- Gentile da Fabriano
orig. Gentile di Niccolò di Massiodied 1427, RomeItalian painter.He was probably trained in the Lombardy region. In 1409 he was commissioned to decorate the Doges' Palace in Venice with historical frescoes, now lost. His most important fresco cycle, also destroyed, was in the church of St. John Lateran in Rome. His major surviving painting is the celebrated Strozzi Altarpiece (1423), featuring The Adoration of the Magi. Its combination of naturalism and rich ornamentation influenced Italian artists throughout the century, notably Fra Angelico and Benozzo Gozzoli, and established Gentile as one of Italy's greatest proponents of the International Gothic style. He was the most important Italian painter of the first quarter of the 15th century.
* * *▪ Italian painteroriginal name Niccolò di Giovanni di Massioborn c. 1370, Fabriano, Papal States [Italy]died 1427, Romeforemost painter of central Italy at the beginning of the 15th century, whose few surviving works are among the finest examples of the International Gothic style.An early signed work by Gentile has stylistic affinities with Lombard painting and suggests that he was trained in the Lombard school. In 1409 Gentile was commissioned to decorate the Doges' Palace in Venice with historical frescoes, which were later completed by Il Pisanello. In 1414–19 Gentile was in Brescia working for Pandolfo III Malatesta. His final important cycle of frescoes was begun in Rome in the Church of St. John Lateran shortly before his death. As with the frescoes in Venice, they were completed by Il Pisanello (Pisanello, Il) (now destroyed).His surviving masterpiece, the Adoration of the Magi, was completed in 1423 for the Church of Santa Trinità, in Florence. Its graceful figures are clothed in velvets and rich brocades, and the Magi are attended by Oriental retainers, who look after such exotic animals as lions and camels. Its delicate linearity and vibrant colours enhance the effect of rich exoticism. The decorativeness of its elegant, courtly style continued to influence Florentine artists throughout the century and presented a counterattraction to the austere realism introduced by Masaccio. Gentile also produced a number of Madonnas, such as the altarpiece known as the Quaratesi Polyptych (1425), which show the Mother and Child, regally clad, sitting on the ground in a garden.Additional ReadingKeith Christiansen, Gentile da Fabriano (1982).
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