Skip to main content

Oxen before a Landscape

Andrea Andreani, Italian, 1540/46 - 1623. After Andrea Mantegna, Italian (active Padua, Mantua, and Verona), 1431 - 1506

In the late fifteenth century, Andrea Mantegna painted a monumental frieze (nine canvases, each measuring nine by nine feet) for the noble Gonzaga family of Mantua, Italy. Mantegna's work represented one of the most ambitious attempts ever to reconstruct the appearance of the ancient Roman processions, known as triumphs, that celebrated the victory of a general. To recreate the pomp and splendor of a triumph-with its musicians, standard-bearers, animals, prisoners of war, and trophies (precious booty and captured arms)-Mantegna drew on both ancient literary descriptions and ancient visual sources, such as coins, medals, and the relief sculpture on Roman triumphal arches.

Not everyone could travel to Mantua to see Mantegna's vast frieze, but the fame of the work was spread through the engravings produced by artists in Mantegna's circle. This splendid woodcut, which were created much later, reflects a revival of interest in the work a century after it was painted.


Object Details

We are always open to learning more about our collections and updating the website. Does this record contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Contact us here.

Please note that this particular artwork might not be on view when you visit. Don’t worry—we have plenty of exhibitions for you to explore.