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Probably not as famous as Michelangelo or Leonardo, Andrea Mantegna is just as talented and artistically important for the history of italian art. He lived in the 15th century and he was with no doubt a master of prospective, a constant in his work and a characteristic of his talent, which began to develop at a young age at his adoptive father's workshop. Ironically, there are records of a lawsuit Mantegna filed against him on copyright issues, proof that such matters, although labeled with different names, were indeed hot topic back then, too.
After spending 6 years at the workshop, Mantegna began to travel around Northern Italy, working for the wealthiest families and painting in Churches. In Venice, he became very close to Bellini with whom he created a relationship of friendship and artistic exchange. The art of Mantegna kept on improving, especially his concept of prospective, enhanced in ways that probably only Giotto had achieved before.
Mantegna also spent some time in Rome but, in spite of being famous for his religious themed paintings, he never painted anything within the Vatican walls. Neither was he particularly inspired by the city, a fact which sets him apart from many other famous artists, who found in the Eternal City an ageless, splendid muse.
Mantegna was a very introvert man, whose legacy today rests in his artistic production, more than in a true artistic school followed by other painters. This fact does not mean Mantegna did not somehow influence, in a way or the other, those who came after him: Leonardo apparently painted Mantegna's portrait, a clear sign not only of the fact the two knew each other, but also of the respect the former must have had for the latter.
Today, most of his work is featured in the most prestigious museums of the world, including the Prado, the Louvre, Hampton Court in London, and of course the Churches and private palaces of Italy, but also in Cincinnati and New York City.