Antonello da

Italia • 1430−1479

Biography and information

Antonello da Messina (ital. Antonello da Messina CA. 1429(1429)/1431 — 1479) — Italian painter, representative of the southern Italian school of painting of the early Renaissance.

ANTONELLO DA MESSINA (Antonello da Messina) (CA. 1430-1479), Italian painter of Sicilian origin, whose work has had a significant impact on the development of painting of the Early Renaissance.

A lot of information about the life of Antonello of lost, doubtful, or controversial. However, it is clear that, although he was not introduced to Italy the oil painting, as this is reported by early sources, Antonello demonstrated its luminous possibilities of the Venetian painters, thus initiating the whole movement, which was destined to become one of the main routes in the history of Western art. Like some other artists of that time Antonello da Messina was a combination of the picturesque innovations of the Italians with the Dutch tradition of optically accurate image details.

The entry 1456 that Antonello was a pupil in Messina, suggests that he was born no later than 1430. The style of his works by Vasari confirms the message that the teacher Antonello was the Neapolitan Colantonio. Naples to a much greater extent experienced cultural influence of the Iberian Peninsula, France and the Netherlands than Tuscany and Northern Italy. Painting particularly flourished in the environment, familiar with the work of van Eyck and his followers, several works which can be found in the Neapolitan collections. Antonello was Italian by birth but by artistic education, he largely belonged to the painting tradition of Northern Europe. He was one of the most remarkable portrait painters of his time. Almost a third of his surviving works are portraits. Usually the model is depicted close-up head and shoulders; head and shoulders were placed against a dark background. In the foreground is sometimes depicted parapet with attached cartellino (a piece of paper with the inscription); the graphic quality and level accuracy in the transfer of these items testify to their Dutch origin. Portrait of a man (C. 1474-1475, London, national gallery) is one of the best portraits of Antonello. With the exception of the red caps, complemented by peek-a-Boo dark red stripe bottom dress, the master's palette is limited to black, rich brown and separate strokes of white and Nude colors. Although the inner world of the model reveals little, his face radiates energy and intelligence; it is finely modelled with light and shade. This play of light combined with the sharp rendering of facial features lends an almost sculptural expressiveness of the works of Antonello Mature period of creativity.

The portraits of Antonello attract the audience chamber format and shiny, glossy surface. When these qualities are transferred to religious paintings, as for example in the painting Ecce Homo (Piacenza City Museum), view human suffering becomes unbearable painful. Naked Christ, with a rope around his neck and tears on her face, stares at us. The figure almost completely fills the field of the painting; interpretation of the plot departs from the iconographic distraction to the transfer of physical and psychological reality of the image of Christ that causes us to focus on the meaning of his suffering.

Completely different in mood, the picture Maria Annunziata (Palermo, national gallery of Sicily) also requires the viewer of the emotional and internal experiences. The spectator is placed in the space in place of the Archangel, giving a feeling of mental complicity. Mary, seated at a lectern, one hand holds his blue blanket and raises the other hand. She is thoughtful and completely calm, it's evenly lit, sculpted fashioned head just radiates light against a dark background background.

If considered works lack even a minimal interest in the issue of the transfer space, other works by Antonello in this respect, far ahead of its time. The picture SV. Jerome in his study (London, national gallery) depicts St., reading at a lectern. His wood paneled office inside is the Gothic hall, the rear wall which is cut Windows in two floors. The image is framed by an arch and a border in the foreground that are perceived as proscenium (reception, common in the art of the countries North of the Alps). The bright mustard color of the stone emphasizes the contrast of light and shadows inside the cavernous room. Details – items on the shelves of the Cabinet, the birds in the foreground, landscape in the distance – transferred with such degree of accuracy, which is achieved only when applying wet oil paint very fine strokes. However, the main advantage of painting Antonello concluded not so much in detail as in the unity of light and air environment.

In 1475-1476 Antonello lived in Venice, where he wrote a monumental altar for the Church of San Cassiano. Preserved only the Central part (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum), which depicts the Madonna and child, raised on a throne above the saints on both sides. The altar belonged to the type of sacra conversazione (Holy interview: Madonna and child with saints who are with them in the same space, what's the opposite of the form is divided into part of the polyptych), and were reconstructed on the basis of the later altarpieces by Giovanni Bellini.

Antonello demonstrated to the Venetians the possibility of transferring the lighting in a new painting technique – oil painting, and since that time colours of the Venetian was based on exploiting the huge potential of oil painting. Artworks of Antonello in Venice, characterized by the same conceptual lines as his earlier work. Pieta (Venice, Museo Correr), heavily worn, even in such a damaged condition fills the viewer an intense sense of compassion. Christ's dead body kept on the lid of the tomb three angels with pointed wings, as if flying through the air. Again the Central figure, this close up, as if pressed to the surface of the painting; this technique makes the viewer acutely empathize with the depicted suffering. The picture SV. Sebastian (Dresden Art gallery) Antonello as if to compete with their Northern Italian contemporaries in the skill transfer of linear perspective (as well as in the depiction of heroic nudity). Figure pierced with arrows Saint takes a huge size in the background of the stone-paved square. The prospect with the lowest possible vanishing point, the fragment of a column in the foreground and move into the space affirms the principles of Euclidean geometry in the composition.