Art on This Day
Born in Florence, Italy, Baldovinetti was from a family of a rich merchant. He was a follower of the group of scientific realists and naturalists in art which included Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello and Domenico Veneziano. His earliest work includes paintings for the doors of the Chapel of the Annunciation in Santissima Annunziata (c. 1449) and an altarpiece (1450) for the Pieve di Borgo San Lorenzo in Mugello.
Baldovinetti was an was an Italian early Renaissance painter. His work exemplified the careful modeling of form and the accurate depiction of light characteristic of the most progressive style of Florentine painting during the last half of the 15th century. At the same time, he contributed significantly to the fledgling art of landscape painting.
He was also known for his fresco paintings, where he used a method of laying his compositions in fresco and finishing them a secco with a mixture of yolk of egg and liquid varnish. He achieved his fully mature style in his masterpiece, The Nativity (1460–62), a fresco in the Church of Santissima Annunziata, Florence. This fresco is Baldovinetti’s best known of his four surviving paintings. Although Baldovinetti’s technical experiments led to the fresco’s rapid decay, it shows the pale colours, atmospheric light, and integration of detail with large-scale design.
He was regarded by his contemporaries as the one craftsman who had rediscovered and fully understood the long disused art of mosaic, and was employed accordingly between 1481 and 1483 to repair the mosaics over the door of the church of S. Miniato, as well as several of those within the baptistery of the cathedral. He died at in the hospital San Paolo, August 29, 1499, and was buried in San Lorenzo.
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