The 20th century is recognized as the century of Piero della Francesca; why could not the 21st be the time of his rebirth?
The answer is no. Because his myth is timeless, “without eloquence”, without history.

At the Musei San Domenico in Forlì, Piero della Francesca will find home until June 26, 2016, in a monumental exhibition, subtitled “Investigation of a myth”, with about 200 works, which bring together the rare group of the grandmaster along with open comparisons with contemporary and later artists, up to the painting of the twentieth century.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

The number of the artist’s originals is extremely small, “perspective synthesis of form-color”. “Madonna and Child” is among the additions to the monograph on his works of 1927. Last among the attributions, they are the first eyes by the painter of the “minimum of truth and nature” that I meet. Outside “de Burgo” is “St. Jerome in prayer with a donor.” “We could read this composition as a parallelepiped topped by a sphere (the saint), two cylinders (the two tree trunks) and a cone (the devotee)” (Roberto Longhi).

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Still, motionless, “columna fortissima ” is Santa Apollonia; the gold of the “Madonna della Misericordia” embraces with her and shines a strong light. The human and the divine meet. Absolute pinnacle of this divine proportion is the “mazzocchio pulled with only lines” that Vasari described as “so beautiful” that it can not be attributed to none other than Paolo Uccello. I proceed from the “Summa de Arithmetica” by Luca Pacioli to the perfect solids of the “De Divina Proportione”.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Piero della Francesca’s language becomes the art vocabulary of the fifteenth century. Not only in Tuscany but also in Emilia, Veneto, Umbria …
Despite the central role of Piero della Francesca in the fifteenth century, the knowledge of his works has long remained in oblivion. There began to re-ignite fires of inspiration and recovery only in the eighteenth century and from the progress of Enlightenment instances until he was not universally recognized as “one of the painters to become epoch making. ” (“History of Italian painting”, Luigi Lanzi, 1792). Numerous stories of Italian painting followed, and the artist’s fame passed the centuries and currents, reaching the eye of George Seurat, to the hand of Bernard Berenson and the “Voce” by Giuseppe Prezzolini.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì
And while Charles Antoine Joseph Loyeux discovers the “True Cross”, Austen Henry Layard draws “The Legend”; “Federico da Montefeltro” is the most copied profile. Between “The song of a starling” by Silvestro Lega, “The embroiderers” by Adriano Cecioni and “Poseuse de profil” by Seurat, the “Young Sienese lady” by Mussini reminds the ladies of ”King Solomon Receiving the Queen of Sheba “; and with “Le ballon” and “Le pigeon” by Pierre Puvis De Chavannes, Piero della Francesca discovers the sky war over Paris.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

After the “confusion” of the historical avant-garde, art gets back to “pure painting”.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì
“The Engineer’s Mistress” by Carrà and “Silvana Cenni” by Casorati are two tributes to Piero della Francesca. Under Piero della Francesca’s light cone can be seen Morandi, one of those who brought to Italy Cézanne.
”Plans converging toward a central axis”, “simple outlines”, “backward movement”, “hanging gestures”, “backward enlightenment “: Severini, Carrà, De Chirico, Piero della Francesca speak the same language.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì
In this 20th century, the “Women” by Antonio Donghi walk down the stairs, the young men by Gianfilippo Usellini sing in chorus, the “Athletes” by Carlo Carrà rest and Massimo Campigli decides to paint “The photography.”

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Balthus defined the painting of the Italian primitives as “sacred” and for five years waited devotedly to meet his ideal teacher. The “Jeune fille à sa toilette” is hieratic as an idol while the “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is poetically dominated by the “fairytale nocturnel” and the “splay of full moon” of the “Dream of Constantine.” 
In particular, Balthus dreamed of Piero. I wonder if Piero ever dreamed of a future world with the presence of Balthus.

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Piero della Francesca, Musei San Domenico, Forlì

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Musei San Domenico, Piero della Francesca

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Musei San Domenico, Piero della Francesca

Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Musei San Domenico, Piero della Francesca

 

 

Credits:
Special thanks to Antonio Marras – I’M Isola Marras
Photo: Lawrence Oluyede

AMOinfo:
“Piero della Francesca. Indagine su un mito”
Musei San Domenico, Forlì
Exibition coordinator: Gianfranco Brunelli
President of the scientific committee: Antonio Paolucci

AMOlink:
mostrefondazioneforli.it
repubblica.it/speciali/arte/recensioni/forli
huffingtonpost.it/piero-della-francesca