Ritratto di Battista Sforza


We are in the Valmarecchia area, on the rocky peak of Pietracuta: right at the heart of the old Montefeltro area
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 Ritratto di Battista Sforza 

 The bird-eye vanishing point is on top of the rocky peak, not far from San Leo.
Piero couldn’t have found a better place for the background of the Duchess’s painting, as she was very much found of Pietracuta, where she stayed during the long and unexpectedly cold winter of 1462.
From his observation point, the painter covers a wide area, following the Marecchia River up to the hills of neighbouring Tuscany.


The valley of the Marecchia River is characterized by a landscape of hills, rocky ridges, clay mountains and sharp peaks, once crowned by castles or castellated towers. Although extremely beautiful, the landscape is very different from the gentle and rolling hills of the landscape of Urbino on the back of the Duke.
 
“…Although the landscape elements were unmistakable since the very beginning, the observation point of the painter, not without some difficulties, was identified later on…” (THE INVISIBLE LANDSCAPE, 2007).
Much later, thanks to modern technologies and to the contribution of experts in the field of physical and numerical 3D modelling, the complex air perspective used by Piero for this landscape could finally by retrieved defining the area included between the two vanishing lines.
If we consider the new area identified with the research and superimpose it on the landscape at the back of Battista Sforza, the equivalence is amazing.
Actually, the balcony set up on Monte Gregorio, not far from San Leo, is not the exact observation point chosen by Piero. A different but slightly uphill point of view was chosen, not far Pietracuta, in order to offer onlookers s wider view.

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The balcony

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San Leo (Battista Sforza/San Gerolamo e un devoto)

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