Andrea Mantegna

1431-1506 Italy/Early Renaissance

 

Brief Biography-Andrea Mantegna was born not far from Padua, where his parents of little means had him attending cattle in his youth. In Padua, he became an apprentice to a mediocre artist named Jacopo Squarcione, who, when realizing Andrea's talents, adopted him as his son. Squarcione brought in plaster casts and paintings from Tuscany and Rome for him to study. He also learned a great deal from other students of his master. After Andrea painted an exceptional picture for the grand altar in the Santa Sofia Church in Padua, Squarcione enlisted him, along with another of his pupils, Niccolò Pizzolo, to paint in the church of Sant' Agostino in Padua. Pizzolo painted a notable panel of God the Father; however, his work ceased abruptly, when he was murdered by an adversary while returning home one evening. Unfortunately, Pizzolo had more of an interest in arms and confrontation than he had in painting.

Jacopo Bellini, the father of Gentile and Giovanni, who was a competitor of Squarcione, arranged to have Andrea marry his daughter in Venice, this enraged Squarcione so much that he became a bitter enemy and critic of Andrea for life. Andrea had a strong influence on Giovanni; it is particularly evident in his Agony in the Garden, which is similar in style to Andrea's painting.

The Marquis, Ludovico Gonzaga, commissioned Andrea to do work in his private chapel and the hall of the Palazzo di San Sebastiano in Mantua. Ludovico honoured him with a knighthood, and he became a court painter in 1460. His paintings in Mantua persuaded Pope Innocent VIII to engage him to paint the walls of the Belvedere and undertake other works in Rome. After that, he returned to Mantua, where he was to settle and receive significant commissions for the remainder of his life. He engraved many of his works in copper, and his skill of foreshortening was unparalleled in his time.

Andrea painted The Triumph of Caesar for the grandson of The Marquis, Francesco, his successor. It consisted of nine canvases which Charles I purchased in 1627; they now hang in Hampton Court. Albrecht Dürer and Leonardo da Vinci both took inspiration from him along with many other great masters of the renaissance.

 

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Death of the
Virgin

Death of the Virgin

Court
of Gonzaga

Court of Gonzaga

Saint
George

Saint George

The
Crucifixion

The Crucifixion

Triumph
of Virtue

Triumph of Virtue

The
Meeting

The Meeting


Parnassus

Parnassus

Cardinal
Francesco

Suite Of Cardinal Francesco

Cardinal
Trevisan

Cardinal Ludovico Trevisan

Agony in
the Garden

Agony in the Garden

Baptism
of Christ

Baptism of Christ

Triumph
of Caesar

Triumph of Caesar


Gonzaga

Francesco Gonzaga

Carlo
de-Medici

Carlo de-Medici

Portrait of
a Man

Portrait of a Man

A
Man

A Man

Judith and
Holofernes

Judith and Holofernes

Madonna
and Child

Madonna and Child

Presentation in
the Temple

Presentation in the Temple

Saint
Sebastian

Saint Sebastian

The Adoration
of the Magi

The Adoration of the Magi

The Adoration
of the Shepherds

The Adoration of the Shepherds

The Ascension
of Christ

The Ascension of Christ

The
Holy Family

The Holy Family

The Lamentation
over Christ

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ

The
Circumcision

The Circumcision

The Madonna of
the Cherubim

The Madonna of the Cherubim

The Saint Lucas
Altarpiece

The Saint Lucas Altarpiece

The Virgin
Mary

The Virgin Mary

head of
holofernes

judith and the head of holofernes

inscription
with putti

inscription with putti