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Alessio Baldovinetti: Sensitivity and an Engaging Blend of Qualities

Alessio Baldovinetti - Nativity - 1460-62 - Fresco, 400 x 430 cm - Santissima Annunziata, Florence (click photo for larger image)Alessio Baldovinetti (c. 1425-1499) was a Florentine painter, mosaicist, and worker in stained glass. His training is unknown, but his graceful, and refined style shows the influence of Domenico Veneziano and Fra Angelico, both of whom are discussed elsewhere on What About Art?. Baldovinetti’s work reveals a remarkable sensitivity to light and landscape and an engaging blend of naivety and sophistication.

“Baldovinetti's Annunciation is in the atrium of Santissima Annunziata in Florence. His interest in local landscape is evident in the Arno Valley view that he chose as the background of this fresco. In fact he painted only a few portions of the picture in true fresco, and then waited until the plaster had dried so that he could paint 'a secco.' But because the fresco was located in an atrium exposed to winter fogs and even rain, in time the a secco faces, hands, and drapery peeled off, and his underdrawing is now visible. Even so, the painting is impressive in the airy openness of its setting and the view over the expansive Tuscan plain, which is filled with the light of a clear winter day.” (Web Gallery of Art)

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