PADUAN SCHOOL: It was at Padua in the north that the influence of the classic marbles made itself strongly apparent. Umbria remained true to the religious sentiment, Florence engaged itself largely with nature study and technical problems, introducing here and there draperies and poses that showed knowledge of ancient sculpture, but at Padua much of the classic in drapery, figures, and architecture seems to have been taken directly from the rediscovered antique or the modern bronze.
The early men of the school were hardly great enough to call for mention. During the fourteenth century there was some Giotto influence felt—that painter having been at Padua working in the Arena Chapel." Later on there was a slight influence from Gentile da Fabriano and his fellow-worker Vittore Pisano, of Verona. But these influences seem to have died out and the real direction of the school in the early fifteenth century was given by Francesco Squarcione (1394-1474)• He was an enlightened man, a student, a collector and an admirer of ancient sculpture, and though no great painter himself he taught an anatomical statuesque art, based on ancient marbles and nature, to many pupils.Squarcione's work has perished, but his teaching was reflected in the work of his great pupil Andrea Mantegna (1431–1506). Yet Mantegna never received the full complement
of his knowledge from Squarcione. He was of an observing nature and probably studied Paolo Uccello and Fra Filippo, some of whose works were then in Paduan edifices. He gained color knowledge from the Venetian Bellinis, who lived at Padua at one time and who were connected with Mantegna by marriage. But the sculpturesque side of his art came from Squarcione, from a study of the antique, and from a deeper study of Donatello, whose bronzes to this day are to be seen within and without the Paduan Duomo of S. Antonio.
The sculpturesque is characteristic of Mantegna's work. His people are hard, rigid at times, immovable human beings, not so much turned to stone as turned to bronze—the bronze of Donatello. There is little sense of motion about them. The figure is sharp and harsh, the drapery, evidently studied from sculpture, is "liney," and the archaeology is often more scientific than artistic. Mantegna was not, however, entirely devoted to the sculpturesque. He was one of the severest nature students of the Early Renaissance, knew about nature, and carried it out in more exacting detail than was perhaps well for his art. In addition he was a master of light-and-shade, understood composition, space, color, atmosphere, and was as scientific in perspective as Piero Bella Francesca. There is stiffness in his figures but nevertheless great truth and character. The forms are noble, even grand, and for invention and imagination they were never, in his time, carried further or higher. He was little of a sentimentalist or an emotionalist, not much of a brush man or a colorist, but as a draughtsman, a creator of noble forms, a man of power, he stood second to none in the century.
Of Squarcione's other pupils Pizzolo (fl. 1470) was the most promising, but died early. Marco Zoppo (1440-1498) seems to have followed the Paduan formula of hardness, dryness, and exacting detail. He was possibly influenced by Cosimo Tura, and in turn influenced somewhat the Ferrara-Bolognese school. Mantegna, however, was the greatest of the school, and his influence was far-reaching. It affected the school of Venice in matters of drawing, beside influencing the Lombard and Veronese schools in their beginnings.
SCHOOLS OF VERONA AND VICENZA: Artistically Verona be longed with the Venetian provinces, because it was largely an echo of Venice except at the very start. Vittore Pisano (1380-1456), called Pisanello, was the earliest painter of note, but he was not distinctly Veronese in his art. He was medallist and painter both, worked with Gentile da Fabriano in the Ducal Palace at Venice and elsewhere, and his art seems to have an affinity with that of his companion.