Domenico Veneziano (c. 1410 – May 15, 1461) was an Italian
painter of the early Renaissance, active mostly in Perugia and Tuscany.
Little is known of his birth, though he is thought to have been born in Venice,
hence his last name. He then moved to Florence in 1422-23 as a boy, to become a
pupil of Gentile da Fabriano. He is said to have worked with Pisanello in Rome
around 1423-1430. One can see the influence of Benozzo Gozzoli in his work.
In a letter from him to Piero de' Medici, dated from Perugia in 1438, where he
likewise resided for many years, he mentions his long connection with the
fortunes of the Medici family, and begs to be allowed to paint an altar-piece
for the head of that house. He was a contemporary with Fra Angelico and Fra
Filippo Lippi, since those two artists and himself are known to have valued the
frescoes of Buonfigli at Perugia. Between 1439 and 1441 he painted his
masterpiece of the Adoration of the Magi.
One masterpiece is considered to be the St. Lucy Altarpiece (1445), originally
in the Santa Lucia dei Magnoli in Florence but has been moved to the Uffizi. The
painting, tempera on panel, displays such an unusual palette for this period
that Vasari wrote that it had been painted in oil. He is also known for a round
panel of the Adoration of the Magi (1439-1441) which was probably commissioned
for the palace of the wealthy Medici family and now in Berlin. He influenced
Vasari alleged that Veneziano was murdered by Andrea del Castagno. However,
Castagno died c. 1457, four years before Veneziano.
He worked at the decorations of the Portinari chapel in the hospital of Santa
Maria Nuova in Florence from 1439-1445, and had as his assistants Piero della
Francesca and Bicci di Lorenzo. It is certain that whilst employed there he used
linseed oil as his medium, since the hospital books of that dato make many
allusions to this item in his expenses. His latter days were spent in Florence,
where he died on 15 May 1461, .
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