Piero della Francesca’s incarnational art

I don’t actually know that much about art, but I was recently struck by these words from a review of an exhibition in The New Yorker:

Piero was strikingly original in his emphasis on physical weight. His figures stand plunk on the ground… You feel the downward drag. The effect is a bodily identification: the saint and you, both strenuously upright on earth. Piero’s characters are sometimes described as remote, without personality. But he simply combs out the qualities that are incidental to the fact of being a human creature, in solid flesh. I am reminded of the title of Simone Weil’s profound collection of spiritual reflections, “Gravity and Grace.” The central Christian enigma—a God incarnate, as a man who lived, suffered, and died—plays like a bass line beneath every passage of Piero’s art. (Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, March 4, 2013).

Piero_della_Francesca_-_Polyptych_of_St_Augustine_-_St_John_the_Evangelist_-_WGA17458

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