account_circleHistorical personalities

Piero della Francesca

He's the master of light, one of the most important painters of the Italian Quattrocento


Piero della Francesca was, without a doubt, one of the most important painters active in fifteenth-century in Italy. He was born around 1415 in Sansepolcro, not far from Arezzo in an area of Tuscany known as Valtiberina. He learned his art from a local painter, but his most important formative period was in Florence, where he trained under Domenico Veneziano, an Italian painter with whom Piero worked in the Church of Sant’Orsola (now lost).

His monumental and highly rational paintings are one of the highest artistic acheviements of the Early Renaissance. Piero was a great experimenter: he played with the first rules of perspective applied to narrative and devotional art, which he applied with mathematical rigor, adding an iconic and sacred feeling to his paintings.

Piero della Francesca’s works are in fact for the most part religious. Many were commissioned by confraternities and by important members of society. He depicts scenes from the Life of Christ, the Madonna and similar themes – one important such work is preserved in Sansepolcro at the Civic Museum.

Piero was not just a painter but also a mathematician, and he wrote treatises on the matter, including an important analysis of the construction methods of domes.

Here is a special project about the "Terre di Piero", check it out!

Cover image credit: Darren and Brad

An introduction to the historical town at the foot of the Apennines
Legend has it that Sansepolcro’s origins can be traced back to two pilgrim saints, Arcano and Egidio. While returning from the Holy Land, they stopped in this valley and, thanks to a divine sign, they decided to stay and build a small chapel there to host the Holy Relics they’d brought from Jerusalem. HISTORY Between 1300 and 1500, Sansepolcro experienced an age of maximum splendor. ...