4_Landscape with city by Andrea_Mantegna

Landscape with City (detail from Christ at the Mount of Olives in the Garden of Gethsemane)Andrea Mantegna, 1455

Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506) was a child prodigy. At the tender age of ten he was apprenticed (or legally adopted according to some sources) by Francesco Squarcione, a teacher of painting and collector of antiquities in Padua. Squarcione drew the cream of local talent to his studios, but was himself a volatile character. After some years, he and Mantegna quarreled violently. The young protégé left to set up his own studio, claiming that his precocious talents had been exploited by Squarcione without due recompense. When aged only 17, Mantegna won major commissions and went on to achieve considerable success as an artist. He is known for his clever and innovative use of perspective, his abilities to create spatial illusion and foreshortening and for his sculptural style of painting.



Wrap Up Your Painting

  • How many building materials did you spot in your buildings?
  • How did the placement of the buildings in the painting make you feel?
  • What viewpoint did you choose to stand at?
  • How did your impression of the scene change once you placed yourself inside the picture?
  • How do you feel now you’ve completed this activity? If you enjoyed it, why not add more Look at Paintings audio guides to your week? And don’t forget, you can take these guides with you to your local gallery and try them whilst standing in front of ‘real life’ art