Piero Della Francesca

Series: Art & Ideas

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Few artists of the fifteenth century are as revered today as Piero della Francesca (c.1413-92). The favourite artist of many painters and sculptors of our own time, he is admired especially for the balance of his compositions, the geometric perfection of his forms and the emotional coolness of his style. The secret of these qualities lies in part in Piero's achievements as a mathematician, one of the greatest of his age, and the author of three treatises on the subject. Yet most of his paintings were commissioned to serve a religious function and were appreciated by his contemporaries for their spiritual value. In this comprehensive survey, which benefits from superlative new photography of recently cleaned frescos, Marilyn Aronberg Lavin presents detailed analyses of all of Piero's surviving works. Situating his paintings within the context of early Renaissance art, religion and politics, she skilfully links past and present to offer an understanding of the artist's timeless appeal.