Old paintings have their charm, but this one by Cristofano dell’Altissimo is more than just beautiful, imposing or appealing. It is all three, and revolutionary as well, because dell’Altissimo belonged to a time when Ethiopians were regarded to be a little different from humans! Moreover, the Ethiopia of then included other neighboring regions, from where western explorers had brought back stark stories and captivating descriptions of their cross-continental friends and foes. Dell’Altissimo’s work centers around the impression people started having about African kings when the world started its drive into “modern history”. The painter’s contemporaries had a beastly impression of African rulers and their subjects because of their way of life in a drastically different climate and geography. Although Europeans had not been there before, […]
Paintings in Galleria degli Uffizi Florence
Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506) was a navigator, colonizer and explorer whose voyages across the Atlantic Ocean led to general European awareness of the American continents in the Western Hemisphere. This portrait was painted half a century after his death. There are no certain contemporary images of the navigator, who was only one among many when he first set out in ships funded in part by Medici money.
Grand Duke Francesco I de’ Medici was a man of profound and obsessive passions. The Uffizi galleries, which he established, were one, Bianca Cappello (1548-1587), his mistress, and afterwards, the second wife, was the other.
Mariotto Albertinelli, the pupil of Cosimo Rosselli, ran a workshop with Fra Bartolomeo, and like him shared an interest in the painting of Perugino, whose illuminating example is apparent in this work, unanimously considered to be his masterpiece. However, we cannot fail to notice also the monumentality of the figures and the geometrically divided landscape, influences, these, of Fra Bartolomeo. The spatial breadth is still characteristic of Perugino, but the narrative content is more vigorous.