Bartolomeo della Gatta
[Pietro di Antonio Dei]
(b Florence, 1448; d Florence, Dec 1502).
Italian painter, illuminator and architect. The son of a goldsmith,
he was enrolled in the Florentine goldsmiths’ guild at the age of
five. Later he must have frequented the workshops of Antonio and
Piero Pollaiuolo and, particularly, that of Andrea Verrocchio, where
the major artists of his generation, such as Botticelli,
Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Lorenzo di Credi, Perugino and
Signorelli, used to meet. He probably also had contacts with artists
in Arezzo, especially Piero della Francesca, and in Urbino, where
Piero, Melozzo da Forlí, Donato Bramante, Justus of Ghent and Pedro
Berruguete worked. Early links with Urbino are also suggested by his
friendship, noted by Vasari, with Gentile de’ Becchi of Urbino
(later Bishop of Arezzo) and by a miniature of the Martyrdom of St
Agatha, definitely by his hand, in gradual D of Urbino Cathedral
(Cathedral archv). In 1468 he took holy orders, probably in the
Camaldolese monastery of S Maria degli Angeli, Florence, which his
brother Nicolò had already entered. In 1470 he was in Arezzo at the
convent of S Maria in Gradi and had the adopted name of Bartolomeo
(‘della Gatta’ apparently refers to his fondness for a female cat).
He spent most of the rest of his life in Arezzo, where he became
abbot of S Clemente.