Antonello: from Flemish to Venice
安托内罗·达·梅西那(Antonello da Messina)是一位来自西西里的画家，他的作品受到早期弗拉芒作品（即早期尼德兰作品）的影响，他的作品此后又影响了威尼斯画派。
Antonello da Messina is a painter from Sicily. His work was influenced by the early Flemish work (that is, the early Netherlands) and had a profound impact on the Venice School.
The period of early Flemish painting basically coincided with the period from the rise of the Renaissance to the heyday, but they were generally studied separately by scholars. Flemish artists create layout oil paintings, mostly religious paintings, portrait paintings, and fine landscape paintings. There are few religious paintings or realistic paintings. Artists use fictional imagination in their works, adding elements of humor and satire.
安托内罗幼时在那不勒斯从师于尼可罗·安东尼奥·克兰顿尼奥(Niccolo Antonio Colantonio)。1442年，来自伊比利亚半岛（即现代西班牙）的阿方索一世（又被称为阿拉贡阿方索五世）占领了那不勒斯。阿方索一世成为了那不勒斯文化艺术的主要赞助者，他兴建文化中心、鼓励艺术家的自由创作向。他那不勒斯输入了多元的文化，带来了伊比利亚半岛的画家，如瓦伦西亚雅克玛特(Valencian Jacomart)和勃艮第(Burgundy)，以及弗拉芒派画家如罗吉尔·范德·韦登(Rogier van der Weyden)和扬·范·艾克(Jan van Eyck)的作品。在这样的背景下，安托内罗的老师克兰顿尼奥的作品出现了多种文化的融合。有学者推测，这是安托内罗的作品受到早期弗拉芒绘画影响的原因之一。
Antonello studied under Niccolo Antonio Colantonio in Naples as a child. In 1442, Alfonso I (also known as Aragon Alfonso V) from the Iberian Peninsula (that is, modern Spain) occupied Naples. Alfonso I became the main sponsor of the culture and art of Naples. He built a cultural center and encouraged the artist’s free creative direction. He entered a diverse culture in Naples, bringing in Iberian painters such as Valencian Jacomart and Burgundy, and Flemish painters such as Rogier van der Works by Rogier van der Weyden and Jan van Eyck. In this context, the works of Antonello’s teacher Crantonio have shown fusion of multiple cultures. Some scholars argue that this is one of the reasons why Antonello’s work was influenced by early Flemish paintings.
Antonello’s The Sibiu Crucifixion is an oil painting, which was very rare in Italy at that time, so Antonello is considered to be the first Italian painter to create oil paintings.
According to records, in 1456, Antonello had contact with Petrus Christus, Jan Van Eyck’s most accomplished follower. After 1456, Antonello’s paintings became more mature and more details appeared, and his treatment of light reflections and gradients became more similar to the Flemish school. Considering that Christie was also the first Dutch painter to use perspective skills, perhaps the two guided each other in 1456 and shared their skills.
This portrait depicts the common religious theme of the Virgin and Jesus. The crown on the Virgin’s head symbolizes that she is the queen of heaven, and the pomegranate in the child’s hand symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus. But Antonello follows the Flemish characteristics, using a dark background and depicting only the upper body of the Virgin, which is different from the “medal-style” full-body portraits commonly used by Italian painters. In addition, he used a lot of details such as diamond crowns, spider silk veils, and gorgeous costumes to decorate the Virgin and Jesus. We can see that Antonello has been able to use the Flemish school’s fictional techniques to paint.
This is the later work of Antonello. Christ’s body leaned weakly on the angel, his head back, his mouth slightly open, and his expression calm, creating a highly religious image. The angel’s face is slightly ruddy, but the body of Christ’s body has turned yellow, and the wound on his body is shocking. This small contrast greatly enhances the expressive power of the work. The angel’s frowning frowns and gleaming tears, the wounds and blood on Christ’s body all embody Antonello’s almost realistic description of the details of the picture.