Monday, October 31, 2011

Piero della Francesca

Baptism of Christ
c. 1448-1450
Tempera on panel
168 cm × 116 cm (66 in × 46 in)
National Gallery, London

Piero della Francesca (c. 1415 – 1492) was a painter of the Early Renaissance. His painting was characterized by its serene humanism, its use of geometric forms and perspective (he was renowned in his times as an authority on perspective and geometry).
Piero died on the very day that Christopher Columbus made his first landfall in the Americas.

Baptism of Christ portrays Christ being baptised by John, his head surmounted by a dove representing the Holy Spirit. Christ, John's hand, the bird and the bowl form an axis which divides the painting in two symmetrical parts. A second division is created by the tree on the left, which instead divides it according to the golden ratio.