Gianfrancesco I Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua
Gianfrancesco I Gonzaga was Marquess of Mantua from 1407 to 1444. He was a condottiero. Gianfrancesco was the son of Francesco I Margherita Malatesta, he inherited the rule of Mantua in 1407, when he was 12. In his first years, he was under the patronage of his uncle Carlo Malatesta and, indirectly, of the Republic of Venice. In 1409 he married Paola Malatesta, daughter of Malatesta IV Malatesta of Pesaro, by whom he had two sons, who succeeded him as Marquess of Mantua, Carlo, he was the first Gonzaga to bear the title of marquess, which he obtained from Emperor Sigismund on 22 September 1433. He fought for the Papal States and the Malatestas in 1412 and 1417 and was capitano generale of the Venetian Armies from 1434, he left the alliance with Venice and entered at the service of the Visconti of Milan, starting an unsuccessful war against Venice which caused the loss of several Mantuan territories. During his reign the famous humanist Vittorino da Feltre was invited to Mantua, as well as numerous artists like Pisanello and others, starting the traditional role of the city as a capital of Italian Renaissance.
He founded the first workshop in Italy for the manufacture of tapestries. Cecilia Gonzaga, his daughter, was a scholar who received instruction from Vittorino, he pushed for his daughter to marry Oddantonio da Montefeltro, the first duke of Urbino, but renounced the arrangement when the Duke turned out to be a cruel ruler. Wars in Lombardy
Holy Roman Emperor
The Holy Roman Emperor was the ruler of the Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages and the early modern period. The title was without interruption, held in conjunction with title of King of Germany throughout the 12th to 18th centuries. From an autocracy in Carolingian times the title by the 13th century evolved into an elected monarchy chosen by the prince-electors. Various royal houses of Europe, at different times, became de-facto hereditary holders of the title, notably the Ottonians and the Salians. Following the late medieval crisis of government, the Habsburgs kept possession of the title without interruption from 1440–1740; the final emperors were from the House of Lorraine, from 1765–1806. The Holy Roman Empire was dissolved after the defeat at Austerlitz by emperor Francis II, who continued to rule as Austrian emperor; the Holy Roman Emperor was perceived to rule by divine right, though he contradicted or rivaled the Pope, most notably during the Investiture controversy. In theory, the Holy Roman Emperor was primus inter pares among other Catholic monarchs.
In practice, a Holy Roman Emperor was only as strong as his army and alliances, including marriage alliances, made him. There was never a Holy Roman Empress regnant, though women such as Theophanu and Maria Theresa of Austria served as de facto Empresses regnant. Throughout its history, the position was viewed as a defender of the Roman Catholic faith; until the Reformation, the Emperor elect was required to be crowned by the Pope before assuming the imperial title. Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor was the last to be crowned by the Pope in 1530. After the Reformation, the elected Emperor always was a Roman Catholic. There were short periods in history when the electoral college was dominated by Protestants, the electors voted in their own political interest. From the time of Constantine I, the Roman emperors had, with few exceptions, taken on a role as promoters and defenders of Christianity; the reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church.
Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy. The emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, uphold ecclesiastical unity. Both the title and connection between Emperor and Church continued in the Eastern Roman Empire throughout the medieval period; the ecumenical councils of the 5th to 8th centuries were convoked by the Eastern Roman Emperors. In Western Europe, the title of Emperor became defunct after the death of Julius Nepos in 480, although the rulers of the barbarian kingdoms continued to recognize the Eastern Emperor at least nominally well into the 6th century. From the western perspective, the interregnum in the Roman Empire spanned the 8th centuries; the title of Emperor was revived in 800, when Charlemagne was crowned Emperor of the Romans by Pope Leo III. The title of Emperor in the West implied recognition by the pope; as the power of the papacy grew during the Middle Ages and emperors came into conflict over church administration.
The best-known and most bitter conflict was that known as the investiture controversy, fought during the 11th century between Henry IV and Pope Gregory VII. After the coronation of Charlemagne, his successors maintained the title until the death of Berengar I of Italy in 924; the comparatively brief interregnum between 924 and the coronation of Otto the Great in 962 is taken as marking the transition from the Frankish Empire to the Holy Roman Empire. Under the Ottonians, much of the former Carolingian kingdom of Eastern Francia fell within the boundaries of the Holy Roman Empire. Since 911, the various German princes had elected the King of the Germans from among their peers; the King of the Germans would be crowned as emperor following the precedent set by Charlemagne, during the period of 962–1530. Charles V was the last emperor to be crowned by the pope, his successor, Ferdinand I adopted the title of "Emperor elect" in 1558; the final Holy Roman Emperor-elect, Francis II, abdicated in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars that saw the Empire's final dissolution.
The term sacrum in connection with the German Roman Empire was first used in 1157 under Frederick I Barbarossa. The standard designation of the Holy Roman Emperor was "August Emperor of the Romans"; when Charlemagne was crowned in 800, he was styled as "most serene Augustus, crowned by God and pacific emperor, governing the Roman Empire," thus constituting the elements of "Holy" and "Roman" in the imperial title. The word Roman was a reflection of the principle of translatio imperii that regarded the Holy Roman Emperors as the inheritors of the title of Emperor of the Western Roman Empire, despite the continued existence of the Eastern Roman Empire. In German-language historiography, the term Römisch-deutscher Kaiser is used to distinguish the title from that of Roman Emperor on one hand, that of German Emperor on the other; the English term "Holy Roman Emperor" is a modern shorthand for "emperor of the Holy Roman Empire" not corresponding to the historical style or title, i.e. the adjective "holy" is not intended as modifying "emperor".
Milan is a city in northern Italy, capital of Lombardy, the second-most populous city in Italy after Rome, with the city proper having a population of 1,372,810 while its metropolitan city has a population of 3,245,308. Its continuously built-up urban area has a population estimated to be about 5,270,000 over 1,891 square kilometres; the wider Milan metropolitan area, known as Greater Milan, is a polycentric metropolitan region that extends over central Lombardy and eastern Piedmont and which counts an estimated total population of 7.5 million, making it by far the largest metropolitan area in Italy and the 54th largest in the world. Milan served as capital of the Western Roman Empire from 286 to 402 and the Duchy of Milan during the medieval period and early modern age. Milan is considered a leading alpha global city, with strengths in the field of the art, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism, its business district hosts Italy's stock exchange and the headquarters of national and international banks and companies.
In terms of GDP, it has the third-largest economy among European cities after Paris and London, but the fastest in growth among the three, is the wealthiest among European non-capital cities. Milan is considered part of the Blue Banana and one of the "Four Motors for Europe"; the city has been recognized as one of the world's four fashion capitals thanks to several international events and fairs, including Milan Fashion Week and the Milan Furniture Fair, which are among the world's biggest in terms of revenue and growth. It hosted the Universal Exposition in 1906 and 2015; the city hosts numerous cultural institutions and universities, with 11% of the national total enrolled students. Milan is the destination of 8 million overseas visitors every year, attracted by its museums and art galleries that boast some of the most important collections in the world, including major works by Leonardo da Vinci; the city is served by a large number of luxury hotels and is the fifth-most starred in the world by Michelin Guide.
The city is home to two of Europe's most successful football teams, A. C. Milan and F. C. Internazionale, one of Italy's main basketball teams, Olimpia Milano; the etymology of the name Milan remains uncertain. One theory holds that the Latin name Mediolanum planus. However, some scholars believe that lanum comes from the Celtic root lan, meaning an enclosure or demarcated territory in which Celtic communities used to build shrines. Hence Mediolanum could signify the central sanctuary of a Celtic tribe. Indeed, about sixty Gallo-Roman sites in France bore the name "Mediolanum", for example: Saintes and Évreux. In addition, another theory links the name to the boar sow an ancient emblem of the city, fancifully accounted for in Andrea Alciato's Emblemata, beneath a woodcut of the first raising of the city walls, where a boar is seen lifted from the excavation, the etymology of Mediolanum given as "half-wool", explained in Latin and in French; the foundation of Milan is credited to two Celtic peoples, the Bituriges and the Aedui, having as their emblems a ram and a boar.
Alciato credits Ambrose for his account. The Celtic Insubres, the inhabitants of the region of northern Italy called Insubria, appear to have founded Milan around 600 BC. According to the legend reported by Livy, the Gaulish king Ambicatus sent his nephew Bellovesus into northern Italy at the head of a party drawn from various Gaulish tribes; the Romans, led by consul Gnaeus Cornelius Scipio Calvus, fought the Insubres and captured the city in 222 BC. They conquered the entirety of the region, calling the new province "Cisalpine Gaul" – "Gaul this side of the Alps" – and may have given the site its Latinized Celtic name of Mediolanum: in Gaulish *medio- meant "middle, center" and the name element -lanon is the Celtic equivalent of Latin -planum "plain", thus *Mediolanon meant " in the midst of the plain". In 286 the Roman Emperor Diocletian moved the capital of the Western Roman Empire from Rome to Mediolanum. Diocletian himself chose to reside at Nicomedia in the Eastern Empire, leaving his colleague Maximian at Milan.
Maximian built several gigantic monuments, the large circus, the thermae or "Baths of Hercules", a large complex of imperial palaces and other services and buildings of which fewer visible traces remain. Maximian increased the city area surrounded by a new, larger stone wall encompassing an area of 375 acres with many 24-sided towers; the monumental area had twin towers. From Mediolanum the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313 AD, granting tolerance to all religions within the Empire, thus paving the way for Christianity to become the dominant religion of Roman Europe. Constantine had come to Mediolanum to celebrate the wedding of his sister
Pope Eugene IV
Pope Eugene IV, born Gabriele Condulmer, was Pope from 3 March 1431 to his death in 1447. He is the most recent pope to have taken the name "Eugene" upon his election. Condulmer was born in Venice to a rich merchant family, he entered a community of Canons Regular of San Giorgio in Alga in his native city. At the age of twenty-four he was appointed by his maternal uncle, Pope Gregory XII, as Bishop of Siena. In Siena, the political leaders objected to a bishop, not only 24, but a foreigner. Therefore, he resigned the appointment, becoming instead his uncle's papal treasurer and Cardinal Priest of the Basilica of San Clemente. Pope Martin V named him Cardinal Priest of the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, he served as papal legate at Picenum in the March of Ancona. Condulmer was elected to succeed Martin V in the papal conclave of 1431, he was crowned as Eugene IV at St. Peter's Basilica on 11 March 1431. By a written agreement made before his election he pledged to distribute to the cardinals one-half of all the revenues of the Church and promised to consult with them on all questions of importance, both spiritual and temporal.
He is described as tall, with a winning countenance, although many of his troubles were owing to his own want of tact, which alienated parties from him. Upon assuming the papal chair, Eugene IV took violent measures against the numerous Colonna relatives of his predecessor Martin V, who had rewarded them with castles and lands; this at once involved him in a serious contest with the powerful house of Colonna that nominally supported the local rights of Rome against the interests of the Papacy. A truce was soon arranged. By far the most important feature of Eugene IV's pontificate was the great struggle between the Pope and the Council of Basel, the final embodiment of the Conciliar movement. On 23 July 1431, his legate Giuliano Cesarini opened the council, convoked by Martin V. Canon Beaupère of Besançon, sent from Basel to Rome, gave the pope an unfavourable and exaggerated account of the temper of the people of Basel and its environs. Distrustful of its purposes and emboldened by the small attendance, the Pope issued a bull on 18 December 1431 that dissolved the council and called a new one to meet in eighteen months at Bologna.
The council resisted this expression of papal prerogative. Eugene IV's action gave some weight to the contention that the Curia was opposed to any authentic measures of reform; the council refused to dissolve. A compromise was arranged by the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund, crowned emperor at Rome on 31 May 1433. By its terms, the Pope recalled his bull of dissolution, reserving all the rights of the Holy See, acknowledged the council as ecumenical on 15 December 1433 except for the initial unapproved sessions that contained canons which exalted conciliar authority above that of the pope; these concessions were due to the invasion of the Papal States by the former Papal condottiero Niccolò Fortebraccio and the troops of Filippo Maria Visconti led by Niccolò Piccinino in retaliation for Eugene's support of Florence and Venice against Milan. This situation led to establishment of an insurrectionary republic at Rome controlled by the Colonna family. In early June 1434, disguised in the robes of a Benedictine monk, Eugene was rowed down the center of the Tiber, pelted by stones from either bank, to a Florentine vessel waiting to pick him up at Ostia.
The city was restored to obedience by Giovanni Vitelleschi, the militant Bishop of Recanati, in the following October. In August 1435 a peace treaty was signed at Ferrara by the various belligerents; the Pope moved to Bologna in April 1436. His condottieri Francesco I Sforza and Vitelleschi in the meantime reconquered much of the Papal States. Traditional Papal enemies such as the Prefetti di Vico were destroyed, while the Colonna were reduced to obedience after the destruction of their stronghold in Palestrina in August 1436. Meanwhile, the struggle with the council sitting at Basel broke out anew. Eugene IV at length convened a rival council at Ferrara on 8 January 1438 and excommunicated the prelates assembled at Basel. King Charles VII of France had forbidden members of the clergy in his kingdom from attending the counsel in Ferrara, introduced the decrees of the Council of Basel, with slight changes, into France through the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges; the King of England and the Duke of Burgundy, who felt that the council was partial to France, decided not to recognize the council at Basel.
Castile, Aragon and Bavaria withdrew support. The Council of Basel suspended Eugene on 24 January 1438 formally deposed him as a heretic on 25 June 1439. In the following November the council elected the ambitious Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy, as antipope under the name of Felix V; the Diet of Mainz had deprived the Pope of most of his rights in the Empire. At Florence, where the council of Ferrara had been transferred as a result of an outbreak of the plague, a union with the Eastern Orthodox Church was effected in July 1439, which, as the result of political necessities, proved but a temporary bolster to the papacy's prestige; this union was followed by others of less stability. Eugene IV signed an agreement with the Armenians on 22 November 1439, with a part of the Jacobites of Syria in 1443, in 1445 he received some of the Nestorians and the Maronites, he did his best to stem the Turkish advance, pledging one-fifth of the papal income to a crusade which set out in 1443, but which met with overwhelmin
Republic of Siena
The Republic of Siena was a historic state consisting of the city of Siena and its surrounding territory in Tuscany, central Italy. It existed for over four hundred years, from 1125 to 1555. In the Italian War of 1551–59 the republic was defeated by the rival Duchy of Florence in alliance with the Spanish crown. After 18 months of resistance, the Republic of Siena surrendered to the Spanish Empire on 21 April 1555, marking the end of the republic; the oldest aristocratic families in Siena date their line to the Lombards' surrender in 774 to Charlemagne. At this point, the city was inundated with a swarm of Frankish overseers who married into the existing Sienese nobility and left a legacy that can be seen in the abbeys they founded throughout Sienese territory. Feudal power waned however, by the death of Countess Matilda in 1115 the border territory of the Mark of Tuscia, under the control of her family, the Canossa, broke up into several autonomous regions. Siena prospered as a city-state, becoming a major centre of money lending and an important player in the wool trade.
It was governed at first directly by its bishop, but episcopal power declined during the 12th century. The bishop was forced to concede a greater say in the running of the city to the nobility in exchange for their help during a territorial dispute with Arezzo, this started a process which culminated in 1167 when the commune of Siena declared its independence from episcopal control. By 1179, it had a written constitution. In 1286 the Nova government was established to rule Siena; the Nova was backed by the Noveschi, a political party formed by the noble families that sat on the council. The Noveschi Party grew to include not only include members of the Nova council, but many prominent noble families of the city. Under the guide of the Nova and the Noveschi, Siena grew in both economic and militaristic dominance. In the 13th century, Siena was predominantly Ghibelline, in opposition to Florence's Guelph position. On 4 September 1260 the Sienese Ghibellines, supported by the forces of King Manfred of Sicily, defeated the Florentine Guelphs in the Battle of Montaperti.
Before the battle, the Sienese army of around 20,000 faced a much larger Florentine army of around 33,000. Prior to the battle, the entire city was dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the man given command of Siena for the duration of the war, Bonaguida Lucari, walked barefoot and bareheaded, a halter around his neck, to the Siena Cathedral. Leading a procession composed of all the city's residents, he was met by all the clergy. Lucari and the bishop embraced to show the unity of church and state Lucari formally gave the city and contrade to the Virgin. Legend has it that a thick white cloud descended on the battlefield, giving the Sienese cover and aiding their attack; the reality was that the Florentine army launched several fruitless attacks against the Sienese army during the day when the Sienese army countered with their own offensive, traitors within the Florentine army killed the standard bearer and in the resulting chaos, the Florentine army broke up and fled the battlefield. Half the Florentine army were killed as a result.
So crushing was the defeat that today if the two cities meet in any sporting event, the Sienese supporters are to exhort their Florentine counterparts to "Remember Montaperti!". Siena was devastated by the Black Death of 1348, suffered from ill-fated financial enterprises. In 1355, with the arrival of Charles IV of Luxembourg in the city, the population rose and suppressed the government of the Nova council and expelled any family associated with the Noveschi Party, they established a Dodici, assisted by a council with a popular majority. This form of government was short-lived, soon replaced by the Quindici reformers in 1385, the Dieci and the Twelve Priors who, in the end, gave the city's lordship to Gian Galeazzo Visconti, the Duke of Milan, in order to defend it from Florentine expansionism. Five years the House of Visconti was expelled in 1404, a new government of Ten Priors was established, this time in alliance with Florence against King Ladislaus of Naples. With the election of the Sienese Enea Silvio Piccolomini of the prominent Piccolomini noble family as Pope Pius II in 1458, the nobles, expelled due to association with the Noveschi party were allowed to return to the city.
In 1472 the Siena magistrates founded a "mount of piety", the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which would survive into the 21st century as "the world's oldest bank". The Noveschi returned to the city under Pandolfo Petrucci in 1487. Pandolfo gathered many political offices and grew his influence until 1500, when with the execution of his father-in-law Niccolò Borghese for conspiracy to murder him, as well as with the support of Florence and of Alfonso of Calabria, Pandolfo was able to seize complete control of the city. Though a tyrant, Pandolfo brought Siena back to prosperity, favoring arts and sciences, as well as improving its economy. Pandolfo was succeeded by his son Borghese Petrucci. After only 4 years of rule, Borghese was ousted by his cousin, cardinal Raffaello Petrucci, helped by Pope Leo X. In the wake of more responsibilities from the Church, Raffaello was forced to cede the city to his nephew, Franceso Petrucci, who only ruled for a year before being ousted by Pandolfo's youngest son, Fabio.
Fabio was exiled in 1525 by the Sienese people, marking the end
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Piero della Francesca
Piero della Francesca named Piero di Benedetto, was an Italian painter of the Early Renaissance. To contemporaries he was known as a mathematician and geometer. Nowadays Piero della Francesca is chiefly appreciated for his art, his painting is characterized by its use of geometric forms and perspective. His most famous work is the cycle of frescoes The History of the True Cross in the church of San Francesco in the Tuscan town of Arezzo. Piero was born Piero di Benedetto in the town of Borgo Santo Sepolcro, modern-day Tuscany, to Benedetto de' Franceschi, a tradesman, Romana di Perino da Monterchi, members of the Florentine and Tuscan Franceschi noble family, his father died before his birth, he was called Piero della Francesca after his mother, who supported his education in mathematics and art. He was most apprenticed to the local painter Antonio di Giovanni d'Anghiari, because in documents about payments it is noted that he was working with Antonio in 1432 and May 1438, he took notice of the work of some of the Sienese artists active in San Sepolcro during his youth.
In 1439 Piero received, together with Domenico Veneziano, payments for his work on frescoes for the church of Sant'Egidio in Florence, now lost. In Florence he must have met leading masters like Fra Angelico, Luca della Robbia and Brunelleschi; the classicism of Masaccio's frescoes and his majestic figures in the Santa Maria del Carmine were for him an important source of inspiration. Dating of Piero's undocumented work is difficult because his style does not seem to have developed over the years. Piero was elected to the City Council of Sansepolcro. Three years he received his first commission, to paint the Madonna della Misericordia altarpiece for the church of the Misericordia in Sansepolcro, completed in the early 1460s. In 1449 he executed several frescoes in the Castello Estense and the church of Sant'Andrea of Ferrara, now lost, his influence was strong in the Ferrarese allegorical works of Cosimo Tura. The Baptism of Christ, now in the National Gallery in London, was completed in about 1450 for the high altar of the church of the Priory of S.
Giovanni Battista at Sansepolcro. Other notable works are the frescoes of The Resurrection in Sansepolcro, the Madonna del parto in Monterchi, near Sansepolcro. Two years he was in Rimini, working for the condottiero Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. In 1451, during that sojourn, he executed the famous fresco of St. Sigismund and Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta in the Tempio Malatestiano, as well as a portrait of Sigismondo. In Rimini, Piero may have met the famous Renaissance mathematician and architect Leon Battista Alberti, who had redesigned the Tempio Malatestiano, although it is known that Alberti directed the execution of his designs for the church by correspondence with his building supervisor. Thereafter Piero was active in Ancona and Bologna. In 1454, he signed a contract for the Polyptych of Saint Augustine in the church of Sant'Agostino in Sansepolcro; the central panel of this polyptych is lost, the four panels of the wings, with representations of saints, are now scattered around the world.
A few years summoned by Pope Nicholas V, he moved to Rome, where he executed frescoes in the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, of which only fragments remain. Two years he was again in the Papal capital, painting frescoes in the Vatican Palace, which have since been destroyed. In 1452, Piero della Francesca was called to Arezzo to replace Bicci di Lorenzo in painting the frescoes of the basilica of San Francesco; the work was finished in 1464. The History of the True Cross cycle of frescoes is considered among his masterworks and those of Renaissance painting in general; the story in these frescoes derives from legendary medieval sources as to how timber relics of the True Cross came to be found. These stories were collected in the Golden Legend of Jacopo da Varazze of the mid-13th century. At some point, Giovanni Santi invited Piero to Urbino. Between 1469 and 1486 Piero worked in the service of Count Federico III da Montefeltro; the Flagellation is considered Piero's oldest work in Urbino. It is one of the most controversial pictures of the early Renaissance.
As discussed in its own entry, it is marked by an air of geometric sobriety, in addition to presenting a perplexing enigma as to the nature of the three men standing at the foreground. Another famous work painted in Urbino is the Double Portrait of Federico and his wife Battista Sforza, in the Uffizi; the portraits in profile take their inspiration from large bronze medals and stucco roundels with the official portraits of Fedederico and his wife. Other paintings made in Urbino are the monumental Montefeltro Altarpiece in the Brera Gallery in Milan and also the Madonna of Senigallia. In Urbino Piero met the painters Melozzo da Forlì, Fra Carnevale and the Flemish Justus van Gent, the mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli, the architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini and also Leon Battista Alberti. In his years, painters such as Perugino and Luca Signorelli visited his workshop, he completed the treatise On Perspective in painting in the mid-1470s to 1480s. By 1480, his vision began to deteriorate, but he continued writing treatises such as Short Book on the Five Regular Solids in 1485.
It is documented that Piero rented a house in Rimini in 1482. Piero made his will in 1487 and he died five years on 12 October 1492, in his own house in San Sepolcro, he left his possessions to the church. He