Coppo di  Marcovaldo


Founder of the Sienese School

Florentine Italian Painter in the Byzantine Tradition

Influences - Carolingian Art

Education - apprenticed at age 10 to local Greek icon makers and later  a gold smith

Medium - Tempera and gold leaf on wood

Cause of death - drowned in his own blood when a fish bone pierced his esophagus

 Coppo di Marcovaldo was the Michelangelo of his day. Famous for his Christian-themed painted icons with ecclesiastical figures often hover above the Virgin Mary.  Coppo di Marcovaldo started life as  a hard drinking soldier in the army of Florence.  The weary young veteran establish a home and studio in Siena after he was imprisoned following the bloody Battle of Montaperti. 

The innovative artist was soon in great demand by the church and aristocracy.   Coppo di Marcovaldo' s paintings became prized for their inventive compositions and immense beauty.  His style was typified by a certain poetical tenderness,  combined naturalistic element with the fantastic religious fervor typical of the Byzantine painting tradition.  Most prominently featured in his work are  the holy figures of the Christian faith---ChristSaints, The CrossVirgin Mary Chalice, Keys, The Anchor, Wheat The Good Shepherd, The Apostles, Animals, Fish, Angels, Birds, Insects  and Satan


Coppo di Marcovaldo Quotation

"This painting is created through my  boundless wonder for God and all good that is of the world so far I can reveal it." -- Coppo di Marcovaldo


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Peiter Rummelstien,  Italian Art History, Grummets & Billge Publishing, 1892

Wilbur Righterman, Art and Artists, Wllington and Co., New Zealand, 1909


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