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Travel Tip: Art and Archaeology in Italy
Piero della Francesca: Exploring a Legend

Piero della Francesca: <EM>Madonna della Misericordia</EM>, 1445-1462, Olio su tavolaMuseo Civico, Sansepolcro
Piero della Francesca: Madonna della Misericordia, 1445-1462, Olio su tavola
Museo Civico, Sansepolcro
Piero della Francesca: Exploring a Legend
FORLI  •  Musei di San Domenico  •  Ongoing
The complex interaction of art and criticism, creative output and scholarship, is the aim of Piero della Francesca. From the success during his life – Luca Pacioli defined him “the king of painting” till being forgotten and newly discovered.
Some paintings by Piero, carefully selected to mark the evolving stages of that rediscovery, will therefore form the core of the exhibition. These will be accompanied by works by other great Renaissance artists, clarifying how Piero acquired his language and the defining role in the evolution of modern art assigned to him by recent scholarship. To illustrate Florentine culture of the 1430s and 1440s, when Piero’s career was launched, the show will display key paintings by Domenico Veneziano, Beato Angelico, Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno, the leading artists of the period after Masaccio. The perspective preoccupation of Paolo Uccello, the emphatically sculptural figures by Andrea del Castagno and the chromatic effects sought by Domenico Veneziano and Beato Angelico, offer significant parallels for Piero in his twenties and thirties. The precocious influence of flemish painting will be seen in a fresco by the portuguese painter Giovanni di Consalvo from the Chiostro deli Aranci at the Badia Fiorentina, where the precision of the perspective construction is accompanied by an unusual attention to light and shade.

The travels which the artist undertook to northeastern Italy (Modena, Bologna, Rimini, Ferrara, Ancona) prompted the growth of a “cultura pierfrancescana” identified by modern scholarship in the works of Emilian artists (Marco Zoppo, Francesco del Cossa, Cristoforo da Lendinara, Bartolomeo Bonascia), also included here. Likewise, Piero’s painting was echoed in the Marches (Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Camerino, Nicola di Maestro Antonio), Tuscany (Bartolomeo della Gatta, Luca Signorelli) and Rome (Melozzo da Forlì, Antoniazzo Romano).

A widely-accepted hypothesis suggests Piero’s language also made its mark in Venice, where the work of Giovanni Bellini and Antonello da Messina shows their awareness of his mode of expression.

Musei di San Domenico Website

Contact: Musei di San Domenico
Piazza Guido da Montefeltro
Tel: (39) 0543 71 26 59

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