Piero della Francesca is considered today one of the masters of Renaissance Art; his work features remarkable psychological studies of individuals – the people, saints, patrons are not idealized renderings of prototypes, but rather portraits of real persons. And his exacting use of Albertian perspective was groundbreaking for his day. There’s a precise mathematical study underlying his work, and much has been said of his use of the Golden Mean – but that’s the subject of another post. His most famous work are the frescoes in the Church of San Francesco, in Arezzo. (Recognition of the artist came only in the 19th c. … Napoleon is reputed to have wanted to raze the Church in Arezzo to build a theater…)
The Metropolitan Museum in NY hosts “Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters” an exhibition of four of his devotional paintings, works painted in tempera on canvas, intended for private prayer, some featuring portraits of the patrons who commissioned them. The paintings are Saint Jerome and a Donor from the Gallerie dell’Accademia, of Venice; Madonna and Child with Two Angels (the Senigallia Madonna) from the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, in Urbino; Saint Jerome in a Landscape from the Gemaldegalerie, Berlin; and Madonna and Child from the Alana Collection in New York. They appear together for the first time.
Above is Piero della Francesca’s Madonna and Child with Two Angels (the Senigallia Madonna). Below are web-resolution reproductions – taken mostly from the Wikipedia media site – of the other three remarkable paintings.
The exhibition is made possible by the Foundation for Italian Art & Culture (FIAC). It was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art in collaboration with FIAC, in celebration of the opening of the New European Paintings Galleries, 1250-1800.
The loan of the Madonna di Senigallia is by arrangement with the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo and the Italian Carabinieri Command (CCTPC), working together with la Soprintendenza per i Beni Storici Artistici ed Etnoantropologici delle Marche – Urbino, as part of 2013 – Italian Year of Culture in the United States.
Read more about Piero della Francesca on the Wikipedia article, linked here.
Visit the Met’s website, linked here.
“Piero della Francesca: Personal Encounters”
From January 14th to March 30th, 2014
Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York, NY