Cennini, Cennino

Cennini, Cennino

Cennini, Cennino, c.1370-1440, Florentine painter, follower of Agnolo Gaddi. None of his paintings is extant. He is most famous for having written the Libro dell'arte (written 1400?, tr., The Craftsman's Handbook, 1933). This treatise marks a transition between medieval and Renaissance concepts of art. Closely following the tradition of Giotto, he offers detailed advice about the established technique of painting. At the same time, Cennini was one of the first to call for imagination in art and to advocate the elevation of painting from artisanship to the fine arts.

(born circa 1370, near Florence—died circa 1440, Florence) Italian painter and writer active in Florence. A few surviving paintings are attributed to him, but he is best known as the author of Il libro dell'arte (1437; The Craftsman's Handbook), the most important sourcebook on artistic practice in the late Middle Ages. His detailed descriptions of tempera and fresco painting reflect the technical procedures of the great Florentine painting tradition. He believed that painting held a high place among occupations because it combined theory or imagination with the skill of the hand.

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