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Piero della Francesca and disegno

June 19, 2015 - June 20, 2015
Courtauld Institute of Art

Somerset House, Strand
United Kingdom

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The role of design (disegno) is fundamental to understanding the working practice of Piero della Francesca. While none of his works on paper survive, research conducted in the past decade by the Opificio delle Pietre Dure and the Sherman Fairchild Paintings Conservation Center at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has revealed Piero’s obsessive working and reworking of compositions. Disegno, in the period sense of the term, was also a problem-solving tool, a catalyst for invention, and an effective means of communication.

Problems raised by Piero’s earliest known work, the Baptism (The National Gallery, London) which was part of the San Giovanni d’Afra triptych (Museo Civico, Sansepolcro), introduce the practical and conceptual implications of Piero’s approach to disegno and will serve to open this conference. The following sessions will be dedicated to the composition of his frescoes, the role of underdrawings in his paintings, the use of geometrical figures in his mathematical treatises, the transmission of his style, and the place of architecture in his career.

Organised by Professor Emeritus James R. Banker (North Caroline State University), Professor Tom Henry (University of Kent), Dr Machtelt Brüggen Israëls (University of Amsterdam), Dr Scott Nethersole (The Courtauld Institute of Art), Dr Nathaniel Silver (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and Dr Caroline Campbell (National Gallery, London).

Ticket/entry details: £26 (£16 students, Courtauld staff/students and concessions). Through generous support from the Society for Renaissance Studies, a limited number of complimentary places are available for research students. To apply for one of these places, please send a brief description of your studies to, Attention: Piero Organisers.

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June 19, 2015, 9:00am BST

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