loading page

Loading the page ...

Andrea Andreani

ca. 1558/59-1629, Mantua

Little is known about Andreani's life and his early days as an artist. His first chiaroscuro woodcut bears the date 1584 and marks the beginning of an artistic output that lasts until 1610. During this period he experimented with the medium, developing a distinctive stylistic language with which he was able to transform the Mannerist forms and painterly effects of his sources into the medium of the color woodcut. The giant woodcuts after Domenico Beccafumi that Andreani created in 1586 in Siena are especially remarkable. Andreani made other monumental woodcuts after his move to Mantua in 1593, where he worked for the Gonzaga family. Andreani's masterpiece of this period is the nine-section Triumphal Procession of Caesar after Andrea Mantegna, finished in 1599. The absence of further commissions, however, forced Andreani to focus on the publication of prints, something that he pursued exclusively from 1602. He purchased old woodblocks by such masters as Ugo da Carpi, Niccolò Vicentino, and Antonio da Trento and issued new editions. In a number of cases he transformed simple line woodcuts into chiaroscuro woodcuts by printing on them with color blocks. All of these prints bear Andreani's monogram, the name of the place of production, Mantua, and the date of execution.