Antonello is an extraordinary artist, a Sicilian painter of the fifteenth century who was able to merge the colorism of Venetian painting and the characteristic expressiveness of the Mediterranean populations in a new and original pictorial language, using for the first time in Italy the technique of oil painting born in Flanders.
Antonello da Messina was born in Sicily. He formed in Naples of the Aragonese, sovereigns of Spanish origin who favored artistic exchanges with Northern Europe, the cradle of Flemish art. Antonello travelled a lot: in Rome he saw the works of Piero della Francesca, in Venice those of Mantegna and Bellini. Antonello da Messina was the greatest Italian painter influenced by the Flemish. His paintings offer a synthesis of the major schools of painting of the time: Italian monumentality on the one hand, Flemish realism of the details on the other.
Thanks to the modernity of his works – through which Antonello tells us the depths of the human soul – we can discover the main innovations that characterize Renaissance thought.
His works speak for themselves: portraits with an intense and inquiring gaze, small tablets full of infinite minute details, chiseled in every millimeter, with their sparkling colors and infinite glazes, which make them shine.
We cannot immagine how much time he needed to obtain the right material, how long he had to work before even starting to paint and how painters, in general, were not only artists, but also real experts of chemistry!