PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA

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Basilica di San Francesco - Ticket Office

A single-nave building designed to reflect the practice typical of the mendicant orders of the day, construction on the Basilica of St Francis started in the second half of the thirteenth century and was completed in the fourteenth. The campanile was added in the sixteenth century. Painstakingly detailed restoration work has almost entirely re-established the original austere simplicity of the grandiose single-nave interior, which is flanked along the right by niches containing fourteenth-century and Renaissance ornamentation and along the left by stark Gothic chapels.

Piero della Francesca (Italian pronunciation: [ˈpjɛːro della franˈtʃeska] About this sound listen (help·info); c. 1415[1] – 12 October 1492) was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. As testified by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, to contemporaries he was also known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art. His painting is characterized by its serene humanism, its use of geometric forms and perspective. His most famous work is the cycle of frescoes The History of the True Cross in the church of San Francesco in the Tuscan town of Arezzo.

Piero was born and died in the town of Borgo Santo Sepolcro,[1] modern-day Tuscany, to Benedetto de' Franceschi, a tradesman, and Romana di Perino da Monterchi, members of the Florentine and Tuscan Franceschi noble family.

In 1442 he was listed as eligible for the City Council of San Sepolcro. Three years later, he received the commission for the Madonna della Misericordia altarpiece for the church of the Misericordia in Sansepolcro, completed in the early 1460s. In 1449 he executed several frescoes in the Castello Estense and the church of Sant'Andrea of Ferrara, also lost. His influence was particularly strong in the later Ferrarese allegorical works of Cosimo Tura.

In 1454 he signed a contract for the Polyptych of Saint Augustine in the church of Sant'Agostino in Sansepolcro. The central panel of this polyptic is lost and the four panels of the wings, with representations of Saints, are scattered around the world. A few years later, summoned by Pope Nicholas V, he moved to Rome: here he executed frescoes in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, of which only fragments remain. Two years later he was again in the Papal capital, for frescoes in Vatican Palace which have also been destroyed

Gallery

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