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Paolo
Uccello

1397−1475
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Artist of the Early Renaissance Paolo Uccello (Paolo Uccello) more than anything in this world were interested in the prospect. It was his joy and his curse.

Delight - because nothing in life was taken Uccello such happiness as night to untangle complex tasks to build prospects. And not Brunelleschi who discovered linear perspective, namely he, Paolo di Dono called Uccello from Florence, invented a unique technique of perspective reduction figures. The placement of physical bodies on different plans were presented to the artists impossible task.

Why curse?

On this account verbose and passionate quarrels Giorgio Vasari in his "Life..." He says Uccello studied perspective, not knowing measures and exhausting yourself. "too violent exercise he had done violence to nature" and "cluttering their talent challenges" and yourself "doomed to loneliness and savagery". What the obsession with the prospect made his way dry and congested flying small details. Anyway, total Vasari, who is obsessed with studying prospects, "often becomes reclusive, strange, dark and poor". Look, they say, at least Uccello!

...The artist's father Dono di Paolo for many years before his birth he moved to Florence from Florence. Some called it the Barber, the other healer, but rather, he was both. Thanks to these skills Dono di Paolo has become very popular in the personality. So popular that even married noble Florentine Antonia di Giovanni del Castello. Their son Paolo di Dono, later nicknamed Uccello, was born about 1397.

About childhood Paolo we only know that as a boy he was taken to help when decorating the North gate of the baptistery of famous sculptors - Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti. In the Studio the last Uccello will learn the basics skills and get acquainted with his future friend Donatello.

At the age of 18 Uccello take in the Florentine Workshop of doctors, pharmacists and painters. This strange, on the present view, the Association of the professions, it is quite logical for the late middle Ages. First, pharmacists often cooked their drugs from the same plants and minerals that painters paint. Secondly, doctors and artists even heavenly patron was one of the Evangelist Luke.

In the biography of Uccello lot of gaps, the whole five-year, which is not known where he was and what he was doing. It is known that the artist has traveled. In Siena he studied art Cassette (Stefano di Giovanni) and the Lorenzetti brothers, visited Pisa, worked in Venice on wall paintings and mosaics of San Marco Cathedral, through the influence of Donatello went to work in Padua, the homeland of his father, in Prato, painted Assunta chapel in the Cathedral (especially known for its Gothic frescoes "Birth Of Mary" and "The introduction of Mary in the temple").

In his professional development Uccello did a paradoxical circle. He seemed to have gone backwards, in the opposite direction from the mainstream of the Quattrocento. About 1425, he will leave Florence to Venice to study dear to his heart Gothic well entrenched in the city on the water by Northern influences and contacts with Byzantium. And at the same time, left on time Florence vengeance develops new art, refusing primarily from the medieval heritage and Gothic developments.

They say that when Uccello in a few years he returned to Florence, he did not recognize her, so changed the art of painting cathedrals, the very perception of the world. He was at a crossroads - continue to work in the spirit of carrying away his Gothic or chase the rapidly changing trends with more reliable transmission of reality.

Uccello chose a third way. On the one hand, he joined the circle of scientists, humanists and to fanaticism became interested in teaching about the future. On the other hand, the lifelikeness and the imitation of nature, which declared the architect and art theorist of the Renaissance, Leon Battista Alberti, left Uccello completely indifferent.

If we look at the most famous of his works - "The battle of St. George with the dragon" three "battle of San Romano" (1, 2, 3 and his last picture "The hunt" we will see that they are distinguished by a strange fantastic, a sort of mysterious magic, only apparent naivety. Did Uccello anyone not like. For several centuries it was almost forgotten as a painter, not integrated with the dynamics of its outstanding time. But in the twentieth century it will be highly appreciate the Cubists and Surrealists. The first is that all the volumes in his paintings (especially in the three "Battles are easily laid out in geometric shapes. The second is for the unreal and oppressive anxiety of his paintings and frescoes.

To see how dramatic manner Uccello not like anyone else, just match the number of typical Florentine images of the virgin Mary and his "Madonna" from the National gallery of Ireland (Dublin). And the mother and child is so alien to the usual seemliness that by Association rather able to recall the heroes of Rabelais than the blessed virgin and the Christ Child. Anyway, this "Madonna" just don't be confused.

What moved Uccello in his creative non-conformist? His contemporary and friend of Donatello commented: "Uccello refused certainty for uncertainty".

The first of the surviving works of which it is known that it was written by Uccello, a huge fresco in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore "A monument to the condottiere John Hokudo" (more about it can read here). There for the first time recorded the nickname under which Paolo di Dono entered the history of art. We see the inscription "Paolo Uccello made me."

What is this strange name "Uccello"? In Italian it means "bird". Maybe he resembled the beautiful attentive bird - self-portrait with frescoes where Uccello has depicted himself between Giotto and Donatello, this does not refute. There is a simple explanation: Paolo di Dono learned a lot and was very fond of animals, and especially birds, for which he received this nickname.

About the personal life of the artist knows very little. In 1446-year, shortly before he turned 50, Uccello returned to Venice, bought a house near All Saints Church and married. Vasari gossips that married Uccello continued for many hours to sit in the closet on their perspective drawings, and when the wife of Tommaso demanded that he went to sleep, ambiguous shouted: "Oh, how sweet this perspective!"

After 10 years of Tommaso died from puerperal fever. Late daughter of Anthony Uccello not only survived, but even, according to Vasari, was the artist. Uccello survived his wife for almost two decades, which were spent in poverty and relative isolation, increasingly plunging into a geometric studies.

In the late period for the Church in Urbino Uccello wrote a series of six murals "The desecration of Ostia" ("the Legend of communion") based on anti-Semitic legends. They talk about how the Jews desecrate the wafer (Ostia) - bread used by the Church for the sacrament of communion. Jew beckons Christians wafer, stabs with a knife, and from it flows the blood or shows the face of Christ. Subsequently, this kind of Apocrypha formed the Foundation for Jewish pogroms and executions. The treatment of this topic (and semantic, and purely beautiful) suggests that in the intense competition between the Renaissance and the middle Ages, which took place in the minds of Uccello, finally won the middle Ages.

The artist died 78 years old man (in his time, few people lived to that age) and was buried beside his father in the Church of the Holy spirit in Florence.
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