Constantine’s Dream (c. 1466) by Piero della Francesca

Constantine's Dream - Piero della Francesca - c. 1466

Artwork Information

TitleConstantine's Dream
ArtistPiero della Francesca
Datec. 1466
Dimensions329 x 190 cm
Current LocationSan Francesco, Arezzo

About Constantine's Dream

Piero della Francesca’s The Dream of Constantine is a fresco painting depicting the night before the battle at the Milvern Bridge between Constantine’s forces and those of Maxentius. In this legendary episode in Roman history, depicted on the wall of the Church of San Francesco in Arezzo, Constantine lies asleep inside his tent, with an angel sent by God to assure him victory. With a restoration performed over the years since it was painted around 1466, Piero’s work depicts a beautiful blue nighttime sky with a host of stars on the background.

The gesture of dreams materializing through an angel foreshadows other works by della Francesca, such as the Battle Between Heraclius and Chosroes painted in around 1466 in Urbino. Drawing inspiration from sources such as Pliny and Lucian, Piero invoked ancient motifs for his The Dream of Constantine – one such influence being presented by a representation of dancing Pleiades above him who discourage any worries about tomorrow’S battle. The painting blends religious imaginery with historical accuracy, creating an engaging narrative that serves to illustrate how one’s faith can trump all odds against them.

His fresco continues to inspire many generations due to its complex symbolism, exquisite craftsmanship and timelessness that bring together elements from both antiquity and modernity. Piero della Francesca’s works demonstrate how even centuries-old scenes can still reverberate within us today – particularly The Dream Of Constantine provides an inspiring example that we have much to gain if we keep our faith even when facing challenges ahead.

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