Who such Paolo Uccello?of Paolo Uccello was born approximately in 1397, most likely - in Florence. At least, his father, the barber Dono di Paolo, was Florentine. At a baptism the boy received a name of Paolo di Dono (Paolo, the son Dono). Since what moment and why the artist began to call Paolo Uccello - it is unknown. Provides the curious version of an origin of this name in “ Biographies of the famous painters “ George Vazari. He claims that Paolo Uccello was called so for his love to animals, and first of all, to birds (“ uchchello “ in Italian - a little birdie).
In 1415 Uccello entered the Florentine guild of doctors, druggists and... artists. Historians of art explain this funny thing with the fact that painters during that time prepared paints from the same materials from which druggists prepared the drugs. Other art critics incline that medicine and painting “ united on a heavenly sign “ - of both doctors, and artists Saint Luka was considered as the patron. One explanation, however, does not contradict another.
As there was Paolo Uccello`s life from 1415 to 1425, we do not know. But in 1425 we find the painter already in Venice. Here he is engaged in design of mosaics for the cathedral San - Marko. Unfortunately, the only mosaic about which it would be with confidence possible to tell that it is created on Uccello`s drawings (Saint Pyotr`s figure on a cathedral facade) did not remain. As for other mosaics, here Uccello`s authorship is represented very disputable.
Uccello came back to native Florence no later than January, 1431 about what date on the receipt on payment by the artist of taxes speaks. At the beginning of the next year the master offered the Florentine authorities the “ services “ on registration of a cathedral. The authorities trusted in it not at once, and on March 23, 1432 appealed to the representative in Venice to collect for them the information about Paolo Uccello. Apparently, the comment received from Venice was favorable as in 1436 the painter started creation of a big fresco in a cathedral. This fresco on which the monument to sir John Hokvud is represented, to the English knight battling in the XIV century in the ranks of the Florentine army - the first of precisely documentary works of Uccello which reached us.
In 1445 - 46 years Uccello visited Padua. According to Vazari, he went by the invitation of the friend, the sculptor Donatello who found the favorable order for the artist there. Alas, today it is impossible to find also traces of the series of frescos created by the master for the paduansky palace Vitalyani. Moreover, there is no written source left where though how many - nibud these frescos would in detail be described even. Mentions them only Vazari, and that for a moment.
In 1446 Uccello came back to Florence and, as appears from the tax declaration completed with him then, della Scala, near church of All Saints lodged on a vi. Same year he married though we have no data on exact date of his wedding (church records were lost). In 1453 Uccello`s wife, Tommaza, was resolved from burden by the son Donato, and in 1456 died after unsuccessful childbirth. The girl who was born survived, and she was named Antonija.
Short family life of the artist was, most likely, quite safe. To us allows to judge it “ joke “ the told Vazari in “ Biographies of the famous painters “. Once Uccello until late at night sat up over studying of prospect. When, at last, the wife called him to go to sleep, the master smiled and exclaimed: “ Perhaps, such prospect is pleasant to me most of all “. A peculiar humour of the artist is demonstrated also by such history (it told to Vazari`s descendants). Working on frescos for the Florentine monastery San - Miniato al Monte, Uccello ate only one dry bread and goat cheese day by day - as the avaricious prior of the monastery offered nothing else to the painter. Such diet soon bothered it, and it left the monastery, having left frescos not added.
The prior sent for the artist of monks that they returned him. Uccello, however, refused to come back to the monastery, having told that he so became impregnated with cheese that is afraid, as if at it interiors did not stick together. Monks burst out laughing and, having returned to the prior, explained him a misunderstanding essence. Through some time of Uccello continued work on frescos, but fed him now unlike more variously than former.
A series from three big panels where fight is represented at San - Romano (in this fight which took place in 1432, Florence won a victory over the next Siena) is represented to the most considerable of late works of Paolo Uccello. For the first time “ Fight at San - Romano “ it is mentioned in levy of execution of influential family of Medici in 1492. It was ordered, most likely, by the duke Cosimo I Medici who was the companion of the Florentine commander who directed battle at San - Romano. Art critics consider that Uccello created all three panels in 1450 - e years though other historians of art challenge this date, as well as the statement that “ Fight at San - Romano “ initially intended for Medici`s palace.
Apparently, the altar image for church of the Christ`s Body became the latest work of Paolo Uccello. From words George Vazari we know that the master spent the last years “ in poverty and loneliness, having closed at itself in the house and having steeped in studying of prospect “. However on November 11, 1475 Uccello wrote the will from which follows that the painter was not so poor at all as Vazari reports. A month later, on December 10, Paolo Uccello died in hospital. In one of sources of the 16th century it is claimed that at this time the painter was 78 years old. A body of the artist buried near ashes of his father, in the Florentine church of the Holy Spirit.