Painter, copperplate engraver, commercial artist (male), draughtsman and court painter
Mantegna trained under the painter Francesco Squarcione in Padua, where he was influenced by the works of Donatello. Among his earliest verified works are the frescoes, begun in 1449 and completed in 1457, in the Ovetari Chapel of Padua's Chiesa degli Eremitani. The greater part of the frescoes, with scenes from the lives of St James and St Christopher, fell victim to a bombing attack in 1944. He also painted the altarpiece for San Zeno in Verona from 1456 to 1459. In 1459 Mantagna moved to Mantua, and in 1460 he became court painter to the Gonzaga. Of his works commissioned by the Gonzaga, the most outstanding are the frescoes in the Palazzo Ducale's Camera degli Sposi, completed in 1474. He also produced numerous paintings for the ducal family, including a series of nine paintings on canvas with the 'Triumph of Julius Caesar' (now in the English royal collection).