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Paolo Uccello

(1396-1475)

Aliases: Paolo Doni, Paolo "di" Dono, Paolo di Dono, Paolo di Dono di Paolo di Dono, Paolo Uccello, Paolo Uccellini

Painter

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Biography

Paolo Uccello (1397 – 10 December 1475), born Paolo di Dono, was a Florentine painter and mathematician who was notable for his pioneering work on visual perspective in art. In his book Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, Giorgio Vasari wrote that Uccello was obsessed by his interest in perspective and would stay up all night in his study trying to grasp the exact vanishing point. While his contemporaries used perspective to narrate different or succeeding stories, Uccello used perspective to create a feeling of depth in his paintings. His best known works are the three paintings representing the battle of San Romano, which were wrongly entitled the Battle of Sant'Egidio of 1416 for a long period of time.

Paolo worked in the Late Gothic tradition, emphasizing colour and pageantry rather than the classical realism that other artists were pioneering. His style is best described as idiosyncratic, and he left no school of followers. He has had some influence on twentieth-century art and literary criticism (e.g., in the Vies imaginaires by Marcel Schwob, Uccello le poil by Antonin Artaud and O Mundo Como Ideia by Bruno Tolentino).

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Old Masters (69)

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