Andrea Mantegna is one of the key Italian artists of the early Renaissance. It was this artist, in the opinion of many art historians, who connected the Florentine (early) Renaissance and the later Italian Renaissance with his work.
Andrea Mantegna was born supposedly in 1431 in Mantua (northern Italy). Scientists calculated this date from one of his paintings, written in 1448, in the signature of which Mantegna says that he is 17 years old here. Most of the artist’s life was spent in Padua, the city that became the artist’s creative workshop. Even in the years when Mantegna lived and worked in Mantua, he signed all his paintings as works of a Padua master, since it was this city that the painter considered his homeland.
According to the documents found, at the age of ten Andrea was noticed by the local artist and antiquarian Francesco Svarchone. He took the young painter to his care, and also identified him in the art workshop, where he developed the boy’s ability to painting.
In less than 17 years, Mantegna receives an order for the painting of the main altar in the church of Hagia Sophia in Padua. If you look at these murals, then with confidence we can say that the painting was done by an experienced artist, and not a novice painter. Next, Andrea Mantegna receives an order for the design of the chapel of St. Christopher (Padua).
In 1454, Andrea married Nikoloz Bellini. Thus, two families of painters became related: the father of Nikoloz - Jacopo - was a well-known artist in Venice, and her two brothers - Giovanni and Gentile - glorified Italy in the 15th century as outstanding painters.
Having already gained fame, in 1460 Mantegna moved to Mantua and settled at the court of the Marquis of Gonzaga, becoming his court painter. Over the next 8 years, the painter travels to Italy and in 1488 in Rome receives an offer from Pope Innocent VIII to paint his chapel. The work was carried out for almost three years, after which Mantegna received the knightly rank and returned to the estate of Gonzaga, where he remained until the end of his life. Mantegna died in 1506.
One of the main works of Mantegna is the painting of the Ovetari chapel in the Eremitani church in Padua. Unfortunately, the church was destroyed during the Second World War. However, some sketches for frescoes have been preserved. The work was carried out for 6 years by several painters, but the style of Mantegna, according to many art historians, was the leading one.