(Or ANDREINO DEL CASTAGNO)
Florentine painter, b. near Florence, 1390; d. at Florence, 9 August, 1457. Little is known of his life. Vasari tells us that his father was only a poor labourer and that the painter himself commenced life as a keeper of cattle. It is not known what led him to study art, or who was his first master. In 1434, after the return of the Medici, he was given a commission to commemorate in painting on the façade of the palace the execution of the Albizzi, the Peruzzi, etc. From that time he went by the name of "Andrea degli Impiccati". In 1454 Pope Nicholas V commissioned him to decorate the apartments of the Vatican. Vasari recounts that Andrea, having learned the secret of oil-painting from Domenico Veneziano, and wishing to remain the sole master of the art, assassinated his comrade. It is known, however, that Domenico survived him four years. Castagno is one of the artists who, with Paolo Uccello (b. 1497) and Filippo Lippi (b. 1406), contributed most actively to the Masaccio revolution in art. His works, however, show the influence of the frescoes of the Brancacci's chapel. He was greatly influenced also by the work of the sculptor Donatello. He has neither the passion of the latter, nor the moral grandeur of Masaccio, nor the elegance of Lippi. But in his own domain, which is the perfecting of plastic and of the resources of drawing, no one has made more progress than he. His paintings have been scattered and cannot be studied anywhere but in Florence. The most celebrated of his works is the life-like and strongly-executed equestrian portrait of Niccolò da Tolentino, in the Cathedral of Florence, which forms the pendant to that of John Hawkwood by Uccello (1436). Most remarkable is the "Last Supper", which hangs in the refectory of the old convent of S. Appolonia. The figures, almost colossal, have a power of anatomy, an individuality, a savage life which forces one to forget the absence of all religious emotion. Such characteristics are also found in the frescoes of the Villa Carducci, which are now at the National Museum. They represent Thomyris, Esther, and the Cumaean Sibyl, the poets Dante, Petrarch, and Boccaccio, statesmen such as Acciaiuoli, Farinata degli Uberti, and Pippo Spano. These last, by the energy of their attitude, the hang of their draperies, and their heroic aspect, produce an impression of grandeur and solemnity which is found nowhere in the Florentine school of the fourteenth century outside of the works of Masaccio and Signorelli.
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 in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
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