Castagno, Andrea del

(c. 1419-1457)
   Andrea del Castagno was born in the Mugello, near Florence. Little is known of his life, though Giorgio Vasari described him as a violent individual, stating that he murdered his competitor Domenico Veneziano out of envy. In the 19th century, Vasari's account was debunked when documentation with the exact date of Castagno's death surfaced—four years before Veneziano's. In 1440, Castagno received the commission to paint on the façade of the Palazzo del Podestà in Florence, now the Bargello, a fresco (destroyed in 1494) depicting members of the Albizzi family and their associates hanging upside-down for committing treason. In 1442, he worked in Venice on the vault of the Chapel of St. Tarasius in the Church of San Zaccaria, his earliest documented work. There he rendered the figures of God the Father, saints, and Evangelists, frescoes that contributed to the introduction of the Florentine style to Venice. In c. 1445, Castagno was back in Florence painting his Crucifixion with Four Saints for the cloister of Santa Maria degli Angeli (now in the refectory of Sant'Apollonia). Here, his interest in the accurate rendering of the human form in movement, learned from Donatello, is clearly noted. The solidity and crudeness of the figures, on the other hand, Castagno borrowed from Masaccio. In 1447, Castagno created his greatest masterpiece, the frescoes in the refectory of Sant' Apollonia. These works include the Last Supper, which demonstrates his mastery at rendering perspective, Crucifixion, Entombment, and Resurrection. A year after their completion, Castagno was working on a series of frescoes depicting illustrious men and women in the loggia of the Villa Carducci at Legnaia (now Florence, Uffizi). The sculptural quality of the figures in the Carducci series, their anatomical details, and assertive stances again recall Donatello's sculptures.
   Castagno's Vision of St. Jerome (c. 1454-1455), a fresco in the Church of the Santisima Annunziata, Florence, commissioned by Girolamo Corboli, presents the saint as a toothless old man with the crudity of Masaccio's figures. Flanked by Paola and Eustochium, mother and daughter saints, Jerome views the crucified Christ above him, the vision that persuaded him to go into the desert near Antioch to learn Hebrew so he could translate the original text of the Bible into Latin (the Vulgate). God the Father holds up his son as he does in Masaccio's Holy Trinity (1427; Florence, Santa Maria Novella). Here, however, the figures are so convincingly foreshortened as to appear to be floating above the saint. Castagno's depiction of muscles, bone structure, and the other anatomical details of Christ's nude torso are even more convincing than in his earlier crucifixions. Corboli belonged to the Girolamite community of flagellants, which explains the reason why Christ wears a rope around his head, instead of the usual crown of thorns. Castagno's equestrian portrait Niccolö da Tolentino (1456) in the Cathedral of Florence was conceived as a companion to Paolo Uccello's Sir John Hawkwood on Horseback. Castagno, in fact, intended it as visual criticism of his competitor's work. A more animated horse, with greater emphasis on its musculature, the turn of the head toward the viewer, and its fluttering tail has produced a more imposing rendition of a hero on horseback.
   Castagno's figures are by no means beautiful. Their visual impact instead depends on the accuracy of their anatomical details, the convincing response of their muscles and tendons to physical stress, and dynamic motion—the artist's primary interests. With this, Castagno presaged the scientific approach of Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Andrea del Verrocchio, and Leonardo da Vinci, three masters who would engage in human dissections to gain full understanding of the body's structure and its functions.

Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. . 2008.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Castagno, Andrea del — orig. Andrea di Bartolo born с 1421, San Martino a Corella, Republic of Florence died Aug. 19, 1457, Florence Italian painter active in Florence. Little is known of his early life, and many of his paintings have been lost. His earliest dated… …   Universalium

  • Castagno,Andrea del — Cas·ta·gno (kä stäʹnyō), Andrea del. 1423 1457. Florentine painter noted for his Last Supper, part of the Passion of Christ Cycle that he painted for the Church of Sant Apollonia in Florence. * * * …   Universalium

  • Castagno, Andrea del — ► (1423? 57) Pintor italiano de la escuela florentina; se caracterizó por su realismo. Destaca su pintura de tema profano, sobre todo, la serie de Hombres y mujeres ilustres. * * * orig. Andrea di Bartolo ( 1421, San Martino a Corella, República… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Castagno, Andrea del — (ca. 1423 1457)    The most talented Florentine painter of the generation following Masaccio, whose style influenced him greatly. He thoroughly assimilated the techniques of perspective defined by Filippo Brunelleschi and first successfully… …   Historical Dictionary of Renaissance

  • Andrea del Castagno — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Andrea del Castagno Fresco de Niccolò da Tolentino (1456), obra de Andrea del Castagno Nombre real Andrea di Bartolo di Bargilla …   Wikipedia Español

  • ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO — (1390 ou 1406 ou 1421 1457) Au début du Quattrocento, divers peintres florentins élaborent un style qui brise avec ce que le Trecento, dominé par Giotto, comportait encore d’empreinte gothique. La conquête, par Masaccio, d’un espace cohérent… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Andrea del Castagno — Andrea del Castagno: Christus im Todesgrab mit Engeln, Fresko, Italien, um 1445 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Andrea Del Castagno — Niccolò da Tolentino, fresque (1456) …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Andrea del Castagno — Andrea del Castạgno   [ ɲo], italienischer Maler, * Castagno bei Florenz 1419 (?), ✝ Florenz 14. 8. 1457; beeinflusst von Donatello, Masaccio und P. Ucello; 1442 in Venedig tätig, danach in Florenz. Andrea gehört zu den Bahnbrechern der… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Andrea del Castagno — Niccolò da Tolentino, fresque (1456) …   Wikipédia en Français


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