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Andrea del Castagno

Niccolò di TolentinoAndrea of Bartolo, known as Andrea del Castagno, was born in Castagno Mugello in about 1419.
Little is known about his earlytraining except that he moved to Florence where he was influenced by the art of Masaccio and Donatello.
His most important paintings are in the Refectory of the convent of Santa Apollonia, convent of Benedictine nuns. His first frescos, painted between 1445 and 1450, depict the Resurrection, the Deposition and the Crucifixion linked by the same landscape. He also painted, in the same period, a fresco of Christ in his grave between two angels, in the lunette of the cloisters in the same convent.
In 1450 he painted a great fresco of the Last Supper in the Refectory of that convent. The scene is set inside a room, richly decorated with polychromatic marble. The characters are symmetrically placed round the table and the figures are statuesque, with strong contrast between the colours.
Paintings from his later years include pictures of the Saviour and St Julian and the picture of Niccolò of Tolentino on horseback, in Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, next to the painting of Giovanni Acuto on horseback by Paolo Uccello. The differences between the two paintings are striking: the one by Andrea del Castagno is more life-like and the wavy outlines make this painting more realistic. The artist died of the plague in Florence in 1457.