Luxury Tuscan villa rental with art gallery and Paolo Uccello's painting

Paolo Uccello

Paolo Uccello at Villa Tuscany

Paolo Uccello (1397 – 10 December 1475), born in Florence and originally named Paolo di Dono, was an Italian painter of the Italian Renaissance best known for his experimentation with mathematics and visual perspective in art. In his book Lives of the Artists, Giorgio Vasari tells us that the artist received his nickname Uccello (which means “bird”) because he showed an early interest in depicting animals, especially birds.  Vasari also writes that he was obsessed by an interest in linear perspective and would stay up all night studying vanishing points. The sophisticated use of perspective in his paintings was used to create a sense of realistic depth.

Paolo’s style was unique and he left no followers. He succeeded in combining the late Gothic tradition with its interest in color and pageantry together with a cutting-edge Renaissance study of depth and perspective to create a modern and markedly original painting style.

The artist’s most famous works are a set of three paintings representing the Battle of San Romano, a battle the Florentines won against the Sienese in 1432. The paintings, depicting events that occurred during the battle, were created in tempera on wood panels each measuring more than 3 meters long. The panels were commissioned by the Bartolini Salimbeni family but later passed on to the Medici family; they hung together in a room in the Medici Palace on Via Larga (now Via Cavour) for many years. Such large panels were unusual for a secular commission, and they were admired in the 15th century as today for their sophisticated use of linear perspective. 

The panels from the Battle of San Romano are now displayed in three important museum collections: the National Gallery in London, the Musée du Louvre in Paris and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.  More paintings by Paolo Uccello can be seen in Florence in the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella and the Duomo.

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