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The dream of Constantine


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The dream of Constantine

PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA (Italy, c.1415-1492)

c.1455
Fresco - Church of San Francisco de Arezzo - 329 x 190 cm.



Despite being one of the most important painters of the Quattrocento, the Art of Piero della Francesca has been described as “cold”, “hieratic” or even “impersonal”. In fact, his works were not fully appreciated until the apparition of Bernard Berenson and other great historians of the era -such as Michel Hérubel, who defended the “metaphysical dimension” of the paintings by Piero.

We would have to advance almost two centuries to find a nocturnal scene of such intensity. Piero della Francesca has painted the moment just previous to the awakening of Constantine, who is going to be visited by the angel who appears in the top left corner in a spectacular effect of backlighting. This light is really the true protagonist of the painting, a light that creates an excellent volumetric effect in the conical roof above the King, a light that hides the faces of the soldiers, with the exception of the one who -with the elbow unusually placed in the Emperor's bed- looks directly to us.

Text: G. Fernández, www.theartwolf.com

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