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MANTEGNA

(Andrea Mantegna, C.1431-1506)

"Italian painter and engraver. He was the pupil and adopted son of Squarcione in Padua. Mantegna's life long passion for Classical antiquity was given ample early nourishment through the archaeological interests of his master, the abundance of Roman remains in northern Italy and the humanistic atmosphere generated by the local university of Padua. He terminated his apprenticeship with Squarcione at the age of 17 in a celebrated court case, apparently on the grounds of exploitation. Mantegna's earliest independent commission was for the fresco decorations of the Ovetari Chapel of the Eremitani Church in Padua (1459, largely destroyed in the Second World War). These scenes, particularly the St. James Led to Execution, display a mastery of perspective and steep foreshortening (the scene adapted to the low viewpoint of the spectator standing in the chapel) unrivalled in any contemporary paintings. Furthermore, Mantegna's understanding of anatomy and his archaeological exactitude are fully in evidence. The influence of Donatello (note the quotation from Donatello's St. George in the figure of the Roman soldier) is even more apparent in Mantegna's next commission, the San Zeno Altarpiece (late 1450s, Verona, S. Zeno). The spatial construction of the painted all'antiqua hall in which the Madonna and Child and attendant saints stand coincides with the actual frame, such that the painted architectural setting relates to the actual entablature and four wooden columns of the altarpiece's frame; thus the frame itself simulates the front of a Classical temple. The figures do not have a sculptural solidity but, as it has been suggested, the composition probably derives from Donatello's dismembered altarpiece in the Santo at Padua.

"In 1453, Mantegna married Jacopo Bellini's daughter. Both he and his new brother in law, Giovanni Bellini, used a drawing of Jacopo's as a basis for an Agony in the Garden (c 1455, both London, National Gallery): a comparison of the two reveals the fundamental difference between Mantegna's sculptural conception and the new conception, that of forms modelled by colour and light, their edges softened by atmosphere, that Giovanni was to evolve for Venetian painting.

"From 1460 Mantegna was court painter to the Gonzaga rulers of Mantua, his most important work here being the decoration of theCamera degli Sposi (the Bridal Chamber, completed 1474) of the Palazzo Ducale. Again a mastery of perspective is displayed, but also, in the representations of the Gonzaga family and court, Mantegna's skill as a portraitist. Perhaps the most significant part of the scheme is the painting of the ceiling, the middle of which is illusionistically opened up to the sky for the first time since antiquity. From over the fictive balustrade of a circular balcony, figures appear to look down into the room below. Such convincing illusionism was not accomplished again until Raphael in the Vatican and Correggio at Parma before reaching its consummation in the stunning illusionism of l7th century Baroque ceilings in Rome. Also for the Gonzaga family was the series of nine monumental canvases of the Triumphs of Caesar (c 1486, London, Hampton Court) which, in addition to all his usual characteristics, reveal Mantegna's interest in antique bas reliefs. For Isabella d'Este, the wife of Francesco Gonzaga, Mantegna painted the Madonna della Vittoria (1495-6) and the Parnassus (both Paris, Louvre). Mantegna was also important as a graphic artist, his many engravings exerting a powerful influence onDurer."

- From The Bulfinch Guide to Art History

 

 MANTEGNA_STSEBAST

Mantegna, Andrea St. Sebastian c. 1480 Canvas 100 1/2 x 55 in. (255 x 140 cm) Musee du Louvre, Paris

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_vittoria

Mantegna, Andrea Sacra Conversazione (Madonna della Vittoria) 1496 Tempera on canvas 280 x 160 cm Musee du Louvre, Paris

 MANTEGNA_MANTEGNA_ST_JAMES

Mantegna, Andrea St James on the way to his execution c. 1455 Fresco Destroyed, formerly church of the Eremitani, Padua

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_sebastian_dtl

Mantegna, Andrea St. Sebastian Detail c. 1480 Canvas 100 1/2 x 55 in. (255 x 140 cm) Musee du Louvre, Paris

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_scholastica

Mantegna, Andrea St. Luke Polyptych Detail of St Scholastica 1453-54 Tempera on wood 97 x 37 cm Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_samson

Mantegna, Andrea Samson and Delilah c. 1495 Tempera on canvas 47 x 37 cm National Gallery, London

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_prosdecimus

Mantegna, Andrea St. Luke Polyptych Detail of St Prosdecimus 1453-54 Tempera on wood 97 x 37 cm Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_oculus

Mantegna, Andrea Camera degli Sposi The Oculus 1473 Fresco 270 cm diameter Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_medici

Mantegna, Andrea Portrait of Cardinal Carlo de' Medici 1466 Tempera on wood 40.5 x 29.5 Uffizi, Florence

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_judith

Mantegna, Andrea Judith and Holofernes c. 1495 Tempera on wood 11 7/8 x 7 1/8 in. (30 x 18 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_caves

Mantegna, Andrea Madonna and Child ("Madonna of the Caves") c. 1489-90 Tempera on panel 11 7/16 x 8 7/16 in. (29 x 21.5 cm) Uffizi, Florence

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_camera3

Mantegna, Andrea Camera degli Sposi Detail from East Wall (Servants with Horse and Dogs) 1474 Fresco 235 cm wide Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_camera2

Mantegna, Andrea Camera degli Sposi Detail from North Wall c. 1474 Fresco 600 cm wide Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_camera1

Mantegna, Andrea Camera degli Sposi Detail from North Wall c. 1474 Fresco 600 cm wide Palazzo Ducale, Mantua

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_bird

Mantegna, Andrea Bird on a Branch c. 1500 Pen and brown ink 4 1/8 x 4 1/2 in. (10.4 x 11.5 cm) National Gallery of Art, Washington

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_benedict

Mantegna, Andrea St. Luke Polyptych Detail of St Benedict 1453-54 Tempera on wood 97 x 37 cm Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_agony_dtl2

Mantegna, Andrea The Agony in the Garden Detail c. 1450 Tempera on wood 63 x 80 cm National Gallery, London

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_agony_dtl1

Mantegna, Andrea The Agony in the Garden Detail c. 1450 Tempera on wood 63 x 80 cm National Gallery, London

 MANTEGNA_mantegna_agony

Mantegna, Andrea The Agony in the Garden c. 1450 Tempera on wood 63 x 80 cm National Gallery, London

 MANTEGNA_DEAD_CHRIST

Mantegna, Andrea The Lamentation over the Dead Christ c. 1490 Tempera on canvas 68 x 81 cm Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

 MANTEGNA_CALVARY

Mantegna, Andrea Calvary 1457-60 Wood 30 x 38 in. (76 x 96 cm) Musee du Louvre, Paris

 MANTEGNA_ADORATION

Mantegna, Andrea Adoration of the Shepherds ca. 1451-53 Tempera on canvas tranferred from wood 15 3/4 x 21 7/8 in. (40 x 55.6 cm) Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

mantegna_St _Sebastian

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. St. Sebastian. c.1459. Oil on panel. 68x30 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

mantegna_Mars_and_Vernus,_known_as_Parnassus

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Mars and Vernus, known as Parnassus. Detail. Oil on canvas. 159x192 cm. Louvre, Paris, France.

mantegna_Martyrdom_of_St

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Martyrdom of St. Christopher and the Transport of his Body. (Lives of St. James and St. Christopher). 1457. Fresco. Church of the Wremitani, Orvetari Chapel, Padua, Italy

mantegna_Agony_in_the_Garden

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Agony in the Garden. 1455. Oil on panel. National Gallery, London, UK

mantegna_St _George

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. St. George. 1467. Oil on panel. Galleria dell'Accademia, Venice, Italy.

mantegna_View_of_the_West_and_North_Walls

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. View of the West and North Walls. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Roundel_with_Putti_and_Ladies_Looking_Down

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Roundel with Putti and Ladies Looking Down. Detail of ceiling. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Dead_Christ

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Dead Christ. c. 1500. Oil on canvas. Galleria Brera, Milan, Italy.

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Mantegna

Mantegna

N/A

mantegna_St _Sebastian

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. St. Sebastian. Detail. c.1459. Oil on panel. 68x30 cm. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

mantegna_The_Death_of_the_Virgin

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Death of the Virgin. c. 1460. Tempera on panel. 54x42 cm. Museo del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

mantegna_Holy_Family_with_St

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Holy Family with St. Elizabeth and St. John the Baptist as a Child. c. 1495-1500. Tempera on canvas. 75.5x61.5 cm. Alte Meister Gallerie, Dresden, Germany

mantegna_Portrait_of_Carlo_de'Medici

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Portrait of Carlo de'Medici. c. 1467. Tempera on panel. 40.6x29.5 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

mantegna_Madonna_and_Child_(

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Madonna and Child ("Madonna of the Caves"). Tempera on panel. 29x21.5 cm. Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy.

mantegna_Madonna_with_Child_and_Angels

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Madonna with Child and Angels. c. 1485. Oil on wood. 88x70 cm. Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, Italy.

mantegna_The_Presentation_in_the_Temple

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Presentation in the Temple. c. 1465-66. Oil on canvas. 69x86.3 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany

mantegna_Madonna_with_Sleeping_Child

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Madonna with Sleeping Child. c. 1465-70. Oil on canvas. 43x32 cm. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Germany.

mantegna_Emperor_Otton

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Emperor Otton. Detail of ceiling. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Heracles_and_Antheus

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Heracles and Antheus. Detail of ceiling. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_St _Sebastian

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. St. Sebastian. c. 1480. Oil on canvas. 255x140 cm. Louvre, Paris, France

mantegna_Heracles

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Heracles. Detail of ceiling. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Emperor_Galba

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Emperor Galba. Detail of ceiling. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Marquess_Ludovico_Greeting_His_Son_Cardinal_Francesco_Gonzaga

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Marquess Ludovico Greeting His Son Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Marquess_Ludovico_Greeting_His_Son_Cardinal_Francesco_Gonzaga

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Marquess Ludovico Greeting His Son Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

_

Mantegna

Mantegna

N/A

mantegna_Marquess_Ludovico_Greeting_His_Son_Cardinal_Francesco_Gonzaga

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Marquess Ludovico Greeting His Son Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Calvary

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Calvary. Center of the predella painted for the Church of San Zeno in Verona. 1457-60. Oil on panel. 76x96 cm. Louvre, Paris, France.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_The_Gonzaga_Family_and_Retinue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Gonzaga Family and Retinue. Detail. 1465-74. Fresco. Palazzo Ducale, Camera degli Sposi (Bridal Chamber), Mantua, Italy.

mantegna_Judith_and_Holofernes

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Judith and Holofernes. c. 1495. Oil on panel. 30 x 18 cm. The National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

mantegna_The_Adoration_of_the_Shepherds

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. The Adoration of the Shepherds. Tempera on canvas transferred from wood. 40x55.6 cm. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

mantegna_Virgin_and_Child_Surrounded_by_Six_Saints_and_Gianfrancesco_II_Gonzaga,_known_as_the_Madonna_of_Victory

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Virgin and Child Surrounded by Six Saints and Gianfrancesco II Gonzaga, known as the Madonna of Victory. 1495. Oil on canvas. 285x168 cm. Louvre, Paris, France.

mantegna_St _Zeno_Polyptych

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. St. Zeno Polyptych. 1457-59. Tempera on panel. S. Zeno, Verona, Italy.

mantegna_Mars_and_Vernus,_known_as_Parnassus

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Mars and Vernus, known as Parnassus. Oil on canvas. 159x192 cm. Louvre, Paris, France

mantegna_Minerva_Chases_the_Vices_from_the_Garden_of_Virtue

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Minerva Chases the Vices from the Garden of Virtue. c. 1502. Oil on canvas. 160x192 cm. Louvre, Paris, France

mantegna_Mars_and_Vernus,_known_as_Parnassus

Mantegna

Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna. Mars and Vernus, known as Parnassus. Detail. Oil on canvas. 159x192 cm. Louvre, Paris, France.