segunda-feira, dezembro 09, 2013

facts: Urbino

Federico da Montefeltro

Federico da Montefeltro. 
Portrait by Piero della Francesca. 
(ca. 1465-1472 (Renaissance))

After six years in the service of the Florence, Federico was hired in 1450 by Sforza, now Duke of Milan. However, he could not perform his duties as he lost his right eye during a tournament. He subsequently carried a vast and disfiguring scar for the rest of his life, so that it was necessary to portray him only on his "good" side. Malatesta profited from his illness to obtain the position under Sforza, whereupon Federico in October 1451 accepted instead a proposal by Alfonso V of Aragon, King of Naples, to fight for him against Florence. After the loss of the eye, Federico – no stranger to conspiracies and one of the leaders that inspired Niccolò Machiavelli to write Il Principe – had surgeons remove the bridge of his nose (which had been injured in the incident). This improved his field of vision to a considerable extent, rendered him less vulnerable to assassination attempts – and, as can be seen by his successful career thereafter, restored his merits as a field commander.

The Ideal City

"The Ideal City" (ca. 1480-1484 (Renaissance))  
This painting by Fra Carneval, representing an ideal Roman city, was commissioned for the palace of Montefeltro. The Walters Art Museum.

This view and a related paintings now in Urbino were apparently commissioned for the palace of Duke Federico da Montefeltro of Urbino. Another related view is now in Berlin. Set into the woodwork at shoulder height or higher, "The Ideal City" would have seemed like a window onto another, better world.

La Muta

Raffaello Sanzio (Raphael) - 1507 (La Muta)

Portrait of a young woman, sometimes known as La Muta is one of only two of Raphael's paintings on display in his native Urbino. It is a relatively recent attribution to Raphael and was gifted to the town of Urbino by the Uffizi after spending much time in storage in the great Florentine Museum.
The painting is believed to have been created after Raphael's exposure to the Florentine style, where he absorbed many new lessons in composition and technique from Leonardo. The title La Muta (the silent one) is not believed to be a description of the woman herself, but a reference to her identity being unknown.
Unlike the hot tempered Michelangelo, Raphael used the exposure to Leonardo's works to great effect - with very visible influences of Leonardo's lessons appearing in Raphael's work. A lot has been written about the fierce rivalry between Michelangelo and Leonardo, and the 'Lost Battles' they were commissioned to create for the Palazzo Vecchio.

- all texts and descriptions were found online. 

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