Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Alesso Baldovinetti

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Catholic Encyclopedia (1913), Volume 2
Alesso Baldovinetti

by Augustus Van Cleef


A notable Florentine painter, b. in Florence, 14 October, 1427; d. there, 29 August, 1499. His father was a wealthy merchant, but leaving the paternal business he registered himself, at the age of twenty-one, as a member of the Academy of Saint Luke. He called himself a pupil of Paolo Uccelli, and according to Vasari, was the master of the famous Ghirlandajo. He experimented much with colours in fresco and oil, but his remaining works are badly preserved. He had the reputation of being the best worker in mosaic of his day.

Baldovinetti assisted Andrea del Castagno and Domenico Veneziano in the frescoes, since destroyed, of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Among his works which remain is a large fresco of "The Adoration of the Shepherds" in the cloisters of Santa Annunziata. His was the design for the portrait of Dante by Domenico del Michelino in the duomo. The large panel painting of "The Holy Trinity Adored by Saints Gualberto and Benedetto", now in the Academy at Florence, was executed for the church of Santa Trinita in that city. He painted on the walls of the choir of that edifice scenes, not now extant, from the Old Testament, containing numerous portraits of his contemporaries. In the chapel of San Miniato, Florence, are frescoes of angels, prophets, and evangelists. The same edifice also contains an "Annunciation". In the galleries of the Uffizi are an "Enthroned Virgin and Child with Saints", and a most decorative and quaintly graceful "Annunciation". His portrait by himself is in the gallery at Bergamo and Girlandajo painted it near his own in his frescoes in Santa Maria Novella, Florence.

Pierotti, Ricordi di A. Baldovinetti (Lucca, 1868); Bryan, Dictionary of Painters and Engravers (London and New York, 1903-05).

AUGUSTUS VAN CLEEF