Luxury Tuscany villa rental with art gallery and Piero della Francesca's painting

Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca at Villa Tuscany

Piero della Francesca (c. 1415 – October 12, 1492) was an Italian painter from the Early Renaissance. In his lifetime he was renowned as a mathematician and geometrician as well as an artist. His sublime painting style, serene yet powerful, shows a marked interest in humanism and geometrical forms, especially in relation to perspective and foreshortening. 

Piero was born in the Tuscan village of Borgo Santo Sepolcro, where he also died. Possibly trained in the art of painting by one of the many Sienese artists working in this town during his youth, Piero soon moved to Florence. We know that Piero apprenticed in Florence with Domenico Veneziano, with whom he worked in 1439 on frescoes for the church of Sant'Egidio, now lost. In Florence he also met the successful monk painter Fra' Angelico, who introduced him to the work of other leading early Renaissance masters including Masaccio and Brunelleschi.

After his Florentine training Piero worked in other cities including Rimini,Ancona,  Bologna, Rome and his hometown San Sepulcro. In 1452 Piero della Francesca was called to Arezzo to execute frescoes of the Basilica of San Francesco, which he worked on from 1452-1456. Here he created his masterpiece: his cycle of frescoes depicting the Legend of the True Cross is generally considered among his greatest works if not among the greatest frescoes of the Renaissance period. The story - passed down from medieval legends collected in the “Golden Legend” by Jacopo da Varagine in the 13th century - relates how the wood relics of the True Cross were found and utilized. No trip to Arezzo is complete without a visit to admire these remarkable and colorful frescoes.

Other noteworthy works of Piero della Francesca's maturity include the Resurrection and the Madonna del Parto located in Monterchi near San Sepulcro. At Urbino, where he worked for Duke Federico II da Montefeltro, he painted the famous double portrait of Federico and his wife Battista Sforza, now in the Uffizi. His portraits in profile are inspired by Roman coins, as typical in portraiture from the early Renaissance.  

Piero remained a respected and renowned artist during his lifetime. He died in his hometown San Sepolcro on October 12, 1492 - the same date that Christopher Columbus made his first landing in the Americas.

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