Mantegna and the picturesque  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Andrea Mantegna's landscapes have been called flinty, metallic, tawny, gritty, stony and littered with pebbles. They give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting.

After five miles, at Ponte, we turned north-east, passing several limestone quarries on hills as rocky as any in Mantegna's landscapes. --Through Italy with Car and Camera (1908) by Platt, Dan Fellows, 1873-


Detail[1] of the antique city in the background of the Louvre St. Sebastian by Mantegna. The classical ruins are typical of Mantegna's pictures. The cliffy path, the gravel and the caves are references to the difficulties of reaching the Celestial Jerusalem, the fortified city depicted on the top of the mountain, at the upper right corner of the picture, and described in Chapter 21 of John's Book of Revelation.

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