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Sassetta (1392-1450)

Aliases: Giovanni di Stefano Sassetta; Il Sasetta; Stefano "di" Giovanni Sassetta; Stefano "di" Giovanni "di" Consolo Sassetta; Stefano di Giovanni di Consolo

Professions: Painter

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  • Stefano di Giovanni, called Sassetta (Siena 1395-1450)

Sassetta Biography

(b 1392;d 1450) Italian Painter. Sassetta (the name is found in no contemporary documents and seems to have been first applied to the artist in the eighteenth century) was unquestionably the most original Sienese painter of the first half of the fifteenth century. Although much of his work (designs for stained-glass windows, painted banners and illuminations) is now lost, his reputation rests on three extraordinary altarpieces: the Arte della Lana of 1423; the Madonna of the Snow, painted between 1430 and 1432 and the Borgo Sansepolcro Altarpiece, completed in 1444...Sassetta's natural inclination was to work at ingenious solutions to the convincing depiction of space within the limitations imposed by the formal gothic altarpiece, as well as to explore the expressive possibilities of exquisitely wrought surfaces and the graceful curvilinear forms of the gothic tradition…While clearly aware of developments in Florence, Sassetta's genius lies in the originality with which he breathed new life into the gothic idiom and inspired a generation of remarkable Sienese artists, among them Sano di Pietro, The Osservanza Master and Vecchietta.(Credit: Christie’s, New York, Old Master Paintings, April 6, 2006, Lot 31)

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