Monday, February 28, 2011

The Duke and Duchess Come Home

The framer called yesterday, "The Duke and Duchess are ready". We had bought a postcard of The Duke and Duchess of Urbino when we were in Florence last fall and finally we had it framed. The first time I saw it, it stopped me in my tracks and this time was no different. This double portrait stands on a pedestal in the middle of the gallery at eye level and the light and the remote, almost other worldliness of the sitters makes it remarkably powerful. In some ways a deceptively simple work, it always manages to elude one. They stare at each other through time while the back of the work is painted with a allegory depicting their triumphal chariots. She is enthroned amid the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity while he sits with the virtues Justice, Wisdom, Valour and Moderation. Must saw they look very fine in our kitchen and we have taken to calling ourselves the Duke and Duchess of Sutton Junction.
The Duke and Duchess of Urbino, Piero Della Francesca, [1416-1492]

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