Piero della Francesca
Today, Piero della Francesca is one of the most loved of Renaissance painters. Working across central Italy in the mid-1400s, Piero created works for some of the most discerning and extravagant Renaissance patrons. These included altarpieces, fresco cycles and some of the century’s most recognisable portraits. His calm and serene figures, often set amidst idealised architectural settings or tranquil Tuscan landscapes have serenity and gravitas. The light in his pictures is clear, limpid, and very modern.
In this talk, we will follow Piero from his birthplace in the small town of Borgo Sansepolcro, to Florence, Arezzo, Rimini and Urbino. We’ll see how he was influenced by earlier painters, such as Giotto and Masaccio, and how his remarkable skills in mathematics and geometry underpinned his painting, helping him create profoundly satisfying and timeless works of art.
After his death in 1492, Piero's reputation rested mainly on his mathematical writings until cutting-edge artists and writers of the early 20th century rediscovered the glorious legacy of his paintings. We’ll see how Piero’s clarity of vision struck a chord with modern masters, making him one of our most popular painters – more than five hundred years after his death.
Jo Walton is an art historian and lecturer specialising in the art and architecture of the Italian Renaissance and on aspects of British art of the 20th century. She has worked extensively with The Arts Society, The Art Fund, and local art groups around the UK.
Can't make Wednesday evening but don't want to miss out? No problem, you can watch again.
This session will be recorded and made available to you for one week.
A video of the lecture will be uploaded and available for you to watch via your National Gallery account by the afternoon of Friday 15 December. Just be sure to watch it by the following Friday lunchtime, as it will be taken down on Friday afternoon.