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

Music-making Angel

Pinacoteca, Vatican

Cardinal Giuliano della Rovere (later Pope Julius II) commissioned the decoration of the apse of the Santi Apostoli in Rome. It was painted by Melozzo da Forli between 1480 and 1484. Only fragment of this remain, showing the Ascension, Apostles and music-making angels.

The picture shows one of the angels, now in the Vatican museums.

Vasari described Melozzo as "a great artist for perspective," emphasizing the painter's undisputed skill in daring foreshortening "di sotto in su" (from below looking up), a characteristic that Melozzo made his own, though it was derived from Piero della Francesca and Mantegna.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 2 minutes):
Francesco da Milano: Tre fantasie for lute