- Pisanello, Antonio
- (ca. 1395-1455)Italian artist, known for his paintings (few of which survive), his commemorative medals, and his hundreds of beautiful drawings. Born in Pisa and trained somewhere in northern Italy, he may have painted a historical fresco in the doge's palace at Venice between 1415 and 1420, but this does not survive. His earliest surviving painting is an Annunciation (ca. 1426) at Verona. By that time, his reputation had been established and he worked for several northern Italian princely courts, especially Ferrara and Mantua. Pisanello also executed works (now lost) for the duke of Milan and Pope Eugenius IV. His study of ancient art while at Rome led him to develop an innovative type of low-relief portrait medals cast in precious metal; the most famous of these is the portrait of the Byzantine Emperor John VIII Palaeologus during his atten-dance at the Council of Ferrara-Florence in 1438-1439. Pisanello produced portrait-medals for a number of Italian rulers and generals. He also painted portraits, a few of which survive. In the 1960s his only surviving large-scale fresco painting, depicting scenes from a popular Arthurian romance, was rediscovered in the ducal palace at Mantua. His great contemporary reputation rested on the opinion that his portraits were unusually lifelike.
Historical Dictionary of Renaissance. Charles G. Nauert. 2004.