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In search of the landscapes of Piero della Francesca and Leonardo da Vinci



In search of the landscapes of Piero della Francesca and Leonardo da Vinci

The Italian Cultural Institute in Helsinki, the Sinebrycoff Art Museum and the Culture Department of Emilia-Romagna Region present the conference In search of the landscapes of Piero della Francesca and Leonardo da Vinci  held by the two "hunters of landscapes": Rosetta Borchia, artist and naturalist, and Olivia Nesci, Professor at the University of Urbino, for the opening of Piero’s Balconies exhibition.

Successfully presented in Amsterdam, London, Sofia and Lyon during 2014, the exhibition synthesizes the project Montefeltro Renaissance Sights www.montefeltroveduterinascimentali.eu, sustained by the Culture Department of Emilia-Romagna Region, to create, in the Montefeltro area, a new, alternative and unique museum concept. The aims is to shed light on "invisible landscapes" and to  unveil those "art places" that Renaissance painters chose as background landscapes for their paintings. The MVR project aims at bringing back to life these discovered landscapes, both culturally and historically.

For over five hundred years art historians from all over the world have been trying to figure out the geographical locations of landscapes that inspired Piero della Francesca, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and others. Landscapes that were the backdrop to their masterpieces. The scholars came to the conclusion that they were unreal landscapes. However, Rosetta Borchia and Olivia Nesci, found them. They were hidden in the hills of Montefeltro: those mountains, the rocks, the rivers were there under the eyes of all – and every one of them was handed a name and address.

The first landscapes to be discovered, in 2007, were the ones depicted in the three paintings of the Diptych of the Duchess and Duke of Urbino by Piero della Francesca (Florence, The Uffizi Gallery). The background landscapes of these first two portraits were hidden in the area of the Metauro River, whereas the third one was located far from there, on Valmarecchia, the old borders of the Duchy between Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna.

The results of this first research work are presented in a book, "The invisible landscape", in a travelling art exhibition and through the participation to several national and international conferences and scientific meetings on the subject.

Afterwards, four others were rediscovered landscapes belonging to Piero della Francesca: La Natività, Il Battesimo di Cristo, La Resurrezione, e San Gerolamo e un Devoto.


Ajankohta: ke 21 loka 2015