Piero di Benedetto de’ Franceschi, more commonly known as Piero della Francesca, was one of the most important exponents of the Italian Renaissance and humanist painting of the time. Also famous for his excellent mathematical and geometric skills, he brought a profound innovation to painting and therefore to art in general: perspective, an artistic style that then spread widely among the various painters of the time. The themes of his works range from those of a theological nature to philosophical and civil ones. One of the most beautiful itineraries that allows us to appreciate his beautiful works is found in Arezzo and its neighboring provinces: you can start from Arezzo and then continue east in the direction of Sansepolcro. It is no coincidence that the area around Arezzo is called “Terre di Piero”, precisely because the citizens of these lands feel inextricably linked to the artist.
One of the artist’s most important masterpieces is kept in the Cappella Maggiore of San Francesco, where we find frescoes that narrate the “Legend of the True Cross“, the story of Adam, who on his deathbed sent his son to the Archangel Michael, the who gave him some seeds to put in his father’s mouth at the time of burial.
A tree grew on Adam’s tomb, which however was cut to pieces by King Solomon and its wood thrown into a river to build a bridge: the Queen of Sheba who passed over the bridge knelt in adoration prophesying that the wood of this bridge would was the same as the cross that allegedly crucified Jesus.
Another characteristic stop to experience in Arezzo is located in the small village of Monterchi, where we find a beautiful portrait called “La Madonna del Parto”, depicting Mary pregnant, magnificently created by Piero in just seven days of work; the beauty of the painting lies, not only in the beauty of the characters, but also in the precision of the perspective, enhanced by the use of geometric equations and the inverted colors on the angels.
A further stage in the wonderful artistic world of the painter is certainly in Sansepolcro where, in the Civic Museum, the beautiful fresco “The Resurrection” is kept, which represents Christ resurrecting from the dead right in front of the Roman soldiers who, however, were sleeping at that moment.
The fresco was ardently desired by the magistrates of the city and was saved by the English artillery officer Tony Clarke who decided not to raze Sansepolcro to the ground because it was said that this city housed one of the most important works in the world, the Resurrection in the case in point.
In short, although there were, in the beautiful Tuscany region, painters such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Donatello who achieved timeless international fame, the artist Piero della Francesca helped pay homage to lesser-known cities such as Arezzo which today has become a evocative that houses the great treasures of the world and Italian art scene.
Don’t waste any more time: you need to visit these beautiful masterpieces!
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