The World of Frescoes of Andrea De Litio

An outstanding artist Andrea De Litio was born about 1420 in Abruzzo (presumably in Lecce dei Marsi). His artistic style is a synthesis of innovative ideas of the Italian Renaissance and the late Gothic tradition. In 1445-1481 his life was closely associated with Atri, a small Renaissance center under the patronage of powerful Dukes Aquaviva. The most significant part of his artistic legacy is presented by a magnificent cycle of frescoes in the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Atri, created presumably in 1480’s, during the period of his utmost creative maturity.

Especially expressive frescoes one can observe on the ceiling. Against the background of dark blue sky are potrayed evangelicals and an iconographer in the process of painting the Virgin and Child. I would like to believe that this is a self-portrait of the artist. In the grand space of the Cathedral a visitor is all around surrounded by frescos – in the altar, on the walls, ceiling and columns. That creates a full effect of presence in a small Renaissance town.


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