He was one of the greatest painters of the early Renaissance. He worked at the court for the dukes of Gonzaga at Mantua. Mantegna combined his fascination with antiquity with an interest in the accurate rendering of natural phenomena and his selfless belief in linear perspective. His frescoes often depict architectural structures with mathematical precision. Mantegna was also one of the pioneers of printmaking — with superb engraving technique, which suited his style perfectly.
Notice the extraordinary outcrops of rock and the way he could make everything (even human flesh) look like carved stone (late monochrome works consciously look like bas-relief sculpture). Stunning mastery of scientific perspective and foreshortening — seen at its most impressive in his large, decorative schemes.
Andrea Mantegna’s major works are St. James Led to His Execution, c. 1455 (Padua: Ovetari Chapel, Church of the Eremitani); St. Sebastian, c. 1455–60 (Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum)
- Robert Cumming. Art: complete encyclopedia. – 512 p. – Moscow: Astrel, 2005.