Orcagna

Orcagna (ōrkäˈnyä) [key] or Arcagnolo ärkäˈnyōlō, c.1308–1368, Florentine painter, sculptor, and architect, whose original name was Andrea di Cione. He was one of the leading artists of his day. According to Vasari, writing more than 200 years later, Orcagna studied sculpture under Andrea Pisano. In 1343 he enrolled in St. Luke's Guild as a painter. The only extant authenticated painting is his famous altarpiece in the Strozzi Chapel of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. It represents The Redeemer with the Madonna and Saints (1537). In his painting he reverted from a more naturalistic style to the Byzantine remote and monumental figural type. He usually worked in collaboration with his brothers Nardo, Jacopo, and Matteo di Cione. They were all strongly influenced by the naturalism of Giotto. Fragments of the Prophets by Orcagna and his assistants have come to light in Santa Maria Novella, as well as portions of his Triumph of Death, Last Judgment, and Hell in the Church of Santa Croce (1530s). In 1355 he was appointed chief architect of Orsanmichele in Florence, for which he executed an elaborate marble tabernacle depicting The Death and Assumption of the Virgin. In 1359 he became chief architect of the cathedral at Orvieto and designed a mosaic for the facade.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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