Vasari's Lives of the Artists
WHEN strangers come to do work in a city in which there are no craftsmen of excellence, there is always some man whose intelligence is afterwards stirred to strive to learn that same art, and to bring it about that from that time onwards there should be no need for strangers to come and embellish his city and carry away her wealth, which he now labours to deserve by his own ability, seeking to acquire for himself those riches that seemed to him too splendid to be given to foreigners. This was made clearly manifest by Galasso Ferrarese, who, seeing Piero dal Borgo a San Sepolcro rewarded by the Duke of Ferrara for the works that he executed, and also honourably received in Ferrara, was incited so strongly by such an example, after Piero's departure, to devote himself to painting, that he acquired the name of a good and excellent master in Ferrara. Besides this, he was held in all the greater favour in that place for having gone to Venice and there learnt the method of painting in oil, which he brought to his native place, for he afterwards made an infinity of figures in that manner, which are scattered about in many churches throughout Ferrara.
Next, having gone to Bologna, whither he was summoned by certain Dominican friars, he painted in oil a chapel in S. Domenico ; and so his fame increased, together with his credit. After this he paintedmany pictures in fresco in S. Maria del Monte, a seat of the Black Friars without Bologna, beyond the Porta di S. Mammolo; and the whole church of the Casa di Mezzo, on the same road, was likewise painted by his hand with works in fresco, in which he depicted the stories of the Old Testament.
His life was ever most praiseworthy, and he showed himself very courteous and agreeable; which arose from his being used to live and dwell more out of his native place than in it. It is true, indeed, that through his being somewhat irregular in his way of living, his life did not last long; for he left it at the age of about fifty, to go to that life which has no end. After his death he was honored by a friend with the following epitaph:GALASSUS FERRARIENSIS. SUM TANTO STUDIO NATURAM IMITATUS ET ARTE DUM PINGO RERUM QU^E GREAT ILLA PARENS ; HMC UT SEPE QUIDEM NON PICTA PUTAVERIT A ME, A SE CREDIDERIT SED GENERATA MAGIS.
In these same times lived Cosine, also of Ferrara. Works by his hand that are to be seen are a chapel in S. Domenico in the said city, and two folding-doors that close the organ in the Duomo. This man was better as a draughtsman than as a painter; indeed, from what I have been able to gather, he does not seem to have painted much.
Original editor's note: * This Life appears only in Vasari's first edition.