Virtually Experience Piero della Francesca
by Ann Lally
Ann Lally, a principal at AltimaPalmBeach, studied Renaissance Art at Georgetown University’s Villa le Balze in Florence and traveled the Della Francesca Trail for a course called “Art in its Place.”
The Light of Fresco Art of the Renaissance
Imagine a world without COVID-19. Especially in Italy, cradle of the Renaissance. This world will return, and now is the time to consider a special itinerary to explore a most extraordinary artist. Born around 1415 near Tuscany and Umbria, Piero della Francesca studied in Florence under Domenico Veneziano and became one of the greatest fresco painters of the Renaissance. He left Florence in 1440 and returned to his birthplace of Sansepolcro, between Tuscany and Umbria.
While a councilman, his township commissioned two of his most important works for the community’s church. His Resurrection of Christ is homage to the town’s importance. Two pilgrims, Egidio and Arcano, brought sacred relics from the Holy Sepulchre (Santo Sepolcro)of Jerusalem, hence the symbolic name and value for the city. The fresco resides in restored splendor at the town’s Civic Museum. Art historian Sir Kenneth Clark and critic Aldous Huxley considered this fresco the most important painting since the birth of Christ. Rumor is, the Metropolitan Museum of Art attempted to purchase the fresco from the township after WWII, but the township refused. Praised for its perfect composition and color and powerful spirituality, townspeople whisper that the sleeping solder below the scepter is actually della Francesca’s self-portrait.