MichaelCD - The Blog.

The thoughts of Michael Cadwallader. Coffee loving, history book reading, Cheshire man.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Piero della Francesca - The Flagellation of Christ.

Bearing in mind my exaltation of perspective, within the introduction. I will start my list of paintings with the master of perspective, Piero Della Francesca. Francesca's interest in the subject was so high, that he even wrote a treatise on the subject. His theories were perfectly encapsulated in The Flagellation. The mathematical unity of the composition, and the large difference in distance between the three men in the front, and the Flagellation in the back, is incredibly realistic.

But this picture is also far more than a tour de force of perspective. Whilst the
flagellation is taking place in the background, the three men in the foreground stand detached. The question is, why? Perhaps the most interesting theory, is that the three men are contempories of Francesca. Certainly, the bearded man is painted in such detail, that one can only conclude that Francesca knew him personally. There is obviously an analogy between the suffering of Christ, and the situation that these men find themselves in. But obviously, without positive identification, it's impossible to know just what Francesca was thinking.


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