It's not simple to completely recompose Andrea Mantegna's creations. Even considering only the works we know about, there are no sure documentation from which to get an exact dating. Other difficulties include the bad condition of the paintings themselves.
The loss of the frescoes of the Ovetari Chapel, from which only a few fragments have remained, and of important pictorial decoration that he carried out for the Gonzagas in their residences of Cavriana, Marmiolo, etc, was particularly serious. From this last ones only a few engravings belonging to the composition have remained, from which it can be deduced an extraordinary inventive richness, which make the loss even harder to face.
Other serious decay can be seen also in the famous Camera degli Sposi (bridal chamber), while most of the painting on wood or canvas was damaged by the combination of materials that was mixed to the paint.
The examination of Mantegna's work, during recent restoration, has also highlighted how the fixer used in the past centuries has interacted with the colours and how spreading it in very thin layers caused detachment.
Other paintings, supposedly in good state, have revealed layers of re-painting.

A. Cocchi
Trad.: A. Sturmer

 

 


 

Bibliography

Lionello Puppi Cianfrusaglie reperti e un talent scout in: Il Romanzo della pittura. Masaccio e Piero. Supplemento al n° 29 de "la Repubblica" del 2.11.1988
Claudia Cleri Via Mantegna. Art eDossier n.55. Giunti, Firenze. 1991
La Nuova Enciclopedia dell'Arte Garzanti.
AA.VV. Moduli di Arte. Dal Rinascimento maturo al rococò. Electa-Bruno Mondadori, Roma 2000
A. Blunt Le teorie artistiche in Italia dal Rinascimento al Manierismo. Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi, Giulio Einaudi Editore, Torino 1966
G. Cricco, F. Di Teodoro, Itinerario nell’arte, vol. 2, Zanichelli Bologna 2004
G. Dorfles, S. Buganza, J. Stoppa Storia dell'arte. Vol II Dal Quattrocento al Settecento. Istituto Italiano Edizioni Atlas, Bergamo 2008

The works of Mantegna


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