attribution to Bono at a period when he was still strongly influenced by his master. The untraced painting cited by Guarino probably provided the basis for Bonos compositional scheme. The Paduan fresco and the Virgin and Child (c. 145060; Budapest, Mus. F.A.) strongly recall the works of Mantegna, the major figure involved in the decoration of the Ovetari Chapel, and also demonstrate Bonos marked interest both in the new Tuscan ideas then circulating among north Italian painters, in particular Piero della Francesca, and, still more strongly, in the powerful monumentality of Andrea del Castagno.