Andrea Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna

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Andrea Mantegna was an Italian painter, a student of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini
Jacopo Bellini
Jacopo Bellini was an Italian painter. Jacopo was one of the founders of the Renaissance style of painting in Venice and northern Italy. His sons Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, and his son-in-law Andrea Mantegna, were also famous painters....

. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective
Perspective (graphical)
Perspective in the graphic arts, such as drawing, is an approximate representation, on a flat surface , of an image as it is seen by the eye...

, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints
Old master print
An old master print is a work of art produced by a printing process within the Western tradition . A date of about 1830 is usually taken as marking the end of the period whose prints are covered by this term. The main techniques concerned are woodcut, engraving and etching, although there are...

 in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 before 1500.

Youth and education


Mantegna was born in Isola di Carturo, close to Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

 (then part of the Republic of Venice
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

), second son of a carpenter, Biagio. At the age of eleven he became the apprentice of Francesco Squarcione
Francesco Squarcione
Francesco Squarcione was an Italian artist from Padua. His pupils included Andrea Mantegna , Cosimo Tura and Carlo Crivelli...

, Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

n 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
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

: he travelled in Italy, and perhaps Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

, 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.

As many as 137 painters and pictorial students passed through Squarcione'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
Veneto
Veneto is one of the 20 regions of Italy. Its population is about 5 million, ranking 5th in Italy.Veneto had been for more than a millennium an independent state, the Republic of Venice, until it was eventually annexed by Italy in 1866 after brief Austrian and French rule...

 but also from Tuscany
Tuscany
Tuscany is a region in Italy. It has an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.75 million inhabitants. The regional capital is Florence ....

, such as Paolo Uccello
Paolo Uccello
Paolo Uccello , born Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter and a mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. Giorgio Vasari in his book Lives of the Artists wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his...

, Filippo Lippi
Filippo Lippi
Fra' Filippo Lippi , also called Lippo Lippi, was an Italian painter of the Italian Quattrocento .-Biography and works:...

 and Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

. 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
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

. The master also preferred forced perspective
Forced perspective
Forced perspective is a technique that employs optical illusion to make an object appear farther away, closer, larger or smaller than it actually is. It is used primarily in photography, filmmaking and architecture...

, the lingering results of which may account for some of 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 Nicolò Pizolo, to work with a large group of painters entrusted with the decoration of the Ovetari Chapel
Ovetari Chapel
The Ovetari Chapel is a chapel in the right arm of the Church of the Eremitani in Padua. It is renowned for a Renaissance fresco cycle by Andrea Mantegna and others, painted from 1448 to 1457. The cycle was destroyed by an Allied bombing in 1944: today, only two scenes and a few fragments survive,...

 in the transept
Transept
For the periodical go to The Transept.A transept is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture...

 of the church of the Eremitani
Church of the Eremitani
The Church of the Eremitani , or Church of the Hermits, is an Augustinian church of the 13th century in Padua, northern Italy....

. 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
Ansuino da Forlì
Ansuino da Forlì was an Italian painter of the Quattrocento period. Born and active in Forlì and Padua in the mid-15th century, he was a member of a Forlì painting school and influed the great Melozzo da Forlì....

, who collaborated with Mantegna in the Ovetari Chapel, brought his style in the Forlì 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
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

. The most dramatic work of the fresco cycle was the work set in the worm's-eye view
Worm's-eye view
A worm's-eye view is a view of an object from below, as though the observer were a worm; the opposite of a bird's-eye view.A worm's eye view is used commonly for third perspective when you put one vanishing point on top, one on the left, and one on the right....

 perspective, St. James Led to His Execution
St. James Led to His Execution
St. James Led to His Execution was a painting by Andrea Mantegna. It was destroyed on March 11, 1944, when the Ovetari Chapel in Padua was bombed by the Allies during World War II.The British Museum owns a preparatory drawing for the painting....

. (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 than the St. James picture, the San Zeno
San Zeno Altarpiece (Mantegna)
The San Zeno Altarpiece is a triptych by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, from c. 1457-1460. It is located in the Basilica di San Zeno, the main church of Verona. The three predellas were stripped by the French in 1797, and are now replaced by copies...

 altarpiece was done shortly after the St. James cycle was finished, and uses many of the same techniques, including the classicizing architectural structure.)

The 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
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 invention, for the clothing of his figures, although the tense figures and interactions are derived from Donatello
Donatello
Donato di Niccolò di Betto Bardi , also known as Donatello, was an early Renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence...

. The drawing shows proof that nude figures were used in the conception of works during the Early Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

. 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
Justina of Padua
Saint Justina of Padua is a Christian saint who was said to have been martyred in 304 AD. Justina was said to have been a young woman who took private vows of chastity and was killed during the persecutions of Diocletian. She is a patron saint of Padua.Medieval histories described her as a...

, now in the Brera Gallery in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 (1453). As the young artist progressed in his work, he came under the influence of Jacopo Bellini
Jacopo Bellini
Jacopo Bellini was an Italian painter. Jacopo was one of the founders of the Renaissance style of painting in Venice and northern Italy. His sons Gentile and Giovanni Bellini, and his son-in-law Andrea Mantegna, were also famous painters....

, father of the celebrated painters Giovanni
Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

 and Gentile
Gentile Bellini
Gentile Bellini was an Italian painter. From 1474 he was the official portrait artist for the Doges of Venice.- Biography :...

, and of a daughter Nicolosia. In 1453 Jacopo consented to a marriage between Nicolosia and Mantegna.

Aesthetic


Andrea seems to have been influenced by his old preceptor's strictures, although his later subjects, for example, those from the legend of St. Christopher, combine his sculptural style with a greater sense of naturalism and vivacity. Trained as he had been in the study of marbles and the severity of the antique, Mantegna openly avowed that he considered ancient art superior to nature as being more eclectic in form. As a result, the painter exercised precision in outline, privileging the figure. Overall, Mantegna's work thus tended towards rigidity, demonstrating an austere wholeness rather than graceful sensitivity of expression. His draperies are tight and closely folded, being studied (it is said) from models draped in paper and woven fabrics gummed in place. His figures are slim, muscular and bony; the action impetuous but of arrested energy. Finally, tawny landscape, gritty with littering pebbles, marks the athletic hauteur of his style.

Mantegna never changed the manner which he had adopted in Padua, though his coloring—at first neutral and undecided—strengthened and matured. Throughout his works there is more balancing of color than fineness of tone. One of his great aims was optical illusion, carried out by a mastery of perspective which, though not always mathematically correct, attained an astonishing effect in those times.

Successful and admired though he was there, Mantegna left his native Padua at an early age, and never resettled there again; the hostility of Squarcione has been assigned as the cause. He spent the rest of his life in Verona
Verona
Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

, Mantua
Mantua
Mantua is a city and comune in Lombardy, Italy and capital of the province of the same name. Mantua's historic power and influence under the Gonzaga family, made it one of the main artistic, cultural and notably musical hubs of Northern Italy and the country as a whole...

 and Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

; it has not been confirmed that he also stayed in Venice
Venice
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 and Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

. In Verona around 1459, he painted, a grand altarpiece for the church of San Zeno Maggiore, a Madonna and angels, with four saints on each side (at right; detail above).

Work in Mantua


The Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga of Mantua had for some time been pressing Mantegna to enter his service; and the following year, 1460 Mantegna was appointed court artist. He resided at first from time to time at Goito
Goito
Goito is a comune of Lombardy, Italy, in the Province of Mantua, from which it is some 20 km, on the road to Brescia. It is situated on the right bank of the Mincio River near the bridge.-History:...

, but, from December 1466 onwards, he moved with his family to Mantua. His engagement was for a salary of 75 lire
Lire
Lire is a French literary magazine covering both French and foreign literature. It was founded in 1975 by Jean-Louis Servan-Schreiber and Bernard Pivot.-External links:*...

 a month, a sum so large for that period as to mark conspicuously the high regard in which his art was held. He was in fact the first painter of any eminence ever domiciled in Mantua.

His Mantuan masterpiece was painted in the apartment of the Castle of the city, today known as Camera degli Sposi (literally, "Wedding Chamber"): a series of full compositions in fresco including various portraits of the Gonzaga
House of Gonzaga
The Gonzaga family ruled Mantua in Northern Italy from 1328 to 1708.-History:In 1433, Gianfrancesco I assumed the title of Marquis of Mantua, and in 1530 Federico II received the title of Duke of Mantua. In 1531, the family acquired the Duchy of Monferrato through marriage...

 family and some figures of genii.

The Chamber's decoration was finished presumably in 1474. The ten years that followed were not happy ones for Mantegna and Mantua: his character grew irritable, his son Bernardino died, as well as the marquis Ludovico, his wife Barbara and his successor Federico (who had declared Mantegna cavaliere, "knight" ). Only with the election of Francesco II of Gonzaga did the artistic commissions in Mantua begin again. He built a stately house in the area of the church of San Sebastiano, and adorned it with a multitude of paintings. The house can be still seen today, although the pictures have perished. In this period he began to collect some ancient Roman busts (which were donated to Lorenzo de Medici when the Florentine
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 leader visited Mantua in 1483), painted some architectonic and decorative fragments, and finished the intense St. Sebastian
St. Sebastian (Mantegna)
St. Sebastian is the subject of three paintings by the Italian Early Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna. The Paduan artist lived in a period of frequent plagues; Sebastian was considered protector against the plague as having been shot through by arrows, and it was thought that plague spread abroad...

 now in the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

 (box at top).

In 1488 Mantegna was called by Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII
Pope Innocent VIII , born Giovanni Battista Cybo , was Pope from 1484 until his death.-Early years:Giovanni Battista Cybo was born at Genoa of Greek extraction...

 to paint frescos in a chapel Belvedere in the Vatican
Vatican City
Vatican City , or Vatican City State, in Italian officially Stato della Città del Vaticano , which translates literally as State of the City of the Vatican, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, Italy. It has an area of...

. This series of frescos, including a noted Baptism of Christ, was destroyed by Pius VI
Pope Pius VI
Pope Pius VI , born Count Giovanni Angelo Braschi, was Pope from 1775 to 1799.-Early years:Braschi was born in Cesena...

 in 1780. The pope treated Mantegna with less liberality than he had been used to at the Mantuan court; but all things considered their connection, which ceased in 1500, was not unsatisfactory to either party. Mantegna also met the famous Turkish
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 hostage Jem and studied with attention the ancient monuments, but his impression of the city was a disappointing one as a whole. Returned to Mantua in 1490, he embraced again his more literary and bitter vision of antiquity, and entered in strong connection with the new marquise, the cultured and intelligent Isabella d'Este
Isabella d'Este
Isabella d'Este was Marchesa of Mantua and one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance as a major cultural and political figure. She was a patron of the arts as well as a leader of fashion, whose innovative style of dressing was copied by women throughout Italy and at the French court...

.

In what was now his city he went on with the nine tempera pictures of the Triumphs of Caesar, which he had probably begun before his leaving for Rome, and which he finished around 1492. These superbly invented and designed compositions are gorgeous with the splendour of their subject-matter, and with the classical learning and enthusiasm of one of the master-spirits of the age. Considered Mantegna's finest work, they were sold in 1628 along with the bulk of the Mantuan art treasures to King Charles I of England
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

. They are now in Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace
Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

, somewhat faded, but many repaintings have been removed in a recent restoration. His workshop produced a series of engravings after them, which largely account for their rapid fame throughout Europe.

Later years


In spite of declining health, Mantegna continued to be active. Other works of this period include the Madonna of the Caves, the St. Sebastian
St. Sebastian (Mantegna)
St. Sebastian is the subject of three paintings by the Italian Early Renaissance master Andrea Mantegna. The Paduan artist lived in a period of frequent plagues; Sebastian was considered protector against the plague as having been shot through by arrows, and it was thought that plague spread abroad...

 and the famous Lamentation over the Dead Christ
The Lamentation over the Dead Christ (Mantegna)
The Lamentation of Christ is a c. 1480 painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. While the dating of the piece is debated, is generally believed to have been completed between 1475 and 1501. It portrays the body Christ supine on a marble slab. He is watched over by the Virgin...

, probably painted for his personal funerary chapel. Another work of Mantegna's later years was the so-called Madonna della Vittoria
Madonna della Vittoria
The Madonna della Vittoria is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, executed in 1496.-History:On 6 July 1495 the French army of Charles VIII of France and that of the Holy League of the Italin states led by Francesco II Gonzaga clashed at the battle of Fornovo, the latter...

, now in the Louvre
Louvre
The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

. It was painted in tempera about 1495, in commemoration of the Battle of Fornovo
Battle of Fornovo
The Battle of Fornovo took place 30 km southwest of the city of Parma on 6 July 1495. The League of Venice was able to temporarily expel the French from the Italian Peninsula. It was the first major battle of the Italian Wars.-Antecedents:...

, whose disputable outcome Francesco Gonzaga was eager to show as an Italian League
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 victory; the church which originally housed the picture was built from Mantegna's own design. The Madonna is here depicted with various saints, the archangel Michael and St. Maurice holding her mantle, which is extended over the kneeling Francesco Gonzaga, amid a profusion of rich festooning and other accessory. Though not in all respects of his highest order of execution, this counts among the most obviously beautiful and attractive of Mantegna's works from which the qualities of beauty and attraction are often excluded, in the stringent pursuit of those other excellences more germane to his severe genius, tense energy passing into haggard passion.

After 1497 Mantegna was commissioned by Isabella d'Este
Isabella d'Este
Isabella d'Este was Marchesa of Mantua and one of the leading women of the Italian Renaissance as a major cultural and political figure. She was a patron of the arts as well as a leader of fashion, whose innovative style of dressing was copied by women throughout Italy and at the French court...

 to translate the mythological themes written by the court poet Paride Ceresara into paintings for her private apartment (studiolo) in the Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale di Mantova
The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova is a group of buildings in Mantua, Lombardy, northern Italy, built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are...

. These paintings were dispersed in the following years: one of them, the legend of the God Comus, was left unfinished by Mantegna and completed by his successor as court painter in Mantua, Lorenzo Costa
Lorenzo Costa
Lorenzo Costa was an Italian painter of the Renaissance.-Biography:He was born at Ferrara, but moved to Bologna by the his early twenties, and would be more influential to the Bolognese school of painting. However, many artists worked in both nearby cities, and thus others consider him a product...

.

After the death of his wife, Mantegna became at an advanced age the father of a natural son, Giovanni Andrea; and at the last, although he continued launching out into various expenses and schemes, he had serious tribulations, such as the banishment from Mantua of his son Francesco, who had incurred the marquis' displeasure. Perhaps the aged master and connoisseur regarded as barely less trying the hard necessity of parting with a beloved antique bust of Faustina.

Very soon after this transaction he died in Mantua, on September 13, 1506. In 1516, a handsome monument was set up to him by his sons in the church of Sant'Andrea
Basilica di Sant'Andrea di Mantova
The Basilica concattedrale di Sant'Andrea is a Renaissance roman catholic church and minor basilica in Mantua, Lombardy .Commissioned by Ludovico II Gonzaga, the church was begun in 1462 according to designs by Leon Battista Alberti on a site occupied by a Benedictine monastery, of which the bell...

, where he had painted the altar-piece of the mortuary chapel. The dome is decorated by Correggio.

Engravings


Mantegna was no less eminent as an engraver, though his history in that respect is somewhat obscure, partly because he never signed or dated any of his plates, but for a single disputed instance of 1472. The account which has come down to us from Vasari (as usual keen to assert that everything flows from Florence) is that Mantegna began engraving in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

, prompted by the engravings produced by the Florentine
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 Baccio Baldini
Baccio Baldini
Baccio Baldini was an Italian engraver of the Renaissance, active in his native Florence.-Biography:Little is known of Baldini's life...

 after Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
Alessandro di Mariano di Vanni Filipepi, better known as Sandro Botticelli was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance...

. This is now considered most unlikely as it would consign all the numerous and elaborate engravings made by Mantegna to the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life, which seems a scanty space for them, and besides the earlier engravings indicate an earlier period of his artistic style. He may have begun engraving while still in Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

, under the tuition of a distinguished goldsmith, Niccolò. He and his workshop engraved about thirty plates, according to the usual reckoning; large, full of figures, and highly studied. It is now considered either that he only engraved seven himself, or none. Another artist from the workshop who made several plates is usually identified as Zoan Andrea.

Among the principal examples are: Battle of the Sea Monsters, Virgin and Child, a Bacchanal Festival, Hercules and Antaeus, Marine Gods, Judith with the Head of Holophernes, the Deposition from the Cross, the Entombment, the Resurrection, the Man of Sorrows, the Virgin in a Grotto, and several scenes from the Triumph of Julius Caesar after his paintings. Several of his engravings are supposed to be executed on some metal less hard than copper. The technique of himself and his followers is characterized by the strongly marked forms of the design, and by the parallel hatch marks to produce shadows. The closer the parallel marks, the darker the blacks were. The prints are frequently to be found in two states
State (printmaking)
A state, in printmaking, is a different form of a print, caused by a deliberate and permanent change to a matrix such as a copper plate or woodblock ....

, or editions. In the first state the prints have been taken off with the roller, or even by handpressing, and they are weak in tint; in the second state the printing press has been used, and the ink is stronger.

Neither Mantegna or his workshop are now believed to have produced the so-called Mantegna Tarocchi
Mantegna Tarocchi
The Mantegna Tarocchi, also known as the Tarocchi Cards, Tarocchi in the style of Mantegna, Baldini Cards, are two different sets each of fifty 15th century Italian old master prints in engraving, by two different unknown artists...

 cards.


Assessment and legacy


Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari
Giorgio Vasari was an Italian painter, writer, historian, and architect, who is famous today for his biographies of Italian artists, considered the ideological foundation of art-historical writing.-Biography:...

 eulogizes Mantegna, although pointing out his litigious character. He had been fond of his fellow-pupils at Padua
Padua
Padua is a city and comune in the Veneto, northern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Padua and the economic and communications hub of the area. Padua's population is 212,500 . The city is sometimes included, with Venice and Treviso, in the Padua-Treviso-Venice Metropolitan Area, having...

: and for two of them, Dario da Trevigi and Marco Zoppo
Marco Zoppo
Marco Zoppo was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period, active mainly in his native Bologna. He was a pupil of the painter Lippo Dalmasio then for a few years with Francesco Squarcione around 1455, and thus part of the Bolognese School of painting. He was a contemporary of Andrea Mantegna...

, he retained a steady friendship. Mantegna became very expensive in his habits, fell at times into difficulties, and had to urge his valid claims upon the marquis' attention.

In solid antique taste, Mantegna distanced all contemporary competition. Though substantially related to the 15th century, the influence of Mantegna on the style and tendency of his age was very marked over Italian art generally. Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini
Giovanni Bellini was an Italian Renaissance painter, probably the best known of the Bellini family of Venetian painters. His father was Jacopo Bellini, his brother was Gentile Bellini, and his brother-in-law was Andrea Mantegna. He is considered to have revolutionized Venetian painting, moving it...

, in his earlier works, obviously followed the lead of his brother-in-law Andrea. Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer
Albrecht Dürer was a German painter, printmaker, engraver, mathematician, and theorist from Nuremberg. His prints established his reputation across Europe when he was still in his twenties, and he has been conventionally regarded as the greatest artist of the Northern Renaissance ever since...

 was influenced by his style during his two trips in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo da Vinci
Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance...

 took from Mantegna the use of decorations with festoons and fruit.

Mantegna's main legacy in considered the introduction of spatial illusionism, both in frescoes and in sacra conversazione
Sacra conversazione
In art, a sacra conversazione or sacred conversation is a depiction of the Virgin and Child amidst a group of saints in a relatively informal grouping, as opposed to the more rigid and hierarchical compositions of earlier periods...

 paintings: his tradition of ceiling decoration was followed for almost three centuries. Starting from the faint cupola of the Camera degli Sposi
Palazzo Ducale di Mantova
The Palazzo Ducale di Mantova is a group of buildings in Mantua, Lombardy, northern Italy, built between the 14th and the 17th century mainly by the noble family of Gonzaga as their royal residence in the capital of their Duchy. The buildings are connected by corridors and galleries and are...

, Correggio brought on his master and collaborator's research in perspective constructions, producing eventually a masterwork like the dome of Cathedral of Parma
Cathedral of Parma
Parma Cathedral is a cathedral church in Parma, Emilia-Romagna . It is an important Italian Romanesque cathedral: the dome, in particular, is decorated by a highly influential illusionistic fresco by Renaissance painter Antonio da Correggio....

.

Major works


  • St. Jerome in the Wilderness (c. 1448–1451) - Tempera on wood, 48 x 36 cm, São Paulo Museum of Art, São Paulo
    São Paulo
    São Paulo is the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world's seventh largest city by population. The metropolis is anchor to the São Paulo metropolitan area, ranked as the second-most populous metropolitan area in the Americas and among...

    , Brazil
    Brazil
    Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

  • The Adoration of the Shepherds (c. 1451–1453) - Tempera on canvas transferred from wood, 40 x 55,6 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art
    Metropolitan Museum of Art
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

    , New York
    New York City
    New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

  • San Luca Altarpiece
    San Luca Altarpiece
    The San Luca Altarpiece, also known as the San Luca Polyptych, is a polyptych panel painting by Northern Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna. The altarpiece is a polyptych panel painting featuring 12 figures each in his or her own arch. The seven figures in the top row flank the central...

     (1453) - Panel, 177 x 230 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

     
  • Presentation at the Temple
    Presentation at the Temple (Mantegna)
    The Presentation at the Temple is painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. Dating to c. 1455, it is housed in the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.-History:...

     (c. 1455) - Tempera on wood, 68.9 x 86.3 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany
  • Crucifixion (1457–1459) - Wood, 67 x 93 cm, Louvre
    Louvre
    The Musée du Louvre – in English, the Louvre Museum or simply the Louvre – is one of the world's largest museums, the most visited art museum in the world and a historic monument. A central landmark of Paris, it is located on the Right Bank of the Seine in the 1st arrondissement...

    , Paris
    Paris
    Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

  • Christ as the Suffering Redeemer
    Christ as the Suffering Redeemer (Mantegna)
    The Christ as the Suffering Redeemer is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, dated to c. 1488-1500 and housed in the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen, Denmark.-History:...

     (1495–1500) - Tempera on wood, 78 x 48 cm, Statens Museum for Kunst
    Statens Museum for Kunst
    Statens Museum for Kunst is the Danish national gallery located in Copenhagen....

    , Copenhagen
    Copenhagen
    Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

    , Denmark
  • Agony in the Garden (c. 1459) - Tempera on wood, 63 x 80 cm, National Gallery
    National Gallery, London
    The National Gallery is an art museum on Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900. The gallery is an exempt charity, and a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture, Media...

    , London
    London
    London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

  • Portrait of Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan
    Portrait of Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan
    The Portrait of Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, dated to c. 1459-1460.-History:...

    , (c. 1459–1460) - Tempera on wood, 44 x 33 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
    Berlin
    Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

  • St. Bernardino of Siena between Two Angels, (attributed, 1460) - Tempera on canvas, 385 x 220 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

  • Portrait of a Man
    Portrait of a Man (Mantegna)
    Portrait of a Man is a painting attributed to the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. It is housed in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.-History:...

     (c. 1460-1470) - Wood, 24.2 x 19 cm, National Gallery of Art
    National Gallery of Art
    The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden is a national art museum, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC...

    , Washington
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

    , USA
  • Death of the Virgin
    Death of the Virgin (Mantegna)
    The Death of the Virgin is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, from c. 1462-1464.In this picture Mantegna depicts the last moment of Mary's life within a space defined by classical architectures, with a squared pavement which leads the observer's eyes towards the bed on...

     (c. 1461) - Panel, 54 x 42 cm, Museo del Prado
    Museo del Prado
    The Museo del Prado is the main Spanish national art museum, located in central Madrid. It features one of the world's finest collections of European art, from the 12th century to the early 19th century, based on the former Spanish Royal Collection, and unquestionably the best single collection of...

    , Madrid
    Madrid
    Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

  • Portrait of Francesco Gonzaga
    Portrait of Francesco Gonzaga
    Portrait of Francesco Gonzaga is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. It is housed in the National Museum of Capodimonte, Naples, Italy....

     (c. 1461) - Panel, 25 x 18 cm, Capodimonte Museum, Naples
    Naples
    Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

  • Madonna with Sleeping Child (c. 1465–1470) - Oil on canvas, 43x32 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
  • St. George (c. 1460) - Tempera on panel, 66 x 32 cm, Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice
    Venice
    Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

     
  • San Zeno Altarpiece (1457–1460) - Panel, 480 x 450 cm, San Zeno, Verona
    Verona
    Verona ; German Bern, Dietrichsbern or Welschbern) is a city in the Veneto, northern Italy, with approx. 265,000 inhabitants and one of the seven chef-lieus of the region. It is the second largest city municipality in the region and the third of North-Eastern Italy. The metropolitan area of Verona...

  • St. Sebastian (c. 1457–1459) - Wood, 68 x 30 cm, Kunsthistorisches Museum
    Kunsthistorisches Museum
    The Kunsthistorisches Museum is an art museum in Vienna, Austria. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome...

    , Vienna
    Vienna
    Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

    http://www.wga.hu/html/m/mantegna/1/sebastia.html
  • St. Sebastian - Panel, 255 x 140 cm, Louvre, Paris
  • Adoration of the Magi
    Adoration of the Magi (Mantegna)
    The Adoration of the Magi is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, from 1462.Together with The Ascension and The Circumcision, it forms a triptych created in 1827 at the Uffizi, where the picture can still be seen...

     (1462) - Tempera on panel, 76 x 76.5 cm, Uffizi, Florence
  • The Ascension (1462) - Tempera on panel, 86 x 42.5 cm, Uffizi, Florence
  • The Circumcision (1462–1464) - Tempera on panel, 86 x 42.5 cm, Uffizi, Florence
  • Portrait of Carlo de' Medici (c. 1459-1466) - Tempera on panel, 40.6 x 29.5 cm, Uffizi
    Uffizi
    The Uffizi Gallery , is a museum in Florence, Italy. It is one of the oldest and most famous art museums of the Western world.-History:...

    , Florence
    Florence
    Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

  • The Madonna of the Cherubim (c. 1485) - Panel, 88 x 70 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
    Milan
    Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

     
  • Triumph of Caesar (c. 1486) - Hampton Court Palace
    Hampton Court Palace
    Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, Greater London; it has not been inhabited by the British royal family since the 18th century. The palace is located south west of Charing Cross and upstream of Central London on the River Thames...

    , England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

  • The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
    The Lamentation over the Dead Christ (Mantegna)
    The Lamentation of Christ is a c. 1480 painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna. While the dating of the piece is debated, is generally believed to have been completed between 1475 and 1501. It portrays the body Christ supine on a marble slab. He is watched over by the Virgin...

     (c. 1490) - Tempera on canvas, 68 x 81 cm, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milanhttp://www.wga.hu/html/m/mantegna/2/dead_chr.html
  • Madonna of the Caves (1489–1490) - Uffizi, Florence
  • St. Sebastian (1490) - Panel, 68 x 30 cm, Ca' d'Oro
    Ca' d'Oro
    Ca' d'Oro is a palace on the Grand Canal in Venice, northern Italy. One of the older palazzi, it has always been known as Ca' d'Oro due to the gilt and polychrome external decorations which once adorned its walls.The Palazzo was built between 1428 and 1430 for the Contarini family, who provided...

    , Venice
    Venice
    Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

  • Madonna della Vittoria
    Madonna della Vittoria
    The Madonna della Vittoria is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, executed in 1496.-History:On 6 July 1495 the French army of Charles VIII of France and that of the Holy League of the Italin states led by Francesco II Gonzaga clashed at the battle of Fornovo, the latter...

     (1495) - Tempera on canvas, 285 x 168 cm, Louvre, Paris
  • Holy Family (c. 1495–1500) - Tempera on canvas, 75.5 x 61.5 cm, The Dresden Gallery, Dresden
    Dresden
    Dresden is the capital city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated in a valley on the River Elbe, near the Czech border. The Dresden conurbation is part of the Saxon Triangle metropolitan area....

  • Judith and Holofernes
    Judith and Holofernes (Mantegna)
    Judith and Holofernes is a painting by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna, dated to 1495, depicting the beheading of Holofernes by Judith.-History:...

     (1495) - Egg-tempera on wood, National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • Trivulzio Madonna
    Trivulzio Madonna
    The Trivulzio Madonna is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, executed in 1497. It is housed in the Museum of Ancient Art of the Castello Sforzesco, Milan....

     (1497) - Tempera on canvas, 287 x 214 cm, Museo Civico d'Arte Antica, Milan
  • Parnassus (Mars and Venus)
    Parnassus (Mantegna)
    The Parnassus is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna, executed in 1497. It is housed in the Musée du Louvre of Paris.-History:...

     (1497) - Canvas, 160 x 192 cm, Louvre, Paris
  • Minerva Chases the Vices from the Garden of Virtue (c. 1502) - Oil on canvas, 160x192 cm, Louvre, Paris


Mantegna only known sculpture is a "Sant'Eufemia" in the Cathedral of Irsina
Irsina
Irsina is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata.The economy is mostly based on agriculture, with the production of cereals and wine.- The Village of Irsina and the Surrounding Countryside :...

, Basilicata
Basilicata
Basilicata , also known as Lucania, is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south, having one short southwestern coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania in the northwest and Calabria in the southwest, and a...

.

External links