The Legend of the True Cross by Piero della Francesca
The fresco cycle, a Renaissance masterpiece, shines in all its beauty in Arezzo
The Basilica of San Francesco in Arezzo hosts in its Bacci chapel the Legend of the True Cross fresco cycle, the masterpiece that Piero della Francesca executed for the Francescan church roughly between 1452 and 1466.
The theme of the cycle is taken from Jacopo da Varazze’s 14th-century Golden Legend. Amongst the landscapes most dear to the artist and painted architecture, the Arezzo and Sansepolcro buildings which serve as a beautiful backdrop, geometrically perfect figures, gracefully accompany the observer through the tale.
The frescoes are positioned on three levels on the side walls and in the background. Piero della Francesca did not give much focus to a particular chronological style but instead preferred to create a symmetrical correspondence between the scenes portrayed: above, on the left side wall and on the right side wall is an open scene, is a court scene and in the background a battle scene.