Altarpiece of San Zeno de Mantegna

Altarpiece of San Zeno de Mantegna
Altarpiece of San Zeno de Mantegna
Anonim

Andrea Mantegna is one of the greatest painters of the Italian Quatrocento, and not only because of the quality of his painting, with creations as great as the incredible foreshortening of his Lamentation over the Dead Christ. It is also due to the great thematic variety of his work as a whole, where the frescoes of the mural paintings are discovered, such as the Chamber of the Spouses of the Palacio Ducal de Mantua or panels painted in the temple such as La death of the Virgin.

Altarpiece of San Zeno de Mantegna

Altarpiece of San Zeno de Mantegna

Well, the paintings he did in 1459 for this altarpiece in thechurch of San Zenon in Veronaare also made in tempera. And it could be thought that his work has only been to paint the boards between the structure of the altarpiece, however Mantegna also created and painted a wooden structure that is confused with the real one. Hence that appearance, in which everything seems to be in a building with lintels and raised with columns.

Furthermore, if we look at the different tables in the set, we can see that the lighting has been taken care of, so that the scenes receive light from right to left and from top to bottom, which coincides with the real lighting it receives the altarpiece itself, since Mantegna himself said that it was necessary to open a window for that effect to be created.

Some of the most impressive scenes in the set are found in his partlow, in what we generally call the predella. There in the center there is a scene of the Crucifixion, whose scheme actually serves to generate the space, the composition and the distribution of the entire altarpiece.

But above all it asks us how to look at the whole by the spectator. He manages to draw our gaze to the center, to Jesus on the cross. He even presents us with the other two crosses in the New Testament scene in a very novel way, since he places them with a foreshortening and tilt that also directs us towards the center. And also the side tables with their different figures, continue to lead us towards the center and Jesus crucified.

And all this without leaving the lower part of the altarpiece, because obviously the most prominent are the upper panels, truly grandiose and imposing, especially due to that magnificent treatment of geometric perspective that Mantegna also knew how to develop as a great exponent of Rebirth.

The artist uses what is called a “di sotto in su” point of view, that is, from bottom to top, which obviously gives his figures a monumental bearing, and we must bear in mind that they are Many characters. Despite being numerous, the architectural structure gives unity to the complex and organizes the entire space.

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