(b. 1438, Forli, d. 1494, Forli)


Italian painter from Forli in the Romagna, active mainly in Loreto, Rome, and Urbino. He was an attractive and idiosyncratic painter who achieved a high reputation in his time, but little of his work survives intact and he has been a neglected figure until fairly recently. His style was indebted to Piero della Francesca and he was renowned for his skill in perspective and illusionism; he was, indeed, credited with being the inventor of extreme form of foreshortening known as sotto in sù, of which Mantegna was another great exponent. Melozzo's skill in this field is seen in his fresco of the Ascension (1478-80) for the dome of SS. Apostoli in Rome, fragments of which are in the Quirinal Palace and the Vatican.