Piero dela Francesca Biography
born c. 1420, Sansepolcro?, Republic of Florence
died October 12, 1492, Sansepolcro
Francesca was a painter whose serene, disciplined exploration of perspective had little influence on his contemporaries but came to be recognized in the 20th century as a major contribution to the Italian Renaissance. The fresco cycle “The Legend of the True Cross” (1452–66) and the diptych portrait of Federico da Montefeltro, duke of Urbino, and his consort (1465) are among his best known paintings
The documented facts of Piero della Francesca’s life, which are few, permit a reasonably accurate reconstruction of his career and interests but not an exact chronology of his surviving paintings. His father, Benedetto de’ Franceschi, was evidently a tanner and shoemaker, prosperous enough for his son to become well educated and literate in Latin. Nothing is known
Piero della Francesca’s mature style is revealed in frescoe paintings painted in the choir of the church of S. Francesco at Arezzo. The decorations had been begun in 1447 by the elderly Bicci di Lorenzo, who died in 1452; Francesca presumably was retained to complete the painting shortly thereafter. The narrative cycle, depicting “The Legend of the True Cross,” was completed by 1466. Its simplicity and
The last two decades of Francesca's life were spent in Sansepolcro, where paintings, now lost, were commissioned by local churches in 1474 and 1478. In 1480 Piero became prior of the Confraternità di San Bartolomeo. Among the few extant Francesca paintings from this period are the harmonious “Nativity,” in London, the “Madonna” from the church at Sta. Maria delle Grazie near Senigallia, now in Urbino.