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Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca
Resurrection, detail (Self-Portrait) - Piero della Francesca

Born: 1412; Borgo Sansepolcro

Died: 12 October 1492; Borgo Sansepolcro

Field: painting, fresco

Nationality: Italian

Art Movement: Early Renaissance

An Early Italian Renaissance painter, Piero della Francesca’s paintings were characterized by a serene humanism, geometric forms and use of perspective. Little is know about his early apprenticeships and art studies, but his early works show the influence of the Sienese artists; which were active during his youth. It is known that he first received payments for his work as early as1439, when he was roughly around the age of 27. It is possible that during his stay in Florence he met such great masters as Brunelleschi, Fra’ Angelico, and Mantegna.

He began receiving his first public commissions in the 1440’s, executing works in San Sepolcro and Remini. During his stay in Remini it is though that Francesca may have met with the mathematician Leon Battista Alberti, as mathematics was one of his intellectual pursuits. Throughout his career, he traveled all around Italy, traveling to Rome in the late 1950’s when he was summoned by Pope Nicholas V to complete frescoes in the Papal capital.

During his long career, it is known that he met with many prominent artists, mathematicians and thinkers of his time, and continued to execute great works into his old age. He published three treatises on mathematics and geometry, which covered the topics of algebra, geometry, and arithmetic and many of his paintings are indicative of his knowledge of sold geometry and perspective. He died in 1492, on the very same day that Christopher Columbus reached the New World.

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