Andrea Mantegna and the Mantuan Legacy
9 April 2016
Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) was a painter who brought ideals of humanism to the North of Italy from Florence, working with artists in Padova and Venice (Paolo Uccello, Andrea del Castagno, Filippo Lippi, Donatello). At a young age, in 1448, he was put in charge to repaint the then ruined Ovetari Chapel at the Chiesa degli Eremitani in Padova.
Ludovico II Gonzaga immediately recognized his genius and had the painter brought to Mantua in 1459. Here, Mantegna would develop his skill for over half a century, inaugurating one of the longest and most continuous relationship of a Renaissance court with an artist. The Bridal Chamber, or the Painted Chamber (1465-1474), is an extraordinary example of realism that not even the masters of Florence could have created.
It was also in Mantua that he painted the nine canvases of the Triumphs of Caesar, in which the strong figure and prospective give way to an incredible dynamism within the majestic procession caught on a continuous line of almost 27 meters.
In Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue, Mantegna’s depiction of Christ is just one more masterpiece to be added to the list of the artists’ work here in Mantua.
On the 13th of September, 1506, the artist died in the city of the Gonzaga, leaving behind an unforgettable legacy and reputation as one of the finest artists of his time.