1431 - 1506
Italian painter and engraver, born in the vicinity of Padua. Brother-in-law of Giovanni Bellini.
Mantegna is influenced by Donatello's work from early on. Characteristic of Mantegna's work are the bright colors, the strong linear perspective and the sharp lines. The subject matter is mostly classical or religious. In his attention for details and the fine drawing of his paintings, Mantegna was also influenced by Flemish masters such as Van Eyck.
Mantegna started his career in Padua but left that city at an early age. Perhaps a conflict with his teacher Francesco Squarcione made that he never returned to Padua. He then worked in Verona and Rome. In 1460 he was appointed court artist in Mantua, a small city state where he was to spend most of the rest of his life.
The altarpiece for the San Zeno in Verona is one of Mantegna's most famous works, just as the murals in the Camera degli Sposi (bride's room) in the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua (1468–1474). His work's composition and structure have inspired many artists.