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Andrea del Castagno

Castagno, Andrea del (ändrĕˈä dĕl kästäˈnyō) [key], c.1423–1457, major Florentine painter of the early Renaissance. His first recorded painting (1440; now destroyed), effigies of hanged men, enemies to the Florentine regime, brought him fame in spite of its disconcerting subject. Two years later he was in Venice, frescoing the ceiling of the chapel in San Zaccaria. He returned to Florence and c.1445 began the cycle of the Passion of Christ for the church of Sant' Apollonia. Best known of these scenes is the Last Supper. Castagno combined a rigorous perspective with harsh, metallic lighting that greatly intensified the drama of the scene. He decorated the hall of the Villa Pandolfini with heroic figures, including Pippo Spano, Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio. Here the influence of Donatello can be felt, particularly in the vitality and plastic rendering of forms. In the Annunziata Church there is a powerful conception of the Savior and St. Julian. His last dated work is the equestrian statue of Niccolò da Tolentino in the cathedral. Other examples of his art are David (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.) and the Resurrection (Frick Coll., New York City).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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