Writer – Marshall Cavendish
Posted by Art Of Legend India [dot] Com On 11:17 PM
Piero seems to have worked slowly and all his paintings are solidly constructed and reflective even his battle scenes are deliberate in feeling. He had a preference for directly frontal images, as in The Madonna of the Misericordia and The Resurrection, both painted for his home town of Borgo san Sepolcro, and there is nothing casual or anecdotal in his work. It is all grand, elevated and meditative in spirit.
With the exception of the remarkable portraits of Federigo da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza, all the surviving, but often damaged, paintings certainly by Piero are of religious subjects. His greatest work, the series of frescoes on the Story of the True Cross, shows how Piero's genius transformed a collection of fanciful medieval legends into some of the most solemn and serene images in Christian art. The limpid beauty of Piero's colouring is as memorable as the calm monumentality of his figures, spiritual heirs to the statues of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks.
Writer – Marshall Cavendish
Painting Gallery of Piero della Francescasca-
This is the central panel of Piero's earliest known work, an altarpiece commissioned by the Compagnia Della Misericordia Borgo sun Sepolcro. The Misericordia still exists and is an organization of laymen dedicated to performing works of mercy, particularly those involving the care of the sick and burial of the dead. The Virgin is shown as the Madonna of Mercy, patroness of the Misericordia, vast in scale and symbolizing the protection of the heavens. One of the kneeling figures has a black hood over his head part of the habit of the Misericordia that is still worn when the members carry the dead.
Piero's Flagellation is one of the most enigmatic paintings in the history of art. Numerous theories have been put forward to explain the three mysterious figures in the foreground, but none has met with universal acceptance. There is agreement, however, that this radiant work is one of the most beautiful paintings of the Renaissance.
The 'Invention' is the name given to the discovery of the True Cross by the Empress Helena. Christ's cross cannot be distinguished from those of the two thieves until a funeral procession passes by and the corpse is resuscitated when the True Cross is passed over him.
Part of the True Cross eventually fell into the hands of Chosroes, a Persian Emperor. He was defeated in battle by Heraclius, a Byzantine Emperor, who returned the relic to Jerusalem. Piero's battle is a grim and forbidding scene, and on the right he has shown the defeated Chosroes kneeling as he awaits execution.
Piero's pair of paintings of the ruler of Urbino and his wife are among the most distinctive portraits of the Renaissance. Portrayal in pure profile was common in Italy at this time, but the expansive landscape behind the sitters was unprecedented. The town visible behind Battista is Borgo san Sepolcro, acting as a kind of signature for Piero.
Heraclius is said to have brought the True Cross back to Jerusalem on 21 March 628, although the Catholic Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross on 14 September, which is paradoxically the date attached to Helena's 'Invention' of the Cross in 326. Piero has represented the culminating scene of the story with his customary solemnity, although the strange headgear adds a bizarre note.
Piero painted this fresco for the town hall of Borgo Sepolcro the name means 'Borough of the Holy Sepulcher' and Christ`s featured on its coat of arms, Vasari, who said that this awesome painting was considered Piero's finest work, described the second front the left as a self-portrait of the artist.
Federigo, the Count (later Duke) of Urbino, was one of the most distinguished men of his time as much a scholar as a soldier. The choice of a profile view for his portrait was dictated by the horrible injury he sustained in a tournament, when he lost his right eye; his disfigured nose was a result of the same accident.