WebMuseum

Altichiero


Altichiero (b. c.1320, Zevio; d. c.1395, Verona; active 1372-84). Italian painter. He probably came from Zevio near Verona and is sometimes considered to be the founder of the Veronese School, although the only surviving example of his work in that town is a fresco in Sta Anastasia. Most of his surviving work is in Padua, where he had a hand in fresco cycles in the Basilica of St Anthony (between 1372 and 1379) and in the Oratory of St George (between 1377 and 1384), in the latter of which he collaborated with an artist called Avanzo, who is otherwise unknown and whose contribution to the work is uncertain. Altichiero's gravity and the solidity and voluminousness of his figures clearly reveal his debt to Giotto's frescos in the Arena Chapel of Padua. But his pageant-like scenes with their elaborate architectural views express the taste of the late 14th century for Gothic intricacy, while his naturalism in the study of plants and animals formed the point of departure for a new style which is reflected in Pisanello.

Image Crucifixion
1376-79; Fresco, 840 x 280 cm; Basilica di Sant'Antonio, Padua

The Veronese painter Altichiero studied Giotto's frescoes in Padua and borrowing from them developed new forms of pictorial architecture. Around 1380, he and Jacopo Avanzo painted a cycle of frescoes in the Chapel of San Giacomo in the Santo (the church of Sant'Antonio) in Padua. The group compositions of his Crucifixion are those of Giotto's figures, but the architecture is structured so that it seems to recede ever deeper into the background of the picture. Only a stone's throw from the chapel, the young Titian was to work in the Scuola del Santo in 1511, where he was deeply impressed by Altichiero's colour scheme and composition.

Image Death of St Lucy
1379-84; Fresco, 237 x 290 cm; Oratorio di San Giorgio, Padua

Image The Beheading of Saint George (detail)
1385 (120 Kb); Wall painting; Oratory of San Giorgio at Padua

A chapel (oratorio) was built before the Basilica of Saint Anthony in 1377. The chapel was decorated by Altichiero and his workshop with frescoes showing the life of Christ and three saints, St. George, Catherine and Lucy.


14 Oct 2002, Nicolas Pioch - Top - Up - Info
Thanks to the BMW Foundation, the WebMuseum mirrors, partners and contributors for their support.