Paolo Uccello

Paolo di Dono, better known as Paolo Uccello (b.1397 - d.1475) was a painter (and also a creator of mosaics) in the employ and patronage of the powerful Florentine Renaissance family, the Medicis. Uccello is considered the father of the art of the perspective.

In paintings such as Niccolò Mauruzi da Tolentino at the Battle of San Romano (c. 1438-1440), his use of perspective and vanishing point created fundamental changes in the way artists depict spatial relations. In The Hunt (c. 1460), he strives to make the running hounds three dimensional, knowing that the spatial aspect was critical to the viewer's enjoyment.

His most famous work, the painting 'Niccolò Mauruzi da Tolentino at the Battle of San Romano', was commissioned by a wealthy Florentine banker, and hung in his bedroom until his death. Ucello painted it on three canvases, and art historians speculate it originally had an upper half-sphere on which a distant landscape and the sky were painted. The banker bequethed the painting to his sons, and soon after his death it stolen in an audacious art theft orchestrated by Lorenzo de' Medici. In order for it to fit into de' Medici's bedroom the half-sphere was sawn off.

The painting's three sections, each depicting a stage of the San Romano war, are now housed in England, Italy, and France.

Uccello's life was described in Giorgio Vasari's Vite.