Piero Della Francesca

Piero Della Francesca

by Marilyn Aronberg Lavin
     
 

Few artists of the fifteenth century are as revered today as Piero della Francesca (c. 1413-92). The 'favourite artist' of many painters and sculptors of our own time, he is admired especially for the balance of his compositions, the geometric perfection of his forms and the emotional coolness of his style. The secret of these qualities lies in part in Piero's… See more details below

Overview

Few artists of the fifteenth century are as revered today as Piero della Francesca (c. 1413-92). The 'favourite artist' of many painters and sculptors of our own time, he is admired especially for the balance of his compositions, the geometric perfection of his forms and the emotional coolness of his style. The secret of these qualities lies in part in Piero's achievements as a mathematician -- one of the greatest of his age who wrote three treatises on the subject. Even so, most of his paintings were commissioned to serve a religious function and were appreciated by his contemporaries for their spiritual value. In this comprehensive survey, which benefits from superlative new photography of recently cleaned frescos, Marilyn Aronberg Lavin offers detailed analyses of all of Piero's surviving works. Situating his images within the context of early Renaissance art, religion and politics, she skilfully links past and present to offer an understanding of the artist's timeless appeal.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca combined deep humanism and passionate faith in his most famous fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross , completed around 1466 in the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo. His narrative scenes dealing with the death of Adam, the Annunciation, Sheba and Solomon, Emperor Constantine's vision on the eve of a battle and so forth transformed popular fables into ``heroic myths'' about the triumph of Christianity over paganism, as art historian Lavin notes in this erudite monograph which reproduces the entire fresco cycle. The author, who has taught at Yale and Princeton, deciphers the cycle's political overtones, for example, its allusions to Italian princes' concern about the ever-increasing danger posed by the Ottoman empire. Lavin also analyzes the qualities that make Piero's art so contemporary, observing that his preoccupied, silent figures ``offer some assurance that there is a realm where human intelligence rules, where it is still worth aspiring to be.'' (Mar.)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810932104
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1992
Series:
Masters of Art Ser.
Pages:
128
Product dimensions:
9.24(w) x 12.33(h) x 0.72(d)

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