For the most part, students of the Renaissance know about all there is to know about the first-name stars from Leonardo to Raphael. Yet, they know little about the previous generation, those who influenced these godlike painting masters. This is strange because the period is well documented and, while they may not be the household names, neither are they totally unknown. One of the most important of these influences was Andrea Mantegna (pronounce Mon-TANE-ya). In fact he may well have been their greatest single painting influence. Born about 1431, near Vicenza, Italy, his heroic figures and dramatic use of perspective, not to mention daring, trompe L'oeil ceiling frescoes mark him as one of the most underrated artists on the fifteenth century.
|Court of Mantua, 1474, Andrea Mantegna,|
Camera degli Sposi
|East Wall, Camera degli Sposi,|
1474, Andrea Mantegna