Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carlo Crivelli

Crivelli, Carlo: Italian painter. He possibly trained in the Vivarini workshop and, perhaps also in Padua; his mixture of an essentially Gothic style with hard, linear forms and a frequent use of Classicizing architecture, reflecting both Vivarini and the Paduan school of Squarcione (particularly Schiavone and Mantegna). His life seems to have been eventful: in 1457 he was imprisoned in Venice for adultery; he left shortly afterwards, never to return, but always signing his paintings as 'Carlo Crivelli of Venice' (invariably in Latin and usually dated); by 1465 he is recorded as a citizen of Zara in Dalmatia; and from 1468 he is documented in the Marches, principally at Ascoli Piceno. In 1490, he was knighted (an unusual honour for a painter) by Ferdinand II of Naples. All of his surviving paintings are religious and in a very distinctive, somewhat archaic, style.

The Annunciation
207 x 147 cm
The National Gallery, London

 Many of his altarpieces still employ gold backgrounds and incorporate areas of raised gilded gesso for haloes, costume ornaments, etc. all practices which had been out of fashion in the more advanced centres for many years (e.g. The Demidoff Altarpiece, 1476, London, National Gallery). Also characteristic of his altarpieces are the symbolic gourds and fruit which often hang in bunches from thrones, pilasters etc. (e.g. The Demidoff Altarpiece, above, and The Madonna della Candeletta, 1491, Milan, Brera).

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