Mantegna was born in 1431. He trained in painting at the Padua School where Donatello and Paolo Uccello had previously attended. Even at a young age commissions for Andrea’s work flooded in, for example the frescoes of the Ovetari Chapel of Padua.
In a short space of time Mantegna found his niche as a modernist due to his highly original ideas on the use of perspective in his works. His marriage with Nicolosia Bellini, the sister of Giovanni, paved the way for his entrance into Venice.
Mantegna reached an artistic maturity with his altarpiece of Pala San Zeno. He remained in Mantua and became the artist for one of the most prestigious courts in Italy - the Court of Gonzague. Despite his links with Bellini and Leonardo da Vinci, Mantegna refused to adopt their innovative use of colour or leave behind his own technique of engraving. The Bridal Suite is considered his most accomplished work.
Joseph Manca is a lecturer and the director of the Art History Department at Rice University. He has a PhD from Columbia University and worked previously at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. A specialist on the Italian Renaissance, Joseph Manca has published numerous works on this period, particularly northern Italian art of the 15th century.
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