Antonello da Messina

Antonello da Messina äntōnĕl´lō dä mās–sē´nä [key], c.1430–79, Sicilian painter, b. Messina. Antonello appears to have had early contact with Flemish art. In his deft handling of the oil medium—his rendering of transparent surfaces and minute landscape details—a strong Northern influence can be seen. About 1475 he went to Venice. There in 1476 he painted the San Cassiano Altarpiece (Kunsthistorisches Mus., Vienna), of which only fragments now exist (Vienna). Created in this period is the work generally regarded as his signature painting, the vibrantly alive yet mysterious Virgin of the Annunciation (c.1475–76; National Gall. of Sicily, Palermo). Antonello's style affected the art of Bellini and other Venetians. He was also an excellent portrait painter, his subjects, often in three-quarters view, reflecting a broad range of emotional expressions, e.g. the roguish gentleman depicted in Portrait of a Man (1460s, Mus. della Fondazione Culturale Mandralisca, Cefalù). Other examples of his portraiture are in such collections as the Metropolitan Museum, Philadelphia Museum, and the Louvre. Other extant paintings include Ecce Homo (c.1470, Metropolitan Mus.); Madonna and Child (National Gall. of Art, Washington, D.C.); Pietà (Venice); and Crucifixion (c.1475–76, Royal Museum, Antwerp).

See G. Barbera, Metropolitan Mus. of Art catalog (2006); C. Cardona and G. C. F. Villa, ed., catalog of Palazzo Reale, Milan (2019).

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