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Paolo Uccello

1397-1475

Florentine Painter of the Early Renaissance

Stylistically influenced by the following painters -Lorenzo Ghiberti

Education - He was apprenticed to the workshop of Lorenzo Ghiberti

Cause of Death -  Old Age

Biography Information and Facts About the Artist

Art historians regard the Renaissance to be the true beginning of  art history. The term "renaissance" means "rebirth".  Paolo Uccello was a brilliant painter and mathmatician.  Giorgio Vasari, artist and author of Lives of the Artists, descibed Uccello "This man, endowed by nature with a penetrating and subtle mind, knew no other delight than to investigate certain difficult, nay, impossible problems of perspective, which, although they were fanciful and beautiful, yet hindered him so greatly in the painting of figures, that the older he grew the worse he did them. And there is no doubt that if a man does violence to his nature with too ardent studies, although he may sharpen one edge of his genius, yet nothing that he does appears done with that facility and grace which are natural to those who put each stroke in its proper place temperately and with a calm intelligence full of judgment, avoiding certain subtleties that rather burden a mans  work with a certain labored, dry, constrained, and bad manner, which moves those who see it rather to compassion than to marvel; for the spirit of genius must be driven into action only when the intellect wishes to set itself to work and when the fire of inspiration is kindled, since it is then that excellent and divine qualities and marvelous conceptions are seen to issue forth." Uccello was famous for his magnificent historical battle scenes. he was in huge demand as the finest portraitist of his day.

 Uccello worked chiefly in Rome, Florence and Padua.  His style is characterized by dazzling colors, spatial clarity of his compositions and a harmonious union between figure and landscape.

Like most painters past and present Uccello died penniless and experienced long term health problems.



The Renaissance was a incredibly exciting time to be an artist. Clive Bell, author and art historian, noted "The Classical Renaissance was a new reading of human life, and what it added to the emotional capital of Europe was a new sense of the excitingness of human affairs. If the men and women of the Renaissance were moved by Art and Nature, that was because in Art and Nature they saw their own reflections. The Classical Renaissance was not a re-birth but a re-discovery; and that superb mess of thought and observation, lust, rhetoric, and pedantry, that we call Renaissance literature, is its best and most characteristic monument. What it rediscovered were the ideas from the heights of which the ancients had gained a view of life. This view the Renaissance borrowed. By doing so it took the sting out of the spiritual death of the late Middle Ages. It showed men that they could manage very well without a soul. It made materialism tolerable by showing how much can be done with matter and intellect."

Key Descriptive Words  and Phrases associated with the Renaissance Movement rebirth, rediscovery of the classical world, City-state, Humanism, Humanist, Francesco Petrarch, Reform, The Prince, Theocracy, The Inquisition, Human Reasoning,  publication of Della Pittura, a book about the laws of mathematical perspective for artists, sfumato, chiaroscuro, linear perspectiveHeliocentric Theory, vanishing point, Savonarola, spiritually significant,  illuminated manuscriptidealized biblical themes, scriptorium, emotion, illuminator,  Age of Discovery, axonometric drawing, curiosity about the natural world, mythology,  realistic use of colours and lightBonfire of the Vanities, Old Testament stories, ethereal and foggy backgrounds, Gospel parables, The Blackdeath, romanticized landscapes,  Christian symbolism. Paradise





  

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