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Uccello, Paolo

Uccello, Paolo

Uccello, Paolo, c.1396-1475, Florentine painter. Uccello was little appreciated in his own time, and much of his work has been destroyed or is in poor condition. Although first apprenticed to Ghiberti, he later shows the influence of Masaccio. In 1425 he went to Venice and worked on mosaics for St. Mark's. After about five years he returned to Florence and painted Creation scenes in the cloister of Santa Maria Novella. In 1436 he was commissioned to paint an equestrian figure of Sir John Hawkwood in monochrome for the cathedral. He also depicted four prophets for the clockface of the cathedral. Uccello's most significant contribution is his cycle of Noah for Santa Maria Novella. According to Vasari, he represented the dead, the tempest, the fury of the winds, and the terror of men. Indeed, in the Deluge he combined a rigorous system of perspective with details of unsparing realism. Uccello's most famous scenes are from the Battle of San Romano (Uffizi; Louvre; and National Gall., London), notable for their rich, decorative panoply, for their solid, wooden toylike figures and for the experiments he made in foreshortening.

See his complete works ed. by J. Pope-Hennessy (2d ed. 1969).

orig. Paolo di Dono

(born 1397, Pratovecchio, near Florence—died Dec. 10, 1475, Florence) Italian painter. Though apprenticed to the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti, he is not known to have worked in sculpture, and at 18 he was admitted to the painters' guild in Florence. The Deluge, one of his frescoes in the Chiostro Verde of Santa Maria Novella, demonstrates his intense study of perspective. He became so firmly identified with perspective that John Ruskin thought he had invented it. His three panels depicting the Battle of San Romano, like all the extant works of his mature years, combine the decorative late Gothic style with the new heroic style of the early Renaissance.

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Paolo may refer to:

  • A typical Italian given name, Anglicized as Paul.''
  • The paolo was a papal silver coin, first struck during the 16th century under Pope Paul III and named after him. It circulated throughout the Papal States with a value roughly equivalent to the giulio. Similar coins were circulated locally in other Italian states; one was produced in Tuscany from the 16th to the 19th century.

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