Piero della Francesca.

  Piero della Francesca was born in the decade between 1410 and 1420 but his exact date of birth is unknown. He studied under the guidance of Domenico Veneziano and Domenico's interest in colour and his study of light made him the perfect teacher for the young artist.

Piero is known to have worked with Veneziano, as his apprentice, on frescoes for the hospital of Santa Maria Nuova in Florence. 

 Most of piero's mature work was executed in his home town of Borgo Santo Sepolcro, or in Arezzo located in Tuscany to the south-east of Florence. His work was neglected for centuries and he was not well regarded in his lifetime. This lack of fame was due to the fact that he never worked in Florence as a mature artist, Piero only worked in Florence as an apprentice and was hardly influenced by Florentine ideas. 

In 1442 he was commissioned to paint an altarpiece for the church of the Misericordia in Borgo. He also painted frescoes in the Castello Estense and in the church of Sant'Andrea in Farrara, but these paintings are sadly lost.

Piero della Francesca also knew Fra Angelico, he was acquainted with Masaccio, Brunelleschi, and the mathematician and architect Alberti.

Piero executed a portrait of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, the lord of the city state of Rimini. His work in Rimini included the fresco of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta Praying in Front of St. Sigismund.

The nobleman, Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, was the lord of Rimini from 1432. He was a patron of the arts and had built a reputation as a daring military leader earning him the  nickname, The Wolf of Rimini.

Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta Praying, by Piero della FrancescaSigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta Praying in Front of St. Sigismund.1451 Chapel of the Malatesta Temple, Rimini, Italy (w)
Sigismondo Malatesta, Piero della Francesca

Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta.
Piero della Francesca, c. 1451 Oil and tempera on panel, 44.5 × 34.5 cm Paris, Musée du Louvre (w)

Baptism of Christ by Piero della Francesca

The Baptism of Christ,
(w) 168 × 116 cm 1450 (National Gallery, London).

Brera Altarpiece by Piero della Francesca

Brera Altarpiece 1472 (w)
Tempera on panel
248 cm × 150 cm (98 in × 59 in)

Frederico da Montefeltro by Piero della Francesca

Federico da Montefeltro. Duke of Urbino.

Battista Sforza, Dutchess of Urbino

Battista Sforza, Duchess of Urbino.

Piero della Fracesca, Self Portrait

Self Portrait?

 In 1452 he began his famous fresco cycle "The Story of the True Cross" for the basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo. Based on stories from the Golden Legend, this is considered to be a Renaissance masterpiece. Based on The Lives of the Saints from the 13th century book by Jacobo da Varagine this is Piero's most extensive work. 

The artist moved to Rome and painted frescos in the Santa Maria Maggiore but these works, and his Vatican City paintings, have been destroyed.

The Dream of Constantine by Piero della Francesca

"The Dream of Constantine."
from "The Story of the True Cross." Detail of a fresco; church of San Francesco, Arezzo.
 (w)

The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca

"The Resurrection".
Mural in fresco and tempera, 225 x 200 cm; Museo Civico, Sansepolcro, Italy.

The sleeping man, second from the left, is reputed to be a self-portrait of the artist. 

Two notable works from about 1460 are "The Flagellation" and "The Resurrection".
In 1472 he painted his famous double portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Urbino, and it is thought that the portrait of the Duchess may be in commemoration of her death, also in 1472.

The Flagellation by Piero della Francesca

"The Flagellation" (w)1455–1460 Oil and tempera on panel 58.4 × 81.5 cm Galleria Nazionale delle Marche, Urbino

This is a strange work. The main theme of the painting, Christ being flogged at the pillar, takes place in the background of the picture. The figures in the foreground are chatting among themselves with no apparent interest in the torture of Christ. The work is admired for Piero's use of perspective, giving distance to the scene of flagellation and the figures in the foreground. 

Piero's last works are the Brera Altarpiece with "The Madonna and Child with angels and six saints", and his unfinished "Nativity", about 1475 or later.

 During his life Piero della Francesca was interested in the study of perspective and this is apparent in his work. He was also fascinated by mathematics and wrote two treatises, one on pure mathematics and one on perspective in painting.

 Piero does not seem to have painted anything in the later years of his life and may have been blind, he died on October 12th 1492, the same day that Columbus discovered America.