Polyptych of the Misericordia (1445-1462) by Piero della Francesca

Polyptych of the Misericordia - Piero della Francesca - 1445 - 1462

Artwork Information

TitlePolyptych of the Misericordia
ArtistPiero della Francesca
Date1445 - 1462
MediumOil on Panel,tempera
Dimensions330 cm x 273 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationMuseo Civico di Sansepolcro, Sansepolcro, Italy

About Polyptych of the Misericordia

The “Polyptych of the Misericordia” is an Early Renaissance masterpiece created by the Italian artist Piero della Francesca between 1445 and 1462. Employing oil on panel and tempera as mediums, this religious painting measures 330 cm in height and 273 cm in width. The artwork resides at the Museo Civico di Sansepolcro in Sansepolcro, Italy, and is a sublime example of the era’s devotion to religious subject matter and exploration of perspective.

Upon observing the artwork, one is immediately struck by the central panel which features a grand depiction of the Virgin Mary extending her merciful mantle over a kneeling group of supplicants, indicative of the artwork’s title, which concerns the theme of mercy. The work is organized as a polyptych, where multiple panels are joined together, each serving as a home to a series of figures—saints, angels, and patrons.

At the top of the central panel, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is represented, emphasizing the redemptive aspect of Christian belief. Flanking the central ensemble are individual panels depicting full-length portraits of saints and patron figures rendered with a remarkable attention to human proportion and anatomy, a characteristic of della Francesca’s work. Below are predella panels portraying various scenes from Jesus’ life and Christian virtue, done with meticulous care to narrate sacred events.

The artwork stands as a testimony to Piero della Francesca’s command of perspective and his ability to imbue figures with a sense of volumetric solidity and serene dignity. Each figure is instilled with a quiet grandeur, typifying the balance and harmony sought after by artists of the Early Renaissance. The “Polyptych of the Misericordia” remains a significant example of the period’s artistic achievements and religious fervor.

Other Artwork from Piero della Francesca

More Early Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top