Alesso Baldovinetti


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(b Florence, ?1425; d Florence, 29 Aug. 1499).

Florentine painter, mosaicist, and worker in stained glass. Nothing is recorded of his training, but his graceful and refined style shows strong influence from Domenico Veneziano, who may well have been his master. Baldovinetti's finest works include a damaged but still enchanting fresco of the Nativity (1460–2) in the forecourt of SS. Annunziata, Florence; a Madonna and Child (c.1460) in the Louvre, Paris; an Annunciation (c.1460) in the Uffizi, Florence; and Portrait of a Lady in Yellow (c.1465) in the National Gallery, London. They show his remarkable sensitivity to light and landscape and his engaging blend of naivety and sophistication. In his History of Italian Renaissance Art (1970), Frederick Hartt writes that in the 1460s Baldovinetti was ‘the finest painter in Florence’, and considers him ‘a very gifted master who somehow never quite seemed to fulfil his great initial promise’.

Subjects: Art.

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