Skip to main content

Antonio Vivarini

probably active 1440; died 1476/84

After Giambono, Vivarini was the leading Venetian exponent of late Gothic painting in the mid-15th century. He was one of a family of painters and he collaborated with his brother-in-law, the German-born Giovanni d'Alemagna.Their joint works are remarkable for their elaborate architectural settings. They show knowledge of the style of Pisanello and Gentile da Fabriano, and, perhaps through Giovanni d'Alemagna, of German art.

Vivarini often signed his work Antonio of Murano, giving the island of Murano in the Venice lagoon as his place of origin. His major works of the 1440s were produced in collaboration with his brother-in-law, Giovanni d'Alemagna. After his death in 1449, Vivarini worked in conjunction with his younger brother, Bartolomeo, in Padua. The last famous painter of the family was Antonio's son, Alvise.

The nature of the collaboration between Vivarini and his brother-in-law remains uncertain, and in some works Giovanni d'Alemagna may have been the leading partner. The influence of recent developments in Paduan painting, represented by the art of Squarcione, is more evident in the style of Bartolomeo Vivarini, but may also have influenced his elder brother and brother-in-law.