Castagno, Andrea del


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Castagno, Andrea del

(ändrĕ`ä dĕl kästä`nyō), c.1423–1457, major Florentine painter of the early Renaissance. His first recorded painting (1440; now destroyed), effigies of hanged men, enemies to the Florentine regime, brought him fame in spite of its disconcerting subject. Two years later he was in Venice, frescoing the ceiling of the chapel in San Zaccaria. He returned to Florence and c.1445 began the cycle of the Passion of Christ for the church of Sant' Apollonia. Best known of these scenes is the Last Supper. Castagno combined a rigorous perspective with harsh, metallic lighting that greatly intensified the drama of the scene. He decorated the hall of the Villa Pandolfini with heroic figures, including Pippo Spano, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Here the influence of Donatello can be felt, particularly in the vitality and plastic rendering of forms. In the Annunziata Church there is a powerful conception of the Savior and St. Julian. His last dated work is the equestrian statue of Niccolò da Tolentino in the cathedral. Other examples of his art are David (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.) and the Resurrection (Frick Coll., New York City).

Castagno, Andrea Del

 

Born circa 1421, in Castagno, Tuscany; died Aug. 19, 1457, in Florence. Early Renaissance Italian painter. Representative of the democratic tendency in Florentine art during the mid-15th century.

Castagno was initially influenced by Masaccio, Donatello, and Paolo Uccello. He worked primarily in Florence. In 1442 he worked in Venice, and there is some evidence that in 1454 he worked in Rome. Between 1445 and 1457, Castagno painted the series of frescoes Famous Men and Women, which included portraits of Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch, and the condottiere Pippo Spano, in the monastery of Santa Apollonia in Florence (now in the Castagno Museum). His work is characterized by resounding colors and fluid, energetic modeling of forms. An intense expressiveness of pose and foreshortening imparts dramatic poignancy to his works. Castagno painted the frescoes The Trinity (Church of the Annunciation, Florence, 1454–55) and The Last Supper (Castagno Museum, 1445–57). His male figures are endowed with energetic vitality and embody all the distinctive features of the Renaissance idea of man.

REFERENCES

Richter, G. M. Andrea del Castagno.Chicago, 1943.
Russoli, F. Andrea del Castagno. Milan, 1957.

V. E. MARKOVA

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