Paolo Uccello was one of the most versatile founders of the Italian Early Renaissance, although his later reputation did not reflect his true significance, he went out of fashion during his lifetime and was only rediscovered in the century.
He was born Paolo di Dono. The nickname 'Uccello'came from his passion for painting birds. He was the son of a barber-surgeon from Pratovecchio, near Arezzo. At the age of 10, he began his apprenticeship at the then most famous workshop in Florence, that of the sculptorLorenzo Ghiberti. It was there where his lifelong friendship with Donatello began.
By the time he was 18, Uccello had been admitted to the painters' guild Compagnia di San Lucca. When he was around 30, as well as painting Creation and Expulsion in the church Santa Maria Novella in Florence, he was taught geometry by Manetti.
He painted frescoes in Bologna and Prata and travelled to Venice in 1425 to work on the mosaics for the fade of San Marco. But by 1432 he was back working in Florence and remained there for most of the rest of his life.
Uccello married Tomassa Malifici sometime before 1453, and had a child Donato that year. In 1456 they had a daughter, Antonia.
By his final years, he was a forgotten man, and though not destitute, had hit hard times.
He died in 1475 and was buried in his father tomb. He was 78.