Did perspective affect Uccello’s married life?

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Continuing our notes on the early Renaissance artists after whom our Watermill bedrooms are names, today it’s the turn of Paolo Uccello. Lovingly restored, the Uccello bedroom is in the 17th Century mill building and looks out over the watermill cascades and the River Rosaro.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Uccello was born in 1397 and was a pioneer of the use of linear perspective, invented (or re-discovered) by my hero Filippo Brunelleschi. (Who also has a bedroom named after him, a story for another day). Uccello was so obsessed with perspective that it affected his married life. His wife said that he stayed up all night in his studio making intricate drawings and when she called for him to come to bed, he would cry out: “Oh what a sweet thing this perspective is!” Mrs Uccello’s comment are not recorded! (Uccello is Italian for bird and I have been trying, unsuccessfully, to resist a quasi-Italian pun, by saying “He was a queer old bird, that Uccello.” )

Paolo is probably best known for his three paintings of the Battle of San Romano. Here is the one in the Uffizzi gallery in Florence. For perspective and foreshortening, note particularly the horses on the right :

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

Uccello’s obsessive interest in perspective can also be seen in his fresco of the condottiere Sir John Hawkwood in Florence Cathedral: the painting looks like a three-dimensional equestrian monument seen from below:

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
Picture: Web Gallery of Art

Our careful restoration of the Uccello bedroom faithfully preserves the spirit of the 17th century watermill, but the facilities are completely modern.

The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.
The Watermill at Posara for painting, creative writing, knitting, and Italian language holidays/vacations/workshops, Tuscany, Italy.

I have made one of those fun, 30-second Facebook slideshows with these and other pictures of the Uccello bedroom, which you can see by clicking here.

Come and brush up your knowledge of perspective in Uccello’s bedroom at the Watermill and add a delightful perspective to your life. We would be delighted to welcome you here. You can find out all about our caring and inspiring creative courses – painting, creative writing, knitting and Italian language – by clicking here.

Please Comment

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.