Castagno, Andrea del (circa 1421-1457)

"Castagno, Andrea del (circa 1421-1457)" submitted by RomeTour Editorial Team and last updated on Wednesday 27th April 2011

Andrea del Castagno, Italian painter, was born in Castagno, Mugello in circa1421 and died in Florence in 1457. He spent the time of formation in Florence of the humanistic period, in the environment dominated by the authority of Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Donatello. In 1442 he frescoed the Cappella di San Tarasio in the church of San Zaccaria in Venice. In 1444 he returned to Florence and executed the design of Deposizione for the window in the church of Santa Maria del Fiore, and frescoed Crocefissione con la Vergine, San Giovanni, la Maddalena e i Santi Benedetto e Romualdo in the Hospital of Santa Maria Nuova. Andrea spent in Florence the rest of his life and all the other works were executed in this city.

He depicted some series of frescoes: 1445-1450 refectory of the benedictians of Sant'Apollina creating the frescoes with the episodes of the life of Christ: Crocifissione, Deposizione e Resurrezione in the higher part of the wall, and in the lower part on the whole length of it: Ultima Cena (see on the right), the work of extraordinary geometrical clearness, perhaps, the most famous work of Castagno.
castagno ultima
Later were executed the series of the important figures of prominent men and women: Sibilla Cumana, Regina Ester, Regina Tomiri, Pippo Spano, Farinata degli Uberti (pictured), Niccolo' Acciaioli, Dante, Petrarca, Boccaccio, inside of the imaginary niches in the hall of the Villa Carducci in Legnaia in 1450 (now located in the church of Sant'Apollonia in Florence).

The other series with the Storie della Vergine (1451-1453) in the Cappella majore di Sant'Egidio was lost.
castagno farinata
Later works are: frescoes of Annunziata (1451); equestrian portrait of Niccolo' da Tolentino, depicted in Santa Maria del Fiore; David (Washington, Nat.Gall.), Vergine Assunta e santi (Berlin, Staatliche Mus.).

Through the energetic function of lines and psychological relief of the figures, the painting of Andrea del Castagno reached the level of rough realism, not common in the Florentine art of those times.

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