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Domenico Veneziano

c. 1420-1461 Italy/Early Renaissance


Brief Biography- The Rev. M. Pilkington wrote that Domenico di Bartolommeo Veneziano was born in 1420 and died in 1476. However, most scholars state that his date of birth is unknown, and he possibly died in 1461.
A murder, most foul; Giorgio Vasarideclared that Andrea del Castagno murdered the ‘kind Domenico’ out of jealousy. They worked on the same commission together, and Castagno was envious of the praise lavished upon Domenico’s efforts. However, more importantly, Domenico was skilled in using oil paint; oil altered the application of colour in art for the first time in Italy, using nut oil and linseed oil. Furthermore, as oil paint was slower to dry, it was easier to blend colours to achieve more variations in tones and shade.
According to Pilkington, Domenico was a disciple of Antonello de Messina, who taught him how to use oils; Messina had learned the secret from Jan van Eyck. Vasari stated, Castagno did invidiously and treacherously murder Domenico with a piece of lead outside his dwelling, when returning from serenading his mistress, and accompanying the lute with his voice. Castagno had pretended to be a close friend of Domenico, and he feigned intense grief as a distraction. He desired the recognition of being the originator of the skill of oil painting in Italy, and to retain the secrets therein. It was not until his confession on his deathbed that the truth emerged. Because of his wickedness, his burial was an ignominious ceremony at Santa Maria Novella.
This account, by Vasari, was entirely untrue, as Andrea died before Domenico in 1457. Scholars say Vasari invented it because he knew practically nothing of the life of Domenico.
Domenico possibly acquired his craft in Venice, but his skills are Florentine. In Perugia, Cosimo de’ Medici, the Elder, commissioned work from Domenico through his son Piero in Florence, and he entered Florence in 1439. He cooperated with Piero della Francesca on Frescoes of the Life of the Virgin in the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Castagno completed these works when Domenico stopped working on them. His most celebrated work was the Saint Lucy Altarpiece at the Church of Santa Lucia dei Magnoli, now dispersed worldwide. He worked with Piero in Loreto on a fresco in the Church of Santa Maria. This work was interrupted because he had to return to Florence due to a plague outbreak in 1447. He was associated with Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi in Perugia and influenced Benedetto Bonfigli with his frescoes c. 1438. Alesso Baldovinetti may have been one of his students. He spent his last days in Florence and died in 1461.


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of the magi

adoration of the magi



madonna and child

madonna and child by Domenico Veneziano

matteo olivieri

matteo olivieri

michele olivieri

michele olivieri

miracles of saint

miracles of saint zenobius

portrait of a young

portrait of a young woman

st john the baptist
and st francis

saint john the baptist and saint francis

santa lucia de
magnoli altarpiece

santa lucia de magnoli altarpiece by Domenico Veneziano

the madonna
and child

the madonna and child

martyrdom of
saint lucy

martyrdom of saint lucy by Domenico Veneziano

stygmata of saint

stygmata of saint francis

john the baptist
in the desert

 john the baptist in the desert

the virgin
and child

the virgin and child

virgin and child

virgin and child