Another First Time with Walk the Arts
A few weeks ago, we did a short clip on the hardly ever featured back of the famous sculpture Dying Niobid at the Palazzo Massimo, offering all art history students and everyone on the Internet the opportunity to see it for the first time (https://vimeo.com/129686673).
Now, we would like to share another first: the wood panel on which was painted The Flagellation of Christ by Piero della Francesca. But first, a bit of context. During the free days we had between our recent art workshops in Tuscany and Provence, we decided to visit for the first time Urbino, the city of Federico de Montefeltro, a great art patron equal to Florence’s Cosimo di Medici. There, we would finally see della Francesca’s painting on which lots has been written (click here for details) and also taste the infamous crescia sfogliatta.
Urbino, with its unique topography and atmosphere, is indeed a beautiful city. After entering in the National Gallery of the Marche, I was astonished by the small size of this masterpiece of the early Renaissance… and, also by its treatment of light recalling Vermeer’s. The work measures only 23.0 in × 32.1 inches and is painted on a panel severely damaged by humidity.
Here is finally the painting in its settings. Notice the warped wood panel, its size, and its fragilité. Notice the delicacy of Piero’s touch, his use of light which Larry Witham described in his book Piero’s light. I believe that all art history professors should show these images to their students. So, I am sharing them with you all.
A side view. Enjoy!