Back to Top
DAILY PIC: Piero della Francesca painted this little Crucifixion in his hometown of Borgo San Sepolcro in the later 1460s for the base of his great St. Augustine Altarpiece, six of whose panels are now on view at the Frick Collection in New York – and are the subject of this week’s Daily Pics.
This painting is a great illustration of some of the ideas of the art historian Alexander Nagel, who has argued that the Renaissance cultivated a productive confusion between the Islamic culture of 15th-century Palestine and the classical culture of the Holy Land in the time of Christ. Here, the Roman centurion bearing the shield marked S.P.Q.R. (senatus populusque romanorum - the senate and people of Rome) also has a Muslim crescent moon on his banner; the old soldier throwing dice for Christ’s robe wears Roman body armor but also a Muslim helmet, while like his fellows he is are armed with an eastern scimitars.
These details situate the scene in time, but also in place, eliding any conflict between the two. It’s a convincing and perfectly efficient system, and doesn’t have to be seen as inferior to modern ideas of historical verisimilitude.
For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive. The Daily Pic can also be found at the bottom of the home page of thedailybeast.com, and on that site’s Art Beast page.

Mar 6, 2013

DAILY PIC: Piero della Francesca painted this little Crucifixion in his hometown of Borgo San Sepolcro in the later 1460s for the base of his great St. Augustine Altarpiece, six of whose panels are now on view at the Frick Collection in New York – and are the subject of this week’s Daily Pics.

This painting is a great illustration of some of the ideas of the art historian Alexander Nagel, who has argued that the Renaissance cultivated a productive confusion between the Islamic culture of 15th-century Palestine and the classical culture of the Holy Land in the time of Christ. Here, the Roman centurion bearing the shield marked S.P.Q.R. (senatus populusque romanorum - the senate and people of Rome) also has a Muslim crescent moon on his banner; the old soldier throwing dice for Christ’s robe wears Roman body armor but also a Muslim helmet, while like his fellows he is are armed with an eastern scimitars.

These details situate the scene in time, but also in place, eliding any conflict between the two. It’s a convincing and perfectly efficient system, and doesn’t have to be seen as inferior to modern ideas of historical verisimilitude.

For a full visual survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive. The Daily Pic can also be found at the bottom of the home page of thedailybeast.com, and on that site’s Art Beast page.

15 notes
  1. vatofromsananto reblogged this from blakegopnik
  2. traditionalcomics reblogged this from blakegopnik
  3. gomezgallery reblogged this from blakegopnik
  4. calimie reblogged this from blakegopnik
  5. danzerdreamz reblogged this from blakegopnik
  6. blakegopnik posted this




THEME BY PARTI