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Piero della Francesca. The Augustinian polyptych reunited



Museo Poldi Pezzoli


From 20 March to 24 June 2024


The Poldi Pezzoli Museum presents the exhibition Piero della Francesca. The Augustinian polyptych reunited, open to the public from 20 March to 24 June 2024. In a unique and unrepeatable exhibition, for the first time in history, 555 years after its creation, the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan presents a masterpiece by Piero della Francesca (1412-1492): the Augustinian Polyptych.
The institutional partners of the exhibition are Intesa Sanpaolo and Gallerie d'Italia.

Conceived by Alessandra Quarto, director of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, the exhibition is curated by Machtelt Brüggen Israëls (Rijksmuseum and University of Amsterdam) and Nathaniel Silver (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston), scholars of international standing and the last to propose a reconstruction of the polyptych in 2013 at the Frick Collection in New York based on the investigations conducted to date. The exhibition is organised by Lavinia Galli, curator, and Federica Manoli, collection manager, of the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, with the coordination of Arianna Pace, from the exhibitions department.

The artist began painting his magnificent polyptych for the high altar of the church of the Augustinians in Borgo San Sepolcro (Arezzo) in 1454 and completed it in 1469. One of Piero della Francesca's major works, the altarpiece was dismantled and lost by the end of the 16th century. Today, the remaining eight panels of the Augustinian polyptych (the central panel and a large part of the predella are still missing), can be found in museums in Europe and the United States, as well as at the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, which owns the panel depicting St. Nicholas of Tolentino, one of the four saints that belonged to the central part of the polyptych.

The exhibition aims to offer the public and scholars the full experience of Pierfrancesco's work with all its evocative power of the Renaissance. Seen up close, the paintings reveal the artist's meticulous attention to luxurious fabrics and jewellery, such as the gold brocade of Saint Augustine and the armour of Saint Michael the Archangel, and, by contrast, the simplicity of Saint Nicholas of Tolentino's austere and rough habit. They also show the play of light that Piero della Francesca skilfully used for each of the panels, displaying great attention to detail in the ornaments that now interact perfectly with the decorative arts featured in the Milanese museum's collection.

Reduced admission fee for Intesa Sanpaolo customers.
Holders of tickets to the exhibition are entitled to discounted admission to the Gallerie d'Italia and vice versa.