PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA EXPLORING A LEGEND
The complex interaction of art and criticism, creative output and scholarship, is the aim of Piero della Francesca. From the success during his life – Luca Pacioli defined him “the king of painting” till being forgotten and newly
Some paintings by Piero, carefully selected to mark the evolving stages of that rediscovery, will therefore form the core of the exhibition. These will be accompanied by works by other great Renaissance artists, clarifying how Piero acquired his language and the defining role in the evolution of modern art assigned to him by recent scholarship. To illustrate Florentine culture of the 1430s and 1440s, when Piero’s career was launched,
the show will display key paintings by Domenico Veneziano, Beato Angelico, Paolo Uccello and Andrea del Castagno, the leading artists of the period after Masaccio. The perspective preoccupation of Paolo Uccello, the emphatically sculptural figures by Andrea del Castagno and the chromatic effects sought by Domenico Veneziano and Beato Angelico, offer significant parallels for Piero in his twenties and thirties. The precocious influence of flemish painting will be seen in a fresco by the portuguese painter Giovanni di Consalvo from the Chiostro deli Aranci at the Badia Fiorentina, where the precision of the perspective construction is accompanied by an unusual attention to light and shade.
The travels which the artist undertook to northeastern Italy (Modena, Bologna, Rimini, Ferrara, Ancona) prompted the growth of a “cultura pierfrancescana” identified by modern scholarship in the works of Emilian artists (Marco Zoppo, Francesco del Cossa, Cristoforo da Lendinara, Bartolomeo Bonascia), also included here. Likewise, Piero’s painting was echoed in the Marches (Giovanni Angelo d’Antonio da Camerino, Nicola di
Maestro Antonio), Tuscany (Bartolomeo della Gatta, Luca Signorelli) and Rome (Melozzo da Forlì, Antoniazzo Romano).
A widely-accepted hypothesis suggests Piero’s language also made its mark in Venice, where the work of Giovanni Bellini and Antonello da Messina shows their awareness of his mode of expression.
The exhibition will open on the ground floor of the San Domenico complex, juxtaposing Piero’s Madonna della Misericordia and the Silvana Cenni by Felice Casorati, and will consider the modern birth of the Piero legend through the writings of his principal devotees, Bernard Berenson and Roberto Longhi.
The rooms dedicated to Piero della Francesca will be preceded by a generous selection of material demonstrating how new interest in the artist grew during the 1800s: from the drawings by Johann Anton Ramboux, to the extraordinary life-size copies of the Arezzo frescoes produced in 1872-1874 by Charles
Loyeux, till the key english discovery, during the first part of the XX century, namely to Roger Fry, Duncan Grant and the Bloomsbury Group, of which writer Virginia Wolf took part also. The profound appeal of the Arezzo frescoes seems to re-emerge DasDegas. A similar path of assimilation, though stylistically varied, appears in the avant-garde works of the Macchiaioli. Echoes of Piero even appear in the works of Seurat and Signac and this becomes more explicit among the post-Impressionists, in the last purist flashes of Puvis de Chavannes, the metaphysical experiments of Odilon Redon, and above all the geometric views of Cézanne. The 1900s were the “century of Piero” in a number of ways: not only for the ever-increasing study of his oeuvre, as fascinating as it was problematic (and even mysterious, for some), but also for the centrality he gradually took on in the realm of the Italian Renaissance. At the same time his works were considered exemplary by painters who, whatever their scope or style, consistently appreciated his abstract rigor and geometric measure, or were drawn to a rarefied, distant style that might even assume a sense of disquiet.
As with the section on the 1800s, the exhibition will retrace the extraordinary evolution of Piero’s fortune in the 1900s, making new connections and following the various stages of the “return to order”: italian artists - Guidi, Carrà, Donghi, Chirico, Casorati, Morandi, Funi, Campigli, Ferrazzi, Sironi - will be compared with foreigners such as Balthus and Hopper, who wore the mantle of Piero in a fully modern style.
Information and booking
tel. +39.0543.36217 (groups only)
From Tuesday to Friday: 9.30 am - 7.00 pm
Saturday, Sunday, holidays, March 28th
and April 25th: 9.30 am - 8.00 pm
The box office closes one hour before time stated.
Closed on Mondays.
Adult € 12
Reduced fee € 10: for groups (more than 15 people),
children 15-18, senior (over 65), special conventions
holders (see the list at the entrance of museum), students.
Reduced fee € 5: children 7-14
Free: children under 6 years, one guest for each group,
helpers, journalists, tour guide, disabled.
Guided tours in foreign languages € 110
How to get to Forlì
By plain: Guglielmo Marconi Airport in Bologna
(via Triumvirato, 84)
By train: main north-south rain links through the
By car: motorway A14 from Bologna to Rimini, exit Forlì;
Strada Statale n. 9 (via Emilia)
To find amazing packages about the exhibition and the
EXPLORING THE RESURRECTION
march 19th . July 17th 2016
Civic Museum of Sansepolcro
via Niccolò Aggiunti 65