Andrea Mantegna, an Italian artist, born near Padua in 1431, died in Mantua, Sept. 13, 1506. When quite young he was placed under the instruction of Francesco Squarcione. At the age of 17 he painted an altarpiece, and soon afterward the four evangelists for the church of St. Sophia at Padua. The works and reputation of the young artist induced the painter Jacopo Bellini to give him his daughter, Nicolasa, in marriage. His frescoes in the church degli Eremitani, representing the life of St. James and the legend of St. Christopher, and his St. Mark in the church of St. Giustina, were among his next works in Padua. He was invited about 1468 by Ludovico Gon-zaga to Mantua. Between 1485 and 1490 he visited Rome at the invitation of Innocent VIII., and painted with almost miniature-like delicacy a series of frescoes in a chapel in the Belvedere, all of which however perished when Pius VI. destroyed the chapel toward the close of the last century to make room for his new museum. Of his works extant, the principal is the celebrated series representing in nine compartments the triumph of Julius Csesar after his conquest of Gaul, originally painted for Ludovico Gonzaga, and which upon the downfall of that family were purchased by Charles I. of England. They were sold by parliament with the rest of Charles's pictures but were repurchased on the return of Charles II., and placed in Hampton court.
They were engraved by the painter, and were copied in chiaroscuro by Andrea Andreani. Of his easel pictures the most famous is the Madonna della Vittoria, now in the Louvre, painted in commemoration of the victory gained by Gonzaga over Charles VIII. of France in 1495. Many other pictures by him are to be found in Italy and the large galleries of central Europe. Mantegna, according to Lanzi, engraved upward of 50 of his own designs, of which about 30 are known to collectors.