St. Julian (c. 1470) by Piero della Francesca


Artwork Information

TitleSt. Julian
ArtistPiero della Francesca
MediumFresco on Wall
Dimensions130 x 105 cm
Art MovementEarly Renaissance
Current LocationMuseo Civico di Sansepolcro, Sansepolcro, Italy
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About St. Julian


St. Julian the Hospitaller, a fresco fragment by Piero della Francesca, is a masterpiece of Quattrocento painting. While originally located in the former church of Sant’Agostino in Sansepolcro, Tuscany, it now resides in that city’s Museo Civico. The work was completed around the same time as The History of the True Cross frescoes in Arezzo.

There are indications that St. Julian was once portrayed full-length and likely held a sword in his right hand following traditional iconography. He stands above four sleeping soldiers who represent the difference between the human and divine spheres. This portrayal is characteristic of Piero’s serene, disciplined exploration of perspective and has contributed to his reputation for geometric forms and use of perspective.

The artist harnessed mathematical principles and geometry while combining them with Renaissance Humanism to create some of the most awe-inspiring religious paintings of early Renaissance art history like Flagellation of Christ painted similarly to St.Julian which dominated discussions regarding Quattrocentro painting despite its small size.In addition, Piero finished Polyptych at Perugia before working on Annunciation years later demonstrating not only his talent but also endurance.


Based on this artwork analysis and description, it’s clear that St. Julian is one among many other masterpieces by Piero della Francesca which typically reflects calm humanism often combined with mathematical principles bringing about some stunning visual displays reminiscent mainly from Religious Pictures during Early Renaissance Art niche setting himself pictorially far apart from others at that time!


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