Andrea Mantegna Locations
Mantegna was born in Isola di Carturo, close to Padua in the Republic of Venice, second son of a carpenter, Biagio. At the age of eleven he became the apprentice of Francesco Squarcione, Paduan painter. Squarcione, whose original vocation was tailoring, appears to have had a remarkable enthusiasm for ancient art, and a faculty for acting. Like his famous compatriot Petrarca, Squarcione was something of a fanatic for ancient Rome: he travelled in Italy, and perhaps Greece, amassing antique statues, reliefs, vases, etc., forming a collection of such works, then making drawings from them himself, and throwing open his stores for others to study. All the while, he continued undertaking works on commission for which his pupils no less than himself were made available.
San Zeno Altarpiece, (left panel), 1457-60; San Zeno, VeronaAs many as 137 painters and pictorial students passed through Squarcine's school, which had been established towards 1440 and which became famous all over Italy. Padua was attractive for artists coming not only from Veneto but also from Tuscany, such as Paolo Uccello, Filippo Lippi and Donatello. Mantegna's early career was shaped indeed by impressions of Florentine works. At the time, Mantegna was said to be a favorite pupil; Squarcione taught him the Latin language, and instructed him to study fragments of Roman sculpture. The master also preferred forced perspective, the lingering results of which may account for some Mantegna's later innovations. However, at the age of seventeen, Mantegna separated himself from Squarcione. He later claimed that Squarcione had profited from his work without paying the rights.
His first work, now lost, was an altarpiece for the church of Santa Sofia in 1448. The same year Mantegna was called, together with Nicol?? Pizolo, to work with a large group of painters entrusted with the decoration of the Ovetari Chapel in the apse of the church of Eremitani. It is probable, however, that before this time some of the pupils of Squarcione, including Mantegna, had already begun the series of frescoes in the chapel of S. Cristoforo, in the church of Sant'Agostino degli Eremitani, today considered his masterpiece. After a series of coincidences, Mantegna finished most of the work alone, though Ansuino, who collaborated with Mantegna in the Ovetari Chapel, brought his style in the Forl?? school of painting. The now censorious Squarcione carped about the earlier works of this series, illustrating the life of St James; he said the figures were like men of stone, and had better have been colored stone-color at once.
This series was almost entirely lost in the 1944 Allied bombings of Padua. The most dramatic work of the fresco cycle was the work set in the worm's-eye view perspective, St. James Led to His Execution. (For an example of Mantegna's use of a lowered view point, see the image at right of Saints Peter and Paul; though much less dramatic in its perspective that the St. James picture, the San Zeno altarpiece was done shortly after the St. James cycle was finished, and uses many of the same techniques, including the classicizing architectural structure.)
San Luca Altarpiece, 1453; Tempera on panel; Pinacoteca di Brera, MilanThe sketch of the St. Stephen fresco survived and is the earliest known preliminary sketch which still exists to compare to the corresponding fresco. Despite the authentic look of the monument, it is not a copy of any known Roman structure. Mantegna also adopted the wet drapery patterns of the Romans, who derived the form from the Greek invention, for the clothing of his figures, although the tense figures and interactions are derived from Donatello. The drawing shows proof that nude figures were used in the conception of works during the Early Renaissance. In the preliminary sketch, the perspective is less developed and closer to a more average viewpoint however.
Among the other early Mantegna frescoes are the two saints over the entrance porch of the church of Sant'Antonio in Padua, 1452, and an altarpiece of St. Luke and other saints (at left) for the church of S. Giustina, now in the Brera Gallery in Milan (1453). As the young artist progressed in his work, he came under the influence of Jacopo Bellini, father of the celebrated painters Giovanni and Gentile, and of a daughter Nicolosia. In 1453 Jacopo consented to a marriage between Nicolosia to Mantegna in marriage.
Related Paintings of Andrea Mantegna :. | Maria mit Kind und Engeln | Sebastian | 3rd third of 15th century | Portrait of a Man aaa | Suite of Cardinal Francesco |
Related Artists:Levitsky, Dmitry
Russian Painter, 1735-1822
.Russian painter of Ukrainian birth. Together with Fyodor Rokotov and Vladimir Borovikovsky, he ranks foremost among 18th-century Russian portrait painters. He received his first lessons in painting from his father, Grigory Levitsky-Nos (1697-1769), a priest, engraver and painter. He also studied under Aleksey Antropov, who had come to Kiev to decorate St Andrew's church (1752-5). In the late 1750s Levitsky went with Antropov to St Petersburg, where he stayed until 1764; he continued with lessons from Antropov to whom, it appears, he owed the objectivity that was to characterize his work. It is probable that he also studied at the St Petersburg Academy of Arts, attending classes under Louis Lagren?e. Levitsky worked with Antropov on the decoration of triumphal arches in Moscow for Catherine II's coronation in 1762. His first known portraits are rather formal, for example that of the architect Aleksandr Kokorinov (1769; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.), which won Levitsky the title of Academician in 1770. In such works he made successful use of a compositional structure typical of formal European portrait painting, intended to emphasize the importance of the sitter. Hans Smidth
Hans Ludvig Smidth (2 October 1839, Nakskov - 5 May 1917, Frederiksberg) was a Danish painter. He is remembered above all for his paintings of Jutland and its local inhabitants.
Smidth was the son of the city bailiff of Skive, Edvard Philip Smidth, and the brother of Verner Frederik Læssøe Smidth who founded the cement concern F. L. Smidth & Co. After graduating from school, he began to study medicine but gave it up in favour of art. In 1861, he entered the Danish Academy where he studied under Niels Simonsen. In 1866, he began to experience financial difficulties and left the Academy to continue his studies himself, painting scenes of Limfjord and the moors of Jutland. He first exhibited at Charlottenborg in 1867 with two landscape paintings and continued to exhibit there over the years. His works depicted country life in Jutland, most of them with an emphasis on animals and local figures. He had a talent for form and detail but his use of colour was rather dry, dimishing the appeal of his paintings to the general public. In 1870-71, he studied under Vilhelm Kyhn. As the years went by, Smidth's style developed considerably, earning him the Neuhausen Prize in 1877 for En fremmed spørger om Vej i Bondegaarden paa Heden which was not only technically impressive but showed a fineness of tone. His increasing acceptance as a master of painting in Jutland paved the way for his reputation at the national level.
In fact Smidth had to wait until the year 1900 before he experienced full recognition. That year the Danish Art Society arranged a special exhibition of the artist's work although he was now 60. Unexpectedly 290 of the 300 works sketches and drawings exhibited were sold. In retrospect, his paintings are free of historical or mythical figures, they do not interpret scenes along the lines of the Skagen Painters. They simply depict the views of the people and the countryside as he saw them. His paintings show he had the same respect for the land as the peasants themselves.Emma Minnie Boyd
Australian Painter, 1858-1936