Battle between Heraclius and Chosroes (c. 1466) by Piero della Francesca

Battle between Heraclius and Chosroes - Piero della Francesca - 1458 - 1466

Artwork Information

TitleBattle between Heraclius and Chosroes
ArtistPiero della Francesca
Date1458 - 1466
MediumFresco on Wall
Dimensions329 x 747 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationBasilica of San Francesco, Arezzo, Italy

About Battle between Heraclius and Chosroes

The artwork titled “Battle between Heraclius and Chosroes” is a fresco on wall by the acclaimed artist Piero della Francesca, dating from 1458 to 1466. This piece is a representation from the Early Renaissance period, measuring an imposing 329 x 747 cm. The fresco, which belongs to the genre of religious painting, is part of “The Legend of the True Cross” series, housed in the Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo, Italy.

The artwork depicts the legendary battle between the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius and the Sassanian King Chosroes. The scene is an intricate composition teeming with figures and action, set against a backdrop of fluttering banners and a variety of architectural elements, reflective of a cityscape.

Central to the fresco is a chaotic clash of warriors, with horses rearing amidst the melee of battle. Soldiers in armor are engaged in combat while mounted figures confront each other, brandishing their weapons. The use of perspective and the arrangement of figures create a sense of depth, with the combatants in the foreground appearing larger than those in the distance, a technique characteristic of the Early Renaissance to convey space within flat artwork.

On the left, a group of observers, some of whom are dramatically gesturing, watches the battle unfold, while on the right, the scene extends into a more orderly procession of figures, hinting at the aftermath of the conflict. The artist has employed a muted color palette, punctuated with moments of vivid hues, lending a sense of gravity and significance to the historic narrative he illustrates. The fresco’s detail in costume and armor showcases Piero della Francesca’s attention to the representation of historical accuracy and his prowess in capturing human emotion and the drama of such a momentous event.

Other Artwork from Piero della Francesca

More Early Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top