Andrea Mantegna was born about 1431 in the Republic of Venice. The son of a carpenter he grew up in Padua. At the early age of eleven, he became the apprentice of Francesco Squarcione an archaeologist, painter, and dealer in antiquities.
"St. James led to his Execution." (s)
Only photographs exist of this work, it was destroyed during the allied bombing in WW2.
Squarcione's workshop was famous throughout Italy and it was here that his young pupil studied Roman art and sculpture. The artist's main influences at this time are Donatello and classical sculpture. Squarcione was quite a prickly character and he soon fell out with his precocious young pupil, and the apprenticeship finally ended in a violent argument and a lawsuit.
Andrea was known to be working on frescoes for the Ovetari Chapel in 1448 when he was only seventeen but this work was almost destroyed in a bombing raid in 1944. In this series of paintings, the use of his worms-eye view is very evident in the St. James led to his Execution, and is a good example of the artist's understanding of perspective.
In 1454 the artist married Nicolosia the daughter of Jacobo Bellini and so became the brother in law of the painters Giovanni and Gentile Bellini. Between 1456 and 1459 Andrea painted a triptych for the altarpiece of San Zeno the main church of Verona.