Andrea Mantegna (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Mantegna contributed to the growth of Renaissance art in northern Italy while at the same time creating an individual style appreciated for its powers of invention, directness of presentation, illusionism, and detailed realism. His most important contributions were centered in his roles as transmitter of the Florentine Renaissance to his northern Italian contemporaries and as artistic interpreter of antiquity for his own and succeeding generations.
Andrea Mantegna was born in Isola di Cartura, near Padua, in northern Italy. His probable birth date of 1431 is based on an inscription, preserved in early documents, from a lost altarpiece of 1448 executed for the Church of Santa Sofia in Padua. It lists his age as seventeen when the project reached completion. Little is known of Mantegna’s life before he reached the age of ten. At that time his father, Biagio, a carpenter, gave him up for adoption to the painter Francesco Squarcione, who appears to have acted as adoptive father to several talented boys. In addition to his activities as a painter, collector, and dealer, Squarcione trained his young charges while providing them with a home and the necessities of life. Once their schooling was complete, the master contracted with wealthy patrons for the services of his young protégés.
Mantegna served his apprenticeship in the workshop of his adoptive father from 1442 to 1448. During...
(The entire section is 2515 words.)
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