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Le Retable de San Zeno, Andrea Mantegna

Andrea Mantegna c. 1431 – September 13, 1506) was an Italian 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.

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 viewpoint, 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 around 1455 not long after the St. James cycle was finished, and uses many of the same techniques, including an architectural structure based on Classical antiquity.)

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