Saint Nicholas of Tolentino Piero della Francesca Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Piero della Francesca an Italian artist and mathematician of his time who created this portrait of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino in the year 1454 to 1459. It was a religious theme that showed Saint Nicholas in black linen.

This painting was produced in tempera on panel medium and measured 133 cm by 60 cm. This is the medium that most early renaissance artists used. This technique made their art to survive to the present day because it is tolerant to surface cleaning other that oil painting that some other painters used. Piero mixed different bright colours on the background to contrast it with the darker tones of Saint Nicholas. This is a creativity that showed he understood his work perfectly. The paintings show the saint slightly raising one hand and holding a book on the other hand. Saint Nicholas is painted bold headed and just against his head the artist paints using gold.

The Christian art of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino was among the four portraits that Piero painted for Augustinians from Borgo San Sepolcro. The portrait of Saint Nicholas formed the four portrait panel painted by Piero. Piero painting of the polyptych was to take less than eight years to be complete. The Augustinians wanted them for their religious foundation. The four panels that were created include Saint Nicholas of Tolentino and Saint John the Evangelist on one side while Saint Augustine and Saint Michael on the other side. The work of Piero disappeared from focus from 1454, the time he was asked to create the panel, until in the twentieth century when they were recovered by the great scholars of that time. There are portraits that were never found including a central part of the painting that Piero had painted the virgin Enthroned.

The portrait of Saint Nicholas that was among the four panels is said it is the original painting that Piero painted with others. Other polyptych seems to differ from it has the artist style is known and appreciated by many. He uses unique features like in this portrait he puts an austere and calm on the head creating a picture of with a round face. The original polyptych of Augustinians of Saint Nicholas of tolentino by Piero della Francesca is housed in Museo Poldi Pezzoli In Milan in Italy.