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Андреа Мантенья (41 картина) | Andrea Mantegna (41 pictures)

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Андреа Мантенья (41 картина) | Andrea Mantegna (41 pictures) | 37,38 Mb

Андреа Мантенья (Andrea Mantegna, ок. 1431—1506) — итальянский художник, представитель падуанской школы живописи. В отличие от большинства других классиков итальянского Ренессанса писал в жесткой и резкой манере.
Мантенья родился около 1431 г. в итальянском местечке Изола-ди-Картура, в семье дровосека. В 1441 г. был усыновлен художником Франческо Скварчоне. Учился изобразительному искусству, а также латыни у Скварчоне, в 1445 г. был записан в цех живописцев Падуи.

В возрасте 17 лет Мантенья в суде добился независимости от Скварчоне и с тех пор работал как самостоятельный художник. В молодости испытал влияние флорентийской школы, в частности Донателло.

В 1453 г. Мантенья женился на дочери Джакопо Беллини. В 1460 г. он становится придворным художником у Гонзага.

Мантенья скончался 13 сентября 1506 г. в Мантуе.

MANTEGNA, ANDREA (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 [1267-1337], 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 [1397-1468], 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 favorite 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 haying 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 [c.1400-1470], a painter considerably, superior to Squarcione, father of the celebrated painters Giovanni [c.1430-1516] and Gentile [c.1429-1507], and of a daughter Nicolosia; and in 1454 Jacopo gave Nicolosia to Andrea in marriage. This connection 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 ptofessional 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 [1397-1475] and Donatello [1386-1466], 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, 1453. 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 labor, and an effect of actuality astonishing in those times.

The works painted by Mantegna, apart from his frescoes, are not numerous; some thirty-five to forty are regarded as fully .authehticated. We may name, besides those already, specified in the Naples Museum, St Euphemia, a fine early work; in Casa Melii, 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 Manes 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.

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