Lo Store ufficiale del Polo Museale Fiorentino | Soprintendenza Speciale per il Patrimonio Storico, Artistico ed Etnoantropologico e per il Polo Museale della citta' di Firenze

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Museum - Ritratti dei Duchi di Urbino

The diptych came to Florence in 1637 through the marriage of Ferdinando II de’ Medici and Vittoria della Rovere, who was the inheritor of the Duke of Urbino’s estate since 1631.
The work consists of two panels, painted on both sides, which we must imagine at one time were hinged to form a sort of book. The inner sides showed the facing portraits of the Duke and Duchess, while on the covers were their respective triumphs.
The Duke and Duchess are shown in profile in accordance with the portrait tradition of the time, borrowed from the precepts of contemporaneous numismatics. This choice made it possible for the artist not to show the disfigured side of Federico’s face. (See also The Madonna and Child with Federigo da Montefeltro in the Brera, also by Piero della Francesca.)
Attention to minuscule details derived from Flemish painting is combined with a delicate treatment of the volumes of the faces through the skillful modulation of light.
Imposing themselves against the background landscape in which nature has been harmoniously arranged through the labor of man, the monumental figures of the Duke and Duchess stand out in the most effective representation of humanist values.