Piero Della Francesca’s Balconies

Normally, and naturally enough, our eye is drawn to the subject of a painting and we don’t always pay a great deal of attention to the background.

Correspondingly, when we are in the countryside we are often transfixed by a scene that we might call picturesque or even sublime. But do we think of it as the possible site or making of a masterpiece?

During the Renaissance, an area know as Montefeltro straddled parts of what is now Emilia Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Tuscany. An art research project has identified 7 sites usied by Pierro della Francesca as backgrounds in 8 of his paintings. These sites, or balconies (cultural and panoramic viewpoints), are moving towards pilgrimage status.

Here’s one of them…Portrait of Battista Sforza. In the background the valley of the Marecchia River.

Battista Sforza

And here’s another one. Portrait on a Bad Hair Day. Same location, haha!

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