Feb 27, 2012

3rd March 2012; Documentaries on Art ; Renaissance Revolution - Piero della Francesca

Documentaries on Art

Renaissance Revolution
Piero della Francesca
3rd March 2012;5.45pm
Duration 1 hour
Contemplate Art Gallery
Avanashi Road , Coimbatore
The great Italian master Piero della Francesca was born in the decade between 1410 and 1420 but his exact date of birth is unknown. He studied under the guidance of Domenico Veneziano and Domenico's interest in colour and his study of light made him the perfect teacher for the young artist. Piero is known to have worked with Veneziano, as his apprentice, on frescoes for the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. Such was the upwards mobility of the times, intellectual as well as social, that he made himself a master mathematician and played a bigger role in the spread of Euclid's geometry than anyone else. He wrote a number of learned treatises, three of which survive.
Perspective and geometry figure both prominently and subtly in all Piero's works. He liked to organise large, plain masses of colour in patterns which suggest an underlying geometrical scheme. That gives his paintings the unfinished look which moderns like. He made a positive virtue of the light palette which the use of old painting methods forced on artists. There are always large areas of white or near-white in his works, the skies are big, light and sunny, and this pleasing radiance, combined with the absence of meticulous clutter, makes his paintings enormously attractive to our eyes. All this was carefully considered and deliberate. If we compare the two sections of altarpieces in the National Gallery, London The Baptism of Christ, and The Nativity the light tone colour scheme is the same in both, though for the first he used egg tempera and for the second oils (both are on panels of poplar).His Saint Michael, in the same gallery, is also light toned and the saint is framed by his white wings and a white marble balcony. Yet this is an oil painting too. Cezanne and Picasso saw him as the real deal: the authentic, honest Renaissance, a model for modern painting. Now he is so in tune with secular modern taste that a tourist trail links his work in the beautiful hills of Umbria, Tuscany, and a few galleries around the world who own a precious panel by him.

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