Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Painter, born at Florence, 1397; died there, 1475. His real name was Paolo di Dono, but from his love of painting birds he received the nickname of Uccello , and has been most frequently called by that name ever since. He was apprenticed to Ghiberti, and was one of the assistants engaged in preparing the first pair of bronze gates made for the baptistery in Florence. Vasari tells us that his special love was for geometry and perspective. Manetti taught him geometry, but where he learned painting we do not know, nor are we acquainted with the reasons which led him to leave the botega of Ghiberti and set up for himself. Vasari scoffs at Uccello's study of perspective, regarding it as waste of time, and saying that the artist became "more needy than famous". His skill in foreshortening and proportion, and in some of the complex difficulties of perspective, was quite remarkable, and his pictures for this reason alone are well worth careful study, for they display an extraordinary knowledge of geometric perspective. His most important work is the colossal equestrian figure of Sir John Hawkwood, a chiaroscuro in terraverde , intended to imitate a stone statue, seen aloft, standing out from the wall of the cathedral. One of the most precious possessions of the National Gallery, London, is a battle-picture by this artist. For a long time this was wrongly entitled the "Battle of Sant' Egidio of 1416", but it really represents the rout of San Romano of 1432. Instead of Malatesta, the picture gives us a representation of Nicolò da Tolentino . Mr. Herbert Horne gave considerable attention to the history of this picture some twelve years ago, and was able to arrive at a very accurate determination regarding it. There are very few paintings by Uccello in existence, although he must have painted a considerable number. There is a panel by him in the Louvre, containing his own portrait, associated with those of Giotto, Donatello, Brunelleschi, and Manetti, representing perspective associated with painting, sculpture, architecture, and geometry. Many of the frescoes he executed for Santa Maria Novella have been destroyed. The only other picture of his that need be mentioned here is a predella in a church near Urbino, relating to the theft of a pax, which is attributed to him by many critics. He is said to have studied the works of Pisanello with great advantage, and it is probable that it was from Pisanello that he first learned painting, but he may be practically regarded as one of the founders of the art of linear perspective. There are very few dates known in his history beyond those of his birth and death. But we know that in 1425 he was at work at Venice, in 1436 painting his portrait of Sir John Hawkwood, and in 1468 residing at Urbino.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • AP discovers Clinton hid details of 75 meetings with donors while ...
  • Daily Readings for Monday, June 27, 2016
  • 9-year-old boy burned for accepting Christ
  • St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Monday, June 27, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: Dear God
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 29th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
6 Yahweh says this: For the three crimes, the four crimes of Israel, I ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 50:16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23
16 But to the wicked, God says: 'What right have you to recite my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:18-22
18 When Jesus saw the crowd all about him he gave orders to leave for the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 27th, 2016 Image

St. Cyril of Alexandria
June 27: St. Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the ... Read More