Pisanello

about 1394? - 1455
Pisanello was a medallist, and a fresco and panel painter. His rare surviving panel paintings, such as the two in the National Gallery, are characterised by the exquisite detail and careful observation of a miniaturist.

His name appears to have been Vittore Pisano; he was perhaps born in Verona. He is recorded in Pisa, Venice, Florence, Mantua, Rome, Ferrara, Milan and Naples. Most notably he was employed at the d'Este court at Ferrara and the Gonzaga court at Mantua.

The decorative nature of Pisanello's painting is derived mainly from the work of early 15th-century artists, whose works share his opulence and concern for surface design. Gentile da Fabriano was among this group; Pisanello collaborated with Gentile, and inherited his studio equipment when he died.

Pisanello's subjects include Arthurian legends and other courtly stories. They reflect the chivalric ideals of his noble patrons. A number of drawings are attributed to Pisanello, in particular a collection in the Louvre. These include exquisite line drawings of various animals, which seem to form the basis of a number of details used in painted works, including the Gallery's 'Saint Eustace'.

Related paintings

The Virgin and Child with Saints
Pisanello
about 1435-41
The Virgin and Child with Saints
The Vision of Saint Eustace
Pisanello
about 1438-42
The Vision of Saint Eustace
 
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