Gothic Era

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Andrea Mantegna


Andrea Mantegna

(b Isola di Carturo, nr Padua, 1430–31; d Mantua 13 Sept 1506).

Italian painter and printmaker. He occupies a pre-eminent position among Italian artists of the 15th century. The profound enthusiasm for the civilization of ancient Rome that infuses his entire oeuvre was unprecedented in a painter. In addition to its antiquarian content, his art is characterized by brilliant compositional solutions, the bold and innovative use of perspective and foreshortening and a precise and deliberate manner of execution, an aspect that was commented upon during his lifetime. He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries for his learning and skill and, significantly, he is the only artist of the period to have left a small corpus of self-portraits: two in the Ovetari Chapel; his presumed self-portrait in the Presentation in the Temple (Berlin, Gemaldegal.); one in the Camera Picta (Mantua, Pal. Ducale) and the funerary bust in his burial chapel in S Andrea, Mantua, designed and probably executed by himself. His printmaking activity is technically advanced and of great importance, although certain aspects of the execution remain to be clarified. Due to the survival of both the Paduan and Mantuan archives Mantegna is one of the best-documented artists of the 15th century.


Death of the Virgin

c. 1461
Museo del Prado, Madrid



Portrait of a Man

c. 1460
National Gallery of Art, Washington



The Adoration of the Shepherds

c. 1451-53
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Agony in the Garden

c. 1459
National Gallery, London

Agony in the Garden (detail)

c. 1459
National Gallery, Londo

San Luca Altarpiece

Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

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