The Monarch of Painting Appears

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The Frick Collection recently opened an exhibition of seven paintings by Piero della Francesca, painter, geometer, and prime mover of the Italian Renaissance. This is the first Piero show ever to appear in the United States, and is cause for celebration.

“Piero della Francesca was revered in his own time as a ‘monarch’ of painting,” says the museum. “Yet by the end of the sixteenth century his achievements had sunk into obscurity. During the nineteenth century, however, British and American collectors on the European Grand Tour rediscovered the master’s works and resurrected his reputation, and today Piero is widely acknowledged as one of the founders of the Italian Renaissance. The Frick was a beneficiary of this renewed interest and holds four of Piero’s paintings, more than any other institution outside of Europe.”

The exhibition features its four panels alongside works borrowed from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, Lisbon. The Portuguese painting is on view in America for the first time.

“Piero della Francesca in America” runs through May 19 at The Frick Collection, 1 East 70th Street, at Fifth Avenue, 212-288-0700,

Franklin Einspruch is an artist and writer. He blogs at

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