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Antoniazzo Romano: Renaissance's very own missing link

2014-01-12

When people say that Rome wasn't built in a day, the same could be said about art. Before Raphael or Michelangelo, Renaissance was already taking shape through the hands of other less-known artists. Antoniazzo Romano was one of them.

Now, a new exhibition dives into the life of this unknown painter and his contribution to the world of art.

ANNA CAVALLARO
Curator 'Antoniazzo Romano'
"'Antoniazzo Romano, Pictor Urbis'. We called it this way because he is a painter who was deeply involved in the Roman reality. He worked there for almost 40 years.”

His birth name was Antonio Aquili, but he changed it to prove his dedication to the Eternal City. That gesture, according to Anna Cavallaro, is what best describes his style of painting which was mostly dedicated to sacred art.

ANNA CAVALLARO
Curator 'Antoniazzo Romano'
"The majority of his work was for religious institutions in Rome and in Lazio and for a public that was somehow far away from the pontifical court. We must remember that during the 15th century the pontifical court called upon famous painters from all Italian cities: Florence, Umbria... to decorate their Basilicas. But Antoniazzo worked exclusively under roman commission. Roman and Lazial.”

But Romano experienced a complex reality. Medieval art wasn't completely gone, and the Renaissance was only starting. That's why experts say he is truly a missing link between these two eras.

ANNA CAVALLARO
Curator 'Antoniazzo Romano'
"He keeps the medieval and Gothic elements, but at the same time he knows how to update them in a careful way, without excess, to Renaissance novelties such as perspective, the framing of the figures in space, volume and shape of bodies.”

He is also known for the beauty of his portraits of Our Lady. Some of the most beautiful women of the XVI century are depicted in his art. 

'Pictor Urbis' brings the best paintings of Antoniazzo Romano back to his beloved city. Organizers say, it also bears a strong lesson: to fully understand an artist, it's essential to understand his roots.


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