Tuesday Art ATTACK- Carlo Crivelli "Madonna and Child (1480)"

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By Christian Franzen

Carlo Crivelli was born in 1431 in Venice, Italy. His father was an amateur painter and taught him how to paint at a young age. As a young man he attended the Vivarini School of Painting in Venice where he studied for a brief period before leaving for Padua. There he worked with a group of artists under Francesco Squarcione. By 1457, he had gained enough recognition to acquire commissions on his own. However, his new found success was short-lived. Later that same year he was given a six month prison sentence in Padua for having an affair with a married woman. Once he was out of jail he was socially exiled within the community and decided to leave. He ended up in Dalmatia, which is now part of Croatia, a Venetian colony.

In his paintings, Crivelli did not adopt the new Renaissance style but rather he painted in the older Gothic Style. In addition he only painted in egg tempura despite the popularity of oil paints in Italy. Crivelli's paintings are always jam packed with ornate gold inlays and lavish depictions of biblical narratives. Due to his stylistic qualities, Crivelli was only able to secure steady patrons among the church. He predominately worked for Fransiscan monasteries in the North Italian area. Crivelli died In March of 1495 in Ascoli Pinceno, Italy. During his lifetime his work was rather popular among church establishments but fell out of favor after his death with the continual evolution of the Florentine style of Renaissance Painting. 

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