PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA
Though many details about his life are hazy, it is believed that this great Renaissance painter was born
around 1420 in Sansepolcro and died in 1492. Trained as a painter from the age of 15, his distinctive
use of perspective, mastery of light and skilful synthesis of form and colour set him apart from his
artistic contemporaries, and the serene grace of his figures remains unsurpassed to this day. In his
book The Lives of the Artists, Piero's fellow townsman Giorgio Vasari called him the 'best geometri-
cian of his time' and lamented the fact that so few of his works were preserved for posterity, leading to
him being 'robbed of the honour that [was] due to his labours'.
Piero's most famous works are the Legend of the True Cross in Arezzo's Cappella Bacci, his Resur-
rection in Sansepolcro's Museo Civico and his panel featuring Federico da Montefeltro and Battista
Sforza, the Duke and Duchess of Urbino in the Uffizi, but he is perhaps most fondly remembered for
his luminous Madonna del Parto (Pregnant Madonna; Via della Reglia 1; adult/reduced/child &
pregnant women €5.50/€4/free; 9am-1pm & 2-7pm Apr-Oct, 9am-1pm & 2-5pm Wed-Mon Nov-
Mar) on display in Monterchi, a village located in the Tiber Valley between Sansepolcro and Arezzo.
Devotees can follow a trail of Piero's paintings through the region of Arezzo by picking up a copy
of the brochure Piero della Francesca: In and Around Arezzo from museums and tourist offices
throughout the region.