Andrea Mantegna

By: Emma Danes

The Life of Andrea

Born: Isola di Cartura, 1430 or 1431.

Died: Mantua, September 13, 1506


Mantegna lived most of his life in Italy, specifically in Pradua and Mantua painting for his patrons, the Gonzaga family.

Andrea's Education and Lifestyle

Andrea spent his whole life surrounded by artists including his adopted father, Francesco Squarcione. He was the pupil/apprentice of Francesco which got him started but later went off on his own. Most of his early work is unknown but by the time he was in his early young adult years he was painting frescoes in churches. He spent his whole life painting and engraving.

He married Nicolasia Bellini, the sister of two famous artists, Giovanni and Gentile.

Andrea's Career

Not only was he a painter, but an engraver as well. But he is most widely known for being a painter and some of his most famous paintings are The Camera Picta(Camera delgi Sposi), Dead Christ, and Panassus. He is known for his illusionism with a painting on a ceiling called a tondo, when you think you can see the sky, his secularism for his interest in Greek and Roman mythology and nudes, and his perspectiveism for his use of three dimensional art and linear lines. His art also was very detailed up to the wrinkles on peoples clothing which you could say is naturalism.
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Camera Picta (Camera delgi sposi)

About the Camera Picta

The Camera Picta is a beautiful, detailed and colorful fresco painted on the walls and ceiling in the bridal room of the Ducal Palace, the palace of Mantegna's patrons. There are many different scenes painted on different portions of the room capturing some of the important events of the Gonzaga family. Mantegna really shows the emotion and detail in the fresco. The ceiling panel, the one in the photo above, gives the room a finishing touch of light and peace coming from the illusion sky above.


The Camera Picta was made over the course of about 10 years, specifically 1465 through 1474. The painting is a fresco which is a hard technique to use and requires a skilled artist to use it well. The piece is so significant because Mantegna used illusionism in his painting which was a new style of art at that time. This particular painting tricks the viewer into thinking that you can see all the way through they ceiling even though you can't. This is why I find the piece so interesting, it is an illusion and a beautifully detailed one that is pleasing to the eye.

The Camera Picta Today

Today the Ducal Palace is still standing and has been made into a museum. There you can go into the bridal room where the camera picta is. If you want to read more about the piece and see a blown up picture of the painting go to http://guideturistichemantova.it/English/the-bridal-chamber/

Works Cited

"Andrea Mantegna." International Dictionary of Art and Artists. N.p.: Gale, 1990. N. pag.

Biography in Context. Web. 2 Dec. 2015.

Camera picta (Camera degli sposi), Ceiling with Oculus. Andrea Mantegna. 1465-74. In ARTstor [database online]. [cited 3 December 2015]. SCALA_ARCHIVES_1039779913.