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Pisanello (pēzänĕlˈlō), c.1395–1455?, Italian medalist, painter, and draftsman of the early Renaissance. He was also called Vittore Pisano, but his real name was Antonio Pisano. His art shows the influence of Gentile da Fabriano, whom he assisted in the ducal palace in Venice. Nothing remains of the Venetian frescoes or of those that he executed in the Lateran, Rome, or in Castello, Pavia. The only frescoes that have survived are those in Verona, the Annunciation in San Fermo, and St. George and the Princess in Sant' Anastasia. Pisanello was in great demand by the leading patrons of the time. He stayed at the courts of Mantua, Ferrara, Milan, Urbino, and Naples, working mainly on portraits. He is the first important Renaissance artist to use the medal form and to revive the antique style of portraiture. His medals are greatly valued for their historic as well as their artistic merit. Among them are portraits of Filippo Visconti, Lionello d'Este, Francesco Sforza, Alfonso V, and Sigismondo Malatesta (all: Victoria and Albert Mus., London). Pisanello was also a superb draftsman. The Vallardi Codex (Louvre) contains his studies for paintings, antique motifs, costumes, and animals, all depicted with keen perception. Among the rare panel paintings that have survived are the Vision of St. Eustache and Saints Anthony and George (National Gall., London); portraits of Lionello d'Este (Bergamo), Ginevra d'Este (Louvre), and the Emperor Sigismondo (Vienna).


See studies by E. Sindona (1964) and G. Paccagnini (1973).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(real name, Antonio di Puccio di Cerreto). Born 1395 in Pisa (?); died 1455 in Rome (?). Italian painter, graphic artist, and medalist.

Pisanello was influenced by Veronese and Lombard painting of the late 14th and early 15th centuries. In his paintings, such as the fresco St. George and the Princess in the church of Sant’ Anastasia in Verona (c. 1435-38) and The Vision of St. Eustace (c. 1420-25, National Gallery, London), new Renaissance elements gradually supplanted Gothic traditions. This change is most vividly revealed in the artist’s drawings, mostly pen and ink, of animals, costumes, and human figures (including nudes). The-drawings demonstrate Pisanello’s striving for fidelity to nature.

Pisanello was one of the first Italian portraitists (portraits of Ginevra d’Este, 1430’s, Louvre, Paris) and the founder of Renaissance medallic art. His medals, including those in honor of Lionello d’Este (1444, bronze), are noted for exactitude in individual characterization and delicate modeling.


Maiskaia, M. I. “Zhivopis’ Pizanello i osobennosti razvitiia Vozrozh-deniia v Severnoi Italii.” In the collection Klassicheskoe iskusstvo Zapada. Moscow, 1973. Pages 19-54.

Fossi Todorow, M. / disegni del Pisanello e della sua cerchia. Florence, 1966.

Passagnini, G. Pisanello. New York, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


Antonio . ?1395--?1455, Italian painter and medallist; a major exponent of the International Gothic style. He is best known for his portrait medals and drawings of animals
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