Special thanks to the Microsoft Corporation for permission to use following biographical information from Microsoft® Encarta 2000:
Antonello da Messina was a Sicilian painter and one of the first Italian masters to use the Flemish technique of painting in oils.
Antonello was born in Messina. His early career is largely conjectural, but he is now believed to have studied and worked in Naples, where a number of works by Flemish artists—notably Jan van Eyck—were known to be at the time and where oil painting was practiced. Antonello was in Venice from 1475 to 1476 and so impressed the Venetians with his virtuosity that he was given a state stipend. Among his known works from this period are a Crucifixion (1475, Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts, Brussels) and the San Cassiano Altarpiece (1475-1476, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). The latter is famous for its superb handling of perspective, its glowing colors, and an elegance of detail that rivals Flemish art. Antonello returned to Messina in 1476 and there completed his Annunciation (1476?, Galleria Nazionale, Palermo), his last painting before his death. Among his most notable works are Portrait of a Young Man (1474, Dahlem Museum, Berlin), Ecce Homo (1474, Metropolitan Museum, New York City), and Il Condottiere (Portrait of a Man, 1475, Louvre, Paris).