Italian Early Renaissance Painter, ca.1455-1508
Painter and illuminator, half-brother of Cristoforo de Predis. He began his career as an illuminator, working with Cristoforo. His first documented works are seven miniatures for a Book of Hours (1472; destr.) for Vitaliano Borromeo (1451-95) and a Book of Hours for Francesco Borromeo. He was paid for the latter in 1474, and the codex can probably be identified with the Horae Beatae Virginis Mariae (ex-H. P. Kraus, New York, 1987; Suida, 1959). From 1479 he artist worked in the Milanese mint, together with his brother Bernardino. For some years Giovanni Ambrogio also worked at the court of Ludovico Sforza ('il Moro'), especially as a portrait painter. This is borne out by the charcoal drawing of Bianca Maria Sforza (1492; Venice, Accad.), which dates from a period before her marriage to Emperor Maximilian I. The portrait was ordered by her future husband, through Frederick III, Duke of Saxony, to give him an idea of her appearance. It was favourably received, and later a painting of the same subject (Washington, DC, N.G.A.) was commissioned from Giovanni Ambrogio.