Sunday, February 22, 2009


I've been watching an art documentary called "The Private Life of a Masterpiece". So far they have covered the usual stuff, Degas, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Munch and Klimt. This evening I learned about Piero Della Francesca's Resurrection. The mural was completed around 1460 (550 years ago). It was painted on one of the inner walls of the town hall in Sansepolcro in Tuscany, which was Piero's home town. It's a picture of Jesus at his moment of resurrection, below him his guard lies sleeping.

I think this is a most wonderful painting. Take a look at his eyes and his expression. It's absolutely alive. According to the documentary (well recommended by the way), Piero's resurrection was one of the first paintings where perspective was used to give the illusion of depth. He definitely nailed it. I have spent an hour just looking at the detail, the composition and the expressions on the faces. Rumor has it that the soldier in brown on Jesus' right is a self portrait of Piero himself. I am drawn to the tranquil mood of the sleeping soldiers, while the ghostly Christ seems to stare right through you, as if forcing off last remnants of a long nap. Jesus is so shiny, he glows. The drops of blood on his side and that foot. Man, that foot is pure talent. Sometimes humans just blow me away.

1 comment:

jozie said...

He did a great job on the clothes and folds. The foot is indeed very well done. And more incredible that it's a mural/fresco. Was it done in gesso?