ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO,Vintage Art Masterpieces,Vintage Prints for Sale David by ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO {Florentine School}

David by ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO {Florentine School}

DavidDavid

by ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO {Florentine School}

 

FOR nearly four centuries, the name of Andrea del Castagno was blackened
by the heinous charge of murder.

It was believed, on the dubious authority
of the old biographer, Vasari, that he assassinated his best friend and col­
league, Domenico Veneziano, in order to monopolize the secret of oil paint­
ing as practiced by the early Flemish painters, but practically unknown
among the Italians.

Recent scholarship has disclosed that Veneziano sur­
vived his alleged murderer by four years. The foul story gained credence
because it squared with other tales of Andrea’s ferocious temper, and with the
extant examples of his militant art.

 

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It was also recorded “that when his own
works were censured, he would fall upon his critics with blows, giving them
to understand that he was able and willing to avenge himself.”

And when he
was commissioned, after the exemplary Florentine custom, to paint the leaders
of a conspiracy, hanging head downward, on the walls of the Bargello, he
was ever afterward called Andrea degl’ Impiccati-Andrew of the Hanged
Men.

Andrea del Castagno, a student of Masaccio and Donatello, was one of the
foremost contributors to the trenchant realism and scientific inquiry of the
Florentine style.

For savage strength that makes no concessions to refuiement;
for hard power and toughness of fiber, he has no equal among the Renaissance
masters. He was not a giant exulting in exhibitions of brutality: he was an
observer of outlines, volumes, and forms in relief: and his sardonic mind
reached out into the realm of tragedy.

His domineering military heroes are
types of august and merciless energy; his conception of Christ in his Last
Supper is the most robust and masculine in Italian art. Andrea’s figures, as
shown by his David, the triumphant youth, stand aggressively, larger than
life, legs wide apart, rough-hewn and menacing.

The David, painted on a
tournament shield, is much more decorative than the artist’s usual work. It is,
in fact, an ornamental picture of a new style, adding realism to the old pattern
base; but it illustrates Andrea’s directness, his sharp outlmes, his hard bright
color, and his warrior’s spirit.

 

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