Florence art guide

Andrea del Castagno

andrea del castagno

He was born at Castagno near Florence in 1421 c., where he was to die of the plague in 1457.

As a painter he was influenced by Giotto and by Masaccio, and as a sculptor by Donatello; he proved to have an extremely original drawing technique of dramatic chiaroscuro which gave his work an effect of almost severe realism.
His first task was to paint the execution of some rebels on the facade of the Bargello: he was known as the ìpainter of the hanged menî for this reason. After living for a short time in Venice (1442), where he frescoed a chapel in the church of San Zaccaria, he returned to Florence permanently. He worked in the Refectory of the Benedictine monastery of Sant'Apollonia from 1445 to 1450, where he carried out several masterpieces: the Crucifixion, the Deposition, the Resurrection and, above all, the Last Supper (perhaps his most famous and powerful work).

Last Supper - detail
Last Supper - detail

The severe seclusion of the monks prevented the series of frescoes from being generally known to the public until 1860, when the convent was suppressed. Other extremely important frescoes, now detached and preserved in Sant'Apollonia, once decorated Villa Pandolfini-Carducci at Legnaia (1450).
He also carried out a series of frescoes for the Annunziata (after 1451) and the portrait of Niccoló da Tolentino in Santa Maria del Fiore (1456).

last supper
Last Supper at St. Apollonia


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