Piero della Francesca

Piero della Francesca (c. 1420 in Borgo San Sepolcro (now Sansepolcro ), Tuscany, ibid † October 12, 1492; actually Pietro di Benedetto dei Franceschi, also Pietro Borghese) was an Italian painter of the early Renaissance, art theorist and mathematician.

Life and work

Of particular importance to art history are his frescoes in the church of San Francesco in Arezzo, which were restored from 1991 to 1996: The Dream of Constantine, The Queen of Sheba worshiped the wood of the cross (both in the cycle " Legend of the True Cross "). Another fresco found himself with the world famous Madonna del Parto (Madonna birth) in the picturesque village Monterchi (10 km south of Sansepolcro in Tuscany ) in the local chapel. Since the extensive restoration in 1992/93 the fresco can be visited in a specially decorated museum in the former elementary school Monterchis.

Other well-known works are the Baptism of Christ, Mary and Child surrounded by Saints, the diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza and the resurrection of Christ.

He wrote at the age also important art theory books that deal primarily with the perspective of geometry and trigonometry: De prospectiva pingendi and Libellus de quinque corporibus regularibus. Piero della Francesca was the first painter who tried using mathematics to solve problems or perspective to perfect the handling of perspective by geometric and mathematical tools. Furthermore, exists in the Laurentian Library in Florence a treatise called Del Abaco from him.

Among his pupils were probably Luca Signorelli and Pietro Perugino and the mathematician Luca Pacioli ( 1445-1514 to ).

He prepared his will on 5 July 1487th Five years later he died blind and lonely in his birthplace.

Works (selection)

  • Il Baptism of Christ ( Baptism of Christ ), 1440th National Gallery, London
  • Il Polittico della Misericordia ( polyptych of the Virgin of Mercy ), about 1445-1462. Museo Civico, Sansepolcro
  • La Madonna del Parto (Madonna birth), Fresco, about 1450 to 1455 or 1475th Museo della Madonna del Parto, Monterchi
  • San Gerolamo and San Gerolamo e un devoto, about 1448-1451. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin and Gallery dell'Accademia, Venice
  • Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta 1450 /51. Musée du Louvre, Paris
  • Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in preghiera davanti a San Sigismondo ( Sigismondo Malatesta and the Holy Sigismund ), Fresco, 1451st Tempio Malatesta, Rimini
  • La Leggenda della Vera Croce ( The Legend of the True Cross ), Fresco, about 1454-1459. Church of San Francesco, Arezzo
  • La Flagellation ( The Flagellation of Christ ), 1452 or 1460th Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino
  • Il Polittico di Sant'Antonio, 1460-1470. Galleria Nazionale dell 'Umbria, Perugia
  • Il Polittico di Sant'Agostino, 1460-1469. National Gallery, London, and Frick Collection, New York, and the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, Milan and Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon and National Gallery of Art, Washington
  • La Resurrezione ( Resurrection ), Fresco, 1460th Museo Civico, Sansepolcro
  • La Maddalena, Fresco, 1466th Cathedral, Arezzo
  • Ercole, Fresco, 1470th Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston
  • Il doppio ritratto dei duchi di Urbino: Battista Sforza e Federico da Montefeltro, egg trionfi ( diptych of Federico da Montefeltro and his wife Battista Sforza ), diptych, 1465/66 or 1473 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.
  • La Pala Montefeltro ( Madonna and Child surrounded by saints), from 1459 to 1462 or 1465th Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan
  • La Madonna col Bambino e Santi quattro, 1450-1470. Clark Art Institute, Williamstown (Massachusetts )
  • La Madonna di Senigallia ( Madonna and Child), 1472. Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino
  • La Natività ( The Nativity), 1470th National Gallery, London


  • De prospectiva pingendi. Edited by G. Nicco - Fasola. Florence in 1984.
  • Trattato d' abaco. Edited by Gino Arrighi. Pisa 1970.
  • De corporis regolaribus. Edited by G. Mancini. Rome 1909.
  • Piero's Archimedes, [ fac -sim of the Civil Riccardiano 106 by Piero della Francesca ]; of. Roberto Manescalchi, Sansepolcro 2007.