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(b Messina, c.1430; d Messina, 14/25 Feb. 1479). Italian painter, mainly active at Messina in Sicily, the most famous artist to come from the island. He was one of the major pioneers of oil painting in Italy. According to Vasari he learnt the technique from Jan van Eyck, but there is no evidence that he ever visited northern Europe and he was in any case probably still a boy when Jan died in 1441. It is more likely that he acquired his knowledge of northern techniques in Naples, then artistically dominated by the Netherlands: an early 16th-century source indicates that he studied there under Niccolò Colantonio (?c.

Text Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)