Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)

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Two artists, two worlds - Mantegna and Bellini - National Gallery

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About this product. ThriftBooks Store thrift. Search within store. Shipping and handling. This item will ship to Germany , but the seller has not specified shipping options. Contact the seller - opens in a new window or tab and request a shipping method to your location. 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, which are today considered a masterpiece. The now critical Squarcione carped about the earlier works of this series, illustrating the life of St James; he said the figures were like men made of stone, and should have been painted stone color.

This series was almost entirely lost in the 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 viewpoint, 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 altarpiece was around not long after the St. James cycle was finished, and uses many of the same techniques, including an architectural structure based on Classical antiquity.

The sketch for the St. Stephen fresco survived and is the earliest known preliminary sketch which still survives to compare with the corresponding fresco. The drawing shows proof that nude figures—which were later painted as clothed—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.


Despite the authentic Classical 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 took the form from the Greek invention, for the clothing of his figures, although the tense figures and interactions are derived from Donatello.

Among the other early Mantegna frescoes are the two saints over the entrance porch of the church of Sant'Antonio in Padua, , and the San Luca Altarpiece , with St. Luke and other saints, for the church of S.

Giustina and now in the Brera Gallery in Milan. As the young artist progressed in his work, he came under the influence of Jacopo Bellini , father of the celebrated painters Giovanni Bellini and Gentile Bellini , and met his daughter Nicolosia. In Jacopo consented to a marriage between Nicolosia and Mantegna. 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 for the times. Successful and admired though he was there, Mantegna left his native Padua at an early age, and never returned there; the hostility of Squarcione has been cited as the cause.

He spent the rest of his life in Verona , Mantua and Rome ; it has not been confirmed that he also stayed in Venice and Florence. It was probably the first good example of Renaissance art in Verona, and inspired a similar painting by the Veronese artist Girolamo dai Libri. The Marquis Ludovico III Gonzaga of Mantua had for some time been pressing Mantegna to enter his service; and the following year, Mantegna was appointed court artist. He resided at first from time to time at Goito , but, from December onwards, he moved with his family to Mantua. His engagement was for a salary of 75 lire 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 to be based in Mantua. His Mantuan masterpiece was painted for the court of Mantua, in the apartment of the Castle of the city, today known as Camera degli Sposi literally, "Wedding Chamber" of Palazzo Ducale , Mantua : a series of full compositions in fresco including various portraits of the Gonzaga family and some figures of genii and others.

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The Chamber's decoration was finished presumably in The ten years that followed were not happy ones for Mantegna and Mantua: Mantegna grew irritable, his son Bernardino died, as well as the Marchese Ludovico, his wife Barbara and his successor Federico who had dubbed Mantegna cavaliere , "knight". 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 still be seen today, although the pictures no longer survive. In this period he began to collect some ancient Roman busts which were given to Lorenzo de Medici when the Florentine leader visited Mantua in , painted some architectonic and decorative fragments, and finished the intense St. Sebastian now in the Louvre box at top. This series of frescoes, including a noted Baptism of Christ , was later destroyed by Pius VI in 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 , was not unsatisfactory to either party.

Returned to Mantua in , he embraced again his more literary and bitter vision of antiquity, and entered in strong connection with the new Marchesa, the cultured and intelligent Isabella d'Este. 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 These superbly invented and designed compositions are gorgeous with the splendor of their subject matter, and with the classical learning and enthusiasm of one of the masters of the age.

Considered Mantegna's finest work, they were sold in along with the bulk of the Mantuan art treasures to King Charles I of England.

Despite his declining health, Mantegna continued to paint. Other works of this period include the Madonna of the Caves , the St. Sebastian and the famous Lamentation over the Dead Christ , probably painted for his personal funerary chapel.

Andrea Mantegna

It was painted in tempera about , in commemoration of the Battle of Fornovo , whose questionable outcome Francesco Gonzaga was eager to show as an Italian League 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 accessories.

Though not in all respects of his highest order of execution, this counts among the most obviously beautiful of Mantegna's works in which the qualities of beauty and attractiveness are less marked than those other excellences more germane to his severe genius, tense energy passing into haggard passion. After Mantegna was commissioned by Isabella d'Este to translate the mythological themes written by the court poet Paride Ceresara into paintings for her private apartment studiolo in the Palazzo Ducale. 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.

The other painters commissioned by Isabella for her studiolo were Perugino and Correggio. After the death of his wife, Mantegna became at an advanced age the father of an illegitimate son, Giovanni Andrea; and, finally, although he continued embarking on various expenses and schemes, he had serious tribulations, such as the banishment from Mantua of his son Francesco, who had incurred the displeasure of the Marchese.

The difficult situation of the aged master and connoisseur required the hard necessity of parting with a beloved antique bust of Faustina.

Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection) Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)
Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection) Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)
Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection) Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)
Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection) Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)
Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection) Andrea Mantegna and the Italian Renaissance (Temporis) (Temporis Collection)

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