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Marche VoyagerArt & Architecture | Carlo Crivelli

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Carlo Crivelli was born in Venice around 1435. He is thought to have trained as a painter in the workshops of the Vivarini family. Scholars also see the strong influence of Mantegna as evidence that he also studied in Padua. However, he was still living in Venice in 1457 when he was convicted of adultery and sent to prison. After that it seems that he left Venice for good, although he continued to sign himself "Caroli Crivelli Veneti".

In the mid 1460s he was recorded in Dalmatia but by 1468 he had established himself in Le Marche, near Ascoli Piceno, where he remained for the rest of his life until his death in around 1493.

The Marche have a particularly fine collection of Crivelli's work. Fortunately, a number of his paintings remain in the churches for which they were originally painted.

Vittore Crivelli, who worked in Le Marche at about the same time, was probably Carlo's younger brother, though never his equal as a painter. It seems that they also occasionally worked together.

All of Crivelli's pictures are of religious subjects. His style was highly individual, with a strong element of Late Gothic fantasy. His masterly technique and extravagant attention to detail was also rather old-fashioned for its time. He left Venice too early to be influenced by Bellini's atmospheric art. He also still used raised plaster to give a three-dimensional effect to details such as drops of Christ's blood or the tears of mourners.

Yet, despite these anachronisms, his paintings have been described as one of the major achievements of Northern Italian art in the Quattrocento (1400's).

Here are some of the places in Le Marche where you can find Crivelli's works:

  • ANCONA - Pinacoteca civica - Madonna and Child and a Triptych of Madonna and Child with Saints
  • ASCOLI PICENO - Pinacoteca civica - two triptychs of Madonna and Child with saints.
  • ASCOLI PICENO - Duomo (Cappella del Sacramento) - a polyptych (1473) of Madonna and Child with Saints which is regarded as one of Crivelli's finest works.
  • CORRIDONIA - (8 km S of Macerata) - Pinacoteca civica - Madonna enthroned with suckling child
  • MACERATA - Pinocoteca - Madonna and Child (1470) 
  • MASSA FERMANA (20 km W of Fermo) - Parish Church of S. Lorenzo - polyptych of Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saint
  • MONTEFIORE DELL'ASO (15 km S of Fermo) - Collegiate church of Santa Lucia - Six panels from a polyptych depicting Saints Mary Magdalene (said to be among Crivelli's most beautiful figures), Peter, Catherine of Alexandria, Ludovic of Tolosa, Clare amd James.
  • MONTE SAN MARTINO - (25 km SW of Fermo) - Church of San Martino - Polyptych of Madonna and Child with Saints by Carlo and Vittore Crivelli
  • POGGIO DI BRETTA - (10 km E of Ascoli Piceno) - Parish Church - Fresco of Madonna and Child, thought to be an early work by Crivelli
  • SANT'ELPIDIO MARE - (15 km N of Fermo) - Palazzo Comunale - 14 panel polyptych with Coronation of the Virgin with Saints
  • TORRE DI PALME - (6 km S of Porto S. Giorgio) - Church of Sant'Agostino - Triptych of Madonna and Child with Saints



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