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Andrea Mantegna
St. Sebastian, 1456-59; panel; Musée du Louvre
Birth name Andrea Mantegna
Born c. 1431
Isola di Carturo, Italy
Died September 13, 1506
Mantua, Italy
Nationality Italian
Field Painting, Fresco
Training Francesco Squarcione
Movement Italian Renaissance
Works St. Sebastian
Camera degli Sposi
The Agony in the Garden

Andrea Mantegna (c. 1431 – September 13, 1506) was a North Italian Renaissance painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son in law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g., by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints in Venice before 1500.

Contents

Biography

Youth and education

Mantegna was born in Isola di Carturo, close to Padua in the Republic of Venice, second son of a carpenter, Biagio. At the age of eleven he became the apprentice of Francesco Squarcione, Paduan painter. Squarcione, whose original vocation was tailoring, appears to have had a remarkable enthusiasm for ancient art, and a faculty for acting. Like his famous compatriot Petrarca, Squarcione was something of a fanatic for ancient Rome: he travelled in Italy, and perhaps Greece, amassing antique statues, reliefs, vases, etc., forming a collection of such works, then making drawings from them himself, and throwing open his stores for others to study. All the while, he continued undertaking works on commission for which his pupils no less than himself were made available.

The Agony in the Garden (right panel of the predella of the San Zeno Altarpiece, 1455) National Gallery, London is the pinnacle of Mantegna's early style.

As many as 137 painters and pictorial students passed through Squarcione's school, which had been established towards 1440 and which became famous all over Italy. Padua was attractive for artists coming not only from Veneto but also from Tuscany, such as Paolo Uccello, Filippo Lippi and Donatello. Mantegna's early career was shaped indeed by impressions of Florentine works. At the time, Mantegna was said to be a favorite pupil; Squarcione taught him the Latin language, and instructed him to study fragments of Roman sculpture. The master also preferred forced perspective, the lingering results of which may account for some of Mantegna's later innovations. However, at the age of seventeen, Mantegna separated himself from Squarcione. He later claimed that Squarcione had profited from his work without paying the rights.

His first work, now lost, was an altarpiece for the church of Santa Sofia in 1448. The same year Mantegna was called, together with Nicolò Pizolo, to work with a large group of painters entrusted with the decoration of the Ovetari Chapel in the apse of the church of Eremitani. 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, today considered his masterpiece. After a series of coincidences, Mantegna finished most of the work alone, though Ansuino, who collaborated with Mantegna in the Ovetari Chapel, brought his style in the Forlì school of painting. The now censorious Squarcione carped about the earlier works of this series, illustrating the life of St James; he said the figures were like men of stone, and had better have been colored stone-color at once.

This series was almost entirely lost in the 1944 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 view point, 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 done shortly after the St. James cycle was finished, and uses many of the same techniques, including the classicizing architectural structure.)

San Luca Altarpiece, 1453; Tempera on panel; Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan

The sketch of the St. Stephen fresco survived and is the earliest known preliminary sketch which still exists to compare to the corresponding fresco. Despite the authentic 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 derived the form from the Greek invention, for the clothing of his figures, although the tense figures and interactions are derived from Donatello. The drawing shows proof that nude figures 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.

Among the other early Mantegna frescoes are the two saints over the entrance porch of the church of Sant'Antonio in Padua, 1452, and an altarpiece of St. Luke and other saints (at left) for the church of S. Giustina, now in the Brera Gallery in Milan (1453). As the young artist progressed in his work, he came under the influence of Jacopo Bellini, father of the celebrated painters Giovanni and Gentile, and of a daughter Nicolosia. In 1453 Jacopo consented to a marriage between Nicolosia and Mantegna.

Aesthetic

San Zeno Altarpiece, (central panel), 1457-60; San Zeno, Verona

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 in those times.

Successful and admired though he was there, Mantegna left his native Padua at an early age, and never resettled there again; the hostility of Squarcione has been assigned 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. In Verona around 1459, he painted, a grand altarpiece for the church of San Zeno Maggiore, a Madonna and angels, with four saints on each side (at right; detail above).

Work in Mantua

Detail of the frescoes in the Camera degli Sposi in the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua

The Marquis Ludovico II Gonzaga of Mantua had for some time been pressing Mantegna to enter his service; and the following year, 1460 Mantegna was appointed court artist. He resided at first from time to time at Goito, but, from December 1466 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 ever domiciled in Mantua.

The court of Mantua, fresco for the Camera degli Sposi of Palazzo Ducale, Mantua.

His Mantuan masterpiece was painted in the apartment of the Castle of the city, today known as Camera degli Sposi (literally, "Wedding Chamber"): a series of full compositions in fresco including various portraits of the Gonzaga family and some figures of genii.

The Chamber's decoration was finished presumably in 1474. The ten years that followed were not happy ones for Mantegna and Mantua: his character grew irritable, his son Bernardino died, as well as the marquis Ludovico, his wife Barbara and his successor Federico (who had declared Mantegna cavaliere, "knight" ). Only with the election of Francesco II of Gonzaga did the artistic commissions in Mantua begin again. 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 be still seen today, although the pictures have perished. In this period he began to collect some ancient Roman busts (which were donated to Lorenzo de Medici when the Florentine leader visited Mantua in 1483), painted some architectonic and decorative fragments, and finished the intense St. Sebastian now in the Louvre (box at top).

In 1488 Mantegna was called by Pope Innocent VIII to paint frescos in a chapel Belvedere in the Vatican. This series of frescos, including a noted Baptism of Christ, was destroyed by Pius VI in 1780. 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 1500, was not unsatisfactory to either party. Mantegna also met the famous Turkish hostage Jem and studied with attention the ancient monuments, but his impression of the city was a disappointing one as a whole. Returned to Mantua in 1490, he embraced again his more literary and bitter vision of antiquity, and entered in strong connection with the new marquise, 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 1492. These superbly invented and designed compositions are gorgeous with the splendour of their subject-matter, and with the classical learning and enthusiasm of one of the master-spirits of the age. Considered Mantegna's finest work, they were sold in 1628 along with the bulk of the Mantuan art treasures to King Charles I of England. They are now in Hampton Court Palace, somewhat faded, but many repaintings have been removed in a recent restoration. His workshop produced a series of engravings after them, which largely account for their rapid fame throughout Europe.

Later years

In spite of declining health, Mantegna continued to be active. 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. Another work of Mantegna's later years was the so-called Madonna della Vittoria, now in the Louvre. It was painted in tempera about 1495, in commemoration of the Battle of Fornovo, whose disputable 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 accessory. Though not in all respects of his highest order of execution, this counts among the most obviously beautiful and attractive of Mantegna's works from which the qualities of beauty and attraction are often excluded, in the stringent pursuit of those other excellences more germane to his severe genius, tense energy passing into haggard passion.

After 1497 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.

After the death of his wife, Mantegna became at an advanced age the father of a natural son, Giovanni Andrea; and at the last, although he continued launching out into various expenses and schemes, he had serious tribulations, such as the banishment from Mantua of his son Francesco, who had incurred the marquis' displeasure. Perhaps the aged master and connoisseur regarded as barely less trying the hard necessity of parting with a beloved antique bust of Faustina.

Very soon after this transaction he died in Mantua, on September 13, 1506. In 1516, a handsome monument was set up to him by his sons in the church of Sant'Andrea, where he had painted the altar-piece of the mortuary chapel. The dome is decorated by Correggio.

Engravings

Bacchanal with a wine vat, engraving by Mantegna, c1475, 278 x 422 mm

Mantegna was no less eminent as an engraver, though his history in that respect is somewhat obscure, partly because he never signed or dated any of his plates, but for a single disputed instance of 1472. The account which has come down to us from Vasari (as usual keen to assert that everything flows from Florence) is that Mantegna began engraving in Rome, prompted by the engravings produced by the Florentine Baccio Baldini after Sandro Botticelli. This is now considered most unlikely as it would consign all the numerous and elaborate engravings made by Mantegna to the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life, which seems a scanty space for them, and besides the earlier engravings indicate an earlier period of his artistic style. He may have begun engraving while still in Padua, under the tuition of a distinguished goldsmith, Niccolò. He and his workshop engraved about thirty plates, according to the usual reckoning; large, full of figures, and highly studied. It is now considered either that he only engraved seven himself, or none. Another artist from the workshop who made several plates is usually identified as Zoan Andrea.

Among the principal examples are: Battle of the Sea Monsters,Virgin and Child, a Bacchanal Festival, Hercules and Antaeus, Marine Gods, Judith with the Head of Holophernes, the Deposition from the Cross, the Entombment, the Resurrection, the Man of Sorrows, the Virgin in a Grotto, and several scenes from the Triumph of Julius Caesar after his paintings. Several of his engravings are supposed to be executed on some metal less hard than copper. The technique of himself and his followers is characterized by the strongly marked forms of the design, and by the oblique formal hatchings of the shadows. The prints are frequently to be found in two states, or editions. In the first state the prints have been taken off with the roller, or even by handpressing, and they are weak in tint; in the second state the printing press has been used, and the ink is stronger.

Neither Mantegna or his workshop are now believed to have produced the so-called Mantegna Tarocchi cards.

The Lamentation over the Dead Christ
Tempera on canvas, 68x81 cm, 1490
Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan.

Assessment and legacy

Giorgio Vasari eulogizes Mantegna, although pointing out his litigious character. He had been fond of his fellow-pupils at Padua: and for two of them, Dario da Trevigi and Marco Zoppo, he retained a steady friendship. Mantegna became very expensive in his habits, fell at times into difficulties, and had to urge his valid claims upon the marquis' attention.

In solid antique taste, Mantegna distanced all contemporary competition. Though substantially related to the 15th century, the influence of Mantegna on the style and tendency of his age was very marked over Italian art generally. Giovanni Bellini, in his earlier works, obviously followed the lead of his brother-in-law Andrea. Albrecht Dürer was influenced by his style during his two trips in Italy. Leonardo da Vinci took from Mantegna the use of decorations with festoons and fruit.

Mantegna's main legacy in considered the introduction of spatial illusionism, both in frescoes and in sacra conversazione paintings: his tradition of ceiling decoration was followed for almost three centuries. Starting from the faint cupola of the Camera degli Sposi, Correggio brought on his master and collaborator's research in perspective constructions, producing eventually a masterwork like the dome of Cathedral of Parma.

Major works

The Virgin Mary in Andrea Mantegna's San Zeno Altarpiece combines pseudo-Arabic halos and garment hems, with an Oriental carpet at her feet (1456–1459).

Mantegna only known sculpture is a "Sant'Eufemia" in the Cathedral of Irsina, Basilicata.

References

External links

This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ANDREA MANTEGNA (1431-1506), one of the chief heroes in the advance of painting in Italy, was born in Vicenza, of very humble parentage. It is said that in his earliest boyhood Andrea was, like Giotto, put to shepherding or cattle-herding; this is not likely, and can at any rate have lasted only a very short while, as his natural genius for art developed with singular precocity, and excited the attention of Francesco Squarcione, who entered him in the gild of painters before he had completed his eleventh year.

Squarcione, whose original vocation was tailoring, appears to have had a remarkable enthusiasm for ancient art, and a proportionate faculty for acting, with profit to himself and others, as a sort of artistic middleman; his own performances as a painter were merely mediocre. He travelled in Italy, and perhaps in Greece also, collecting antique statues, reliefs, vases, &c., forming the largest collection then extant of such works, making drawings from them himself, and throwing open his stores for others to study from, and then undertaking works on commission for which his pupils no less than himself were" made available. As many as one hundred and thirty-seven painters and pictorial students passed through his school, established towards 1440, which became famous all over Italy. Mantegna was, as he deserved to be, Squarcione's favourite pupil. Squarcione adopted him as his son, and purposed making him the heir of his fortune. Andrea was only seventeen when he painted, in the church of S. Sofia in Padua, a Madonna picture of exceptional and recognized excellence. He was no doubt fully aware of having achieved no common feat, as he marked the work with his name and the date, and the years of his age. This painting was destroyed in the 17th century.

As the youth progressed in his studies, he came under the influence of Jacopo Bellini, a painter considerably superior to Squarcione, father of the celebrated painters Giovanni and Gentile, and of a daughter Nicolosia; and in 1454 Jacopo gave Nicolosia to Andrea in marriage. This connexion of Andrea with the pictorial rival of Squarcione is generally assigned as the reason why the latter became alienated from the son of his adoption, and always afterwards hostile to him. Another suggestion, which rests, however, merely on its own internal probability, is that Squarcione had at the outset used his pupil Andrea as the unavowed executant of certain commissions, but that after a while Andrea began painting on his own account, thus injuring the professional interests of his chief. The remarkably definite and original style formed by Mantegna may be traced out as founded on the study of the antique in Squarcione's atelier, followed by a diligent application of principles of work exemplified by Paolo Uccello and Donatello, with the practical guidance and example of Jacopo Bellini in the sequel.

Among the other early works of Mantegna are the fresco of two saints over the entrance porch of the church of S. Antonio in Padua, 1452, and an altar-piece of St Luke and other saints for the church of S. Giustina, now in the Brera Gallery in Milan, 1 453. It is probable, however, that before this time some of the pupils of Squarcione, including Mantegna, had already begun that series of frescoes in the chapel of S. Cristoforo, in the church of S. Agostino degli Eremitani, by which the great painter's reputation was fully confirmed, and which remain to this day conspicuous among his finest achievements.' The now censorious Squarcione found much to carp at in the earlier works of this series, illustrating the life of St James; he said the figures were like men of stone, and had better have been coloured stone-colour at once. Andrea, conscious as he was of his own great faculty and mastery, seems nevertheless to have felt that there was something in his old preceptor's strictures; and the later subjects, from the legend of St Christopher, combine with his other excellences more of natural character and vivacity. Trained as he had been to the study of marbles and the severity of the antique, and openly avowing that he considered the antique superior to nature as being more eclectic in form, he now and always affected precision of outline, dignity of idea and of figure, and he thus tended towards rigidity, and to an austere wholeness rather than gracious sensitiveness of expression. His draperies are tight and closely folded, being studied (as it is said) from models draped in paper and woven fabrics gummed. Figures slim, muscular and bony, action impetuous but of arrested energy, tawny landscape, gritty with littering pebbles, mark the athletic hauteur of his style. He never changed, though he developed and perfected, the manner which he had adopted in Padua; his colouring, at first rather neutral and undecided, strengthened and matured. There is throughout his works more balancing of colour than fineness of tone. One of his great aims was optical illusion, carried out by a mastery of perspective which, though not always impeccably correct, nor absolutely superior in principle to the highest contemporary point of attainment, was worked out by himself with strenuous labour, and an effect of actuality astonishing in those times.

Successful and admired though he was in Padua, Mantegna left his native city at an early age, and never afterwards resettled 1 His' fellow-workers were Bono of Ferrara, Ansuino of Forli, and Niccolo Pizzolo, to whom considerable sections of the frescopaintings are to be assigned. The acts of St James and St Christopher are the leading subjects of the series. St James Exorcizing may have been commenced by Pizzolo, and completed by Mantegna. The Calling of St James to the Apostleship appears to be Mantegna's design, partially carried out by Pizzolo; the subjects of St James baptizing, his appearing before the judge, and going to execution, and most of the legend of St Christopher, are entirely by Mantegna.

there; the hostility of Squarcione has been assigned as the cause. The rest of his life was passed in Verona, Mantua and Rome - chiefly Mantua; Venice and Florence have also been named, but without confirmation.

It may have been in 1459 that he went to Verona; and he painted, though not on the spot, a grand altar-piece for the church of S. Zeno, a Madonna and angels, with four saints on each side. The Marquis Lodovico Gonzaga of Mantua had for some time been pressing Mantegna to enter his service; and the following year, 1460, was perhaps the one in which he actually established himself at the Mantuan court, residing at first from time to time at Goito, but, from December 1466 onwards, with his family in Mantua itself. His engagement was for a salary of 75 lire (about X30) 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 ever domiciled in Mantua. He built a stately house in the city, and adorned it with a multitude of paintings. The house remains, but the pictures have perished. Some of his early Mantuan works are in that apartment of the Castello which is termed the Camera degli Sposi - full compositions in fresco, including various portraits of the Gonzaga family, and some figures of genii, &c. In 1488 he went to Rome at the request of Pope Innocent VIII., to paint the frescoes in the chapel of the Belvedere in the Vatican; the marquis of Mantua (Federigo) created him a cavaliere before his departure. This series of frescoes, including a noted " Baptism of Christ," was ruthlessly destroyed by Pius VI. in laying out the Museo Pio-Clementino. The pope treated Mantegna with less liberality than he had been used to at the Mantuan court; but on the whole their connexion, which ceased in 1490, was not unsatisfactory to either party. Mantegna then returned to Mantua, and went on with a series of works - the nine temperapictures, each of them 9 ft. square, of the "Triumph of Caesar " - which he had probably begun before his leaving for Rome, and which are now in Hampton Court. These superbly invented and designed compositions, gorgeous with all splendour of subject-matter and accessory, and with the classical learning and enthusiasm of one of the master-spirits of the age, have always been accounted of the first rank among Mantegna's works. They were sold in 1628 along with the bulk of the Mantuan art treasures, and were not, as is commonly said, plundered in the sack of Mantua in 1630. They are now greatly damaged by patchy repaintings. Another work of Mantegna's later years was the so-called " Madonna della Vittoria," now in the Louvre. It was painted in tempera about 1495, in commemoration of the battle of Fornovo, which Ginfrancesco Gonzaga found it convenient to represent to his lieges as an Italian victory, though in fact it had been a French 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 Gianfrancesco Gonzaga, amid a profusion of rich festooning and other accessory. Though not in all respects of his highest order of execution, this counts among the most obviously beautiful and attractive of Mantegna's works - from which the qualities of beauty and attraction are often °excluded, in the stringent pursuit of those other excellences more germane to his severe genius, tense energy passing into haggard passion.

Vasari eulogizes Mantegna for his courteous, distinguished and praiseworthy deportment, although there are indications of his having been not a little litigious in disposition. With his fellow-pupils at Padua he had been affectionate; and for two of them, Dario da Trevigi and Marco Zoppo, he retained a steady friendship. That he had a high opinion of himself was natural, for no artist of his epoch could produce more manifest vouchers of marked and progressive attainment. He became very expensive in his habits, fell at times into difficulties, and had to urge his valid claims upon the marquis's attention. After his return to Mantua from Rome his prosperity was at its height, until the death of his wife. He then formed some other connexion, and became at an advanced age the father of a natural son, Giovanni Andrea; and at the last, although he continued launching out into various expenses and schemes, he had serious tribulations, such as the banishment from Mantua of his son Francesco, who had incurred the marquis's displeasure. Perhaps the aged master and connoisseur regarded as barely less trying the hard necessity of parting with a beloved antique bust of Faustina. Very soon after this transaction he died in Mantua, on the 13th of September 1506. In 1517 a handsome monument was set up to him by his sons in the church of S. Andrea, where he had painted the altar-piece of the mortuary chapel.

Mantegna was no less eminent as an engraver, though his history in that respect is somewhat obscure, partly because he never signed or dated any of his plates, unless in one single disputed instance, 1472. The account which has come down to us is that Mantegna began engraving in Rome, prompted by the engravings produced by Baccio Baldini of Florence after Sandro Botticelli; nor is there anything positive to invalidate this account, except the consideration that it would consign all the numerous and elaborate engravings made by Mantegna to the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life, which seems a scanty space for them, and besides the earlier engravings indicate an earlier period of his artistic style. It has been suggested that he began engraving while still in Padua, under the tuition of a distinguished goldsmith, Niccolo. He engraved about fifty plates, according to the usual reckoning; some thirty of them are mostly accounted indisputable - often large, full of figures, and highly studied. Some recent connoisseurs, however, ask us to restrict to seven the number of his genuine extant engravings - which appears unreasonable. Among the principal examples are " Roman Triumphs " (not the same compositions as the Hampton Court pictures), " A Bacchanal Festival," " Hercules and Antaeus," " Marine Gods," " Judith with the Head of Holophernes," the " Deposition from the Cross," the " Entombment," the " Resurrection," the " Man of Sorrows," the " Virgin in a Grotto." Mantegna has sometimes been credited with the important invention of engraving with the burin on copper. This claim cannot be sustained on a comparison of dates, but at any rate he introduced the art into upper Italy. Several of his engravings are supposed to be executed on some metal less hard than copper. The technique of himself and his followers is characterized by the strongly marked forms of the design, and by the oblique formal hatchings of the shadows. The prints are frequently to be found in two states, or editions. In the first state the prints have been taken off with the roller, or even by handpressing, and they are weak in tint; in the second state the printing press has been used, and the ink is stronger.

The influence of Mantegna on the style and tendency of his age was very marked, and extended not only to his own flourishing Mantuan school, but over Italian art generally. His vigorous perspectives and trenchant foreshortenings pioneered the way to other artists: in solid antique taste, and the power of reviving the aspect of a remote age with some approach to system and consistency, he distanced all contemporary competition. He did not, however, leave behind him many scholars of superior faculty. His two legitimate sons were painters of only ordinary ability. His favourite pupil was known as Carlo del Mantegna; Caroto of Verona was another pupil, Bonsignori an imitator. Giovanni Bellini, in his earlier works, obviously followed the lead of his brother-in-law Andrea.

The works painted by Mantegna, apart from his frescoes, are not numerous; some thirty-five to forty are regarded as fully authenticated. We may name, besides those already specified - in the Naples Museum, " St Euphemia," a fine early work; in Casa Melzi, Milan, the " Madonna and Child with Chanting Angels " (1461); in the Tribune of the Uffizi, Florence, three pictures remarkable for scrupulous finish; in the Berlin Museum, the " Dead Christ with two Angels "; in the Louvre, the two celebrated pictures of mythic allegory- " Parnassus " and " Minerva Triumphing over the Vices "; in the National Gallery, London, the " Agony in the Garden," the " Virgin and Child Enthroned, with the Baptist and the Magdalen," a late example; the monochrome of " Vestals," brought from Hamilton Palace; the " Triumph of Scipio " (or Phrygian Mother of the Gods received by the Roman Commonwealth), a tempera in chiaroscuro, painted only a few months before the master's death; in the Brera, Milan, the " Dead Christ, with the two Maries weeping," a remarkable tour de force in the way of foreshortening, which, though it has a stunted appearance, is in correct technical perspective as seen from all points of view. With all its exceptional merit, this is an eminently ugly picture. It remained in Mantegna's studio unsold at his death, and was disposed of to liquidate debts.

Not to speak of earlier periods, a great deal has been written concerning Mantegna of late years. See the works by Maud Crutwell (1901), Paul Kristeller (1901), H. Thode (1897), Paul Yriarte (1901), Julia Cartwright, Mantegna and Francia (1881). (W. M. R.)


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