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Summary Article: Uccello, Paolo
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Florentine painter. He was one of the first to experiment with perspective, though his love of detail, decorative colour, and graceful line remains traditional. His works include St George and the Dragon (c. 1460, National Gallery, London) and A Hunt (c. 1460, Ashmolean Museum, Oxford).

Uccello used perspective, though he used it imaginatively rather than with scientific accuracy or consistency. His works in fresco include his painting (in imitation of an equestrian statue) of the English condottiere Sir John Hawkwood (1436) in Florence Cathedral, and a series in the Chiostro Verde (Green Cloister) of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, the principal composition being the Deluge of about 1445. He is, however, more celebrated for his panel pictures, notably the Battle of San Romano (c. 1455), three pictures of the battle between the Florentines and the Sienese in 1432 painted for the Medici (Uffizi, Florence; Louvre, Paris; and National Gallery, London). They were intended to be framed together, but each gives an effect of completeness and is wonderfully rich in design.

Trained as a goldsmith, Uccello was apprenticed to Ghiberti about 1407–12, when the latter was working on the doors of the Florentine Baptistry. In 1415 he entered the Physicians' Guild in Florence as a painter. He worked mainly in Florence, with an interlude from 1425 in Venice, where he is said to have produced a mosaic for the facade of St Mark's. He bought a house in Florence in 1442 and evidently prospered for a time, though his old age was reputedly spent in poverty and isolation.

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