Room 56

Padua, 1400–1500

The university town of Padua, about 20 miles from Venice, has long been overshadowed by its more glamorous neighbour. But in the 14th and 15th centuries, it was the centre of a rich intellectual, artistic and religious life.

Unlike Venice, Padua was a Roman city, which claimed to have been founded by the ancient Trojan prince Antenor. In the late Middle Ages, students from across the continent flocked to study at its university, particularly famed for its excellence in the law, medicine and the classics. Visitors were also drawn to visit the tomb of Saint Anthony (1195–1231) in the church of the Santo – then, as now, the patron saint of lost objects and causes.

Attracted by the opportunities it offered, established artists of the calibre of Giotto, Guariento and Donatello came to work in the city. Others received their training in the ‘Academy of Design’ established in Padua by Francesco Squarcione (1394–1468), an influential artist, teacher and entrepreneur. His pupils included Andrea Mantegna, Giorgio Schiavone and Marco Zoppo. Although Squarcione proved an exploitative mentor, not averse to selling his talented pupils’ work as his own, his art academy opened their eyes to the importance of drawing, and to the inspiring example of Classical art.

Paintings in this room

Noli me Tangere
Imitator of Andrea Mantegna
Imitator of Andrea Mantegna: 'The Maries at the Sepulchre'
The Maries at the Sepulchre
Imitator of Andrea Mantegna
The Resurrection
Imitator of Andrea Mantegna
Francesco Morone: 'The Virgin and Child'
The Virgin and Child
Francesco Morone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'A Female Saint'
A Female Saint
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Anthony of Padua'
Saint Anthony of Padua
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Bernardino'
Saint Bernardino
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Catherine'
Saint Catherine
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Jerome'
Saint Jerome
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint John the Baptist'
Saint John the Baptist
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Peter Martyr'
Saint Peter Martyr
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'Saint Sebastian'
Saint Sebastian
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'The Pietà'
The Pietà
Giorgio Schiavone
Giorgio Schiavone: 'The Virgin and Child'
The Virgin and Child
Giorgio Schiavone