Painter/Artist: Piero della Francessa

Umbrian School. Pupil of Domenico Veneziano, and influenced by Paolo Uccello.

LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY

THE BAPTISM OF CHRIST In the centre Christ stands facing us with His hands clasped in prayer. He is clad only in a loin cloth. In front of Him is a little pool reflecting the distant hill-tops and clear blue sky. To the right stands the Baptist in a tawny shirt, in profile to left, pouring water from a bowl held in his right hand on Christ’s head. To the left, under two pomegranate trees, stand three angels. Beyond the Baptist are seen a man stripping on the river bank, and some smaller figures which are reflected in the water. Landscape background.

Painted about 1465 for the principal altar of the Priory of St. John the Baptist at Borgo San Sepolcro.

Purchased from the Uzielli Collection in 1861.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY A bust in profile to left; golden hair and grey gold dress, with three palm leaves on the sleeve. This and a Madonna at the Louvre (No. I300A) are at present considered to be the work of Alesso Baldovinetti. Purchased at Florence in 1866.

THE NATIVITY The Child lies on the ground on a corner of His mother’s blue mantle as she kneels beside Him facing to left. Behind the Child in the centre stand five singing angels facing us, the three in front playing on viols. Behind them are the ass braying and the ox. On the right Joseph is seated, in profile to left, on a large saddle, his right foot crossed over his left knee. He wears a black hat, black dress, and pink mantle. Beyond him stand two shepherds in brown, one pointing to the sky with his right arm. A ruined shed shuts out the background in the centre; on the right is a distant town, on the left a hilly country dotted with single trees.

Purchased from the collection of Mr. Alexander Barker in 1874.

PERUGIA

THE MADONNA AND SAINTS. A large gable-piece painted for the Convent of St. Antonio. The Virgin and Child enthroned between four saints in niches; on the left St. Anthony of Padua and St. John the Baptist, on the right St. Francis and St. Elizabeth of Thuringen. The predella is in two tiers, of which the upper contains half lengths of St. Claire and St. Agatha (the centre is missing), and the lower St. Francis receiving the stigmata between a miracle of St. Anthony and a miracle of St. Elizabeth.