Famous Men and Women
by ANDREA DEL CASTAGNO

Andrea del Castagno was commissioned the Famous Men and Women cycle of the villa Carducci in Legnaia no later than June 1449, when Filippo Carducci, the owner of the villa and most probably the one who commissioned the frescoes, died. The frescoes were finished before the house was sold in October 1451.

The Legnaia cycle consists of nine portrayals (three Florentine military commanders, three famous women and three Tuscan poets), placed inside painted niches made to look like monumental marble recesses, separated by pilasters. On one of the room's short walls, between the figures of Adam and Eve, there was a lunette containing a Madonna and Child beneath a canopy supported by angels that was only discovered several years after the rest of the decoration. Above the frescoes there was a complex entablature and above that some putti holding festoons. The elaborate architectural decoration of the ceiling and the walls emphasizes the monumentality of the figures.

In these severe and monumental figures, clearly based on the models provided by Masaccio and Donatello, Andrea del Castagno gives us an exaltation of mankind seen as possessing physical strength, moral virtues and a keen intelligence: the qualities of Renaissance man. In this series of portrayal, he comes across as the spokesman for the fundamental principles of Humanism.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Famous Persons Cycle (reconstruction)
c. 1450
Fresco
Villa Carducci, Legnaia

1448*945
True Color
186 Kb



Famous Persons: Pippo Spano
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

800*1171
True Color
178 Kb



Famous Persons: Niccolò Acciaiuoli
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

787*1200
True Color
131 Kb



Famous Persons: Farinata degli Uberti
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

784*1200
True Color
183 Kb



Famous Persons: Queen Esther
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 120 x 150 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

1057*800
True Color
154 Kb



Famous Persons: The Cumean Sibyl
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

760*1200
True Color
152 Kb



Famous Persons: Queen Tomyris
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 245 x 155 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

756*1200
True Color
152 Kb



Famous Persons: Dante Allighieri
c. 1450
Fresco, transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

777*1200
True Color
134 Kb



Famous Persons: Giovanni Boccaccio
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 250 x 154 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

766*1200
True Color
159 Kb



Famous Persons: Francesco Petrarca
c. 1450
Fresco transferred to wood, 247 x 153 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

773*1200
True Color
135 Kb




Paintings by Andrea del Castagno
in the 1440s | in the 1450s | Famous Men and Women