Andrea Mantegna

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Andrea Mantegna: The Master of Displaying Humanism And Martial Aggression

Andrea Mantegna was born near the Republic of Venice. His father Biagio was a poor carpenter, and Mantegna learned sheep-tending and other rural activities in his young days. Biagio passed away when Mantegna was young, and after that, he became the apprentice of a Paduan painter Francesco at the age of seven. Only at the age of ten, the artist was accepted into the Paduan artists’ guild. Francesco also adopted many skilled painters who achieved fame later in their lives. Mantegna has a passion for classical antiques and classical style.

Early years

At the age of 17, Mantegna emerged as a fully-fledged painter and well-established. He was receiving commissions for his artworks. Mantegna was famous for using virtuosic effects to generate uncanny impressions and 3-D depth to his paintings with only 2-D surfaces. It Shows 3-D depth requires high skills, and Mantegna had mastery over it. He has used the most playful and engaging effect in his artworks as works. His love for classical culture is reflected in his religious themes. Mantegna was driven by the idea of humanism and empowered by the adventurous city. The artist brought sharpness to his portraiture, using deep lines of shadow and pale skins to highlight the shape edges. Mantegna was also influenced by softer color, and it can be seen in his paintings.

Famous artworks

  • San Zeno Altarpiece- this artwork depicts six separate scenes. Madonna and the child were in the center.
  • Di sotto in su- this is one of the most famous works of Mantegna, and Ludovico III commissioned it.
  • Saint Sebastian- it will remain as one of three famous representations of the martyrdom of Saint Sebastian. 
  • Madonna of Victory- this altarpiece represents a man reputed to be Francesco II. This work shows Madonna as the icon of purity. 

He died on 13 September 1506 but is still remembered for his style and attitude toward Classical antiquity, which provided a model for other artists, Giovanni Bellini in Venice and Albrecht Dürer in Germany. He was a very influential artist of his time and to date.