Logo CC

Leon Battista Alberti and Piero Della Francesca

The trail Leon Battista Alberti and Piero della Francesca. The artistic renaissance of Ferrara and Rimini takes in the cities of Rimini and Ferrara, leading you on a discovery of the historic, artistic and intellectual legacy created by these two great artists at the courts of Este and Malatesta.

Between 1440 and 1449 Piero della Francesca was hosted at a number of Italian ducal courts, including Bologna and Ferrara. At the court of the marquis Leonello d’Este, the cultured and sophisticated half-brother of Borso d’Este, Piero worked from 1448-49 at the Castle of San Michele and in the Church of Sant'Andrea, painting frescoes which have now unfortunately been lost.

In 1451 Piero moved to Rimini at the behest of Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, where he worked on the Malatestian Temple. Here you can see a mural depicting Sigismondo Malatesta kneeling before his patron saint, Sigismund. 

The painting has a double significance. It is the first authentic Renaissance painting, in a context in which the Gothic style was still very popular, and it also represents the highest expression of Renaissance art in Central Italy. This mural is the only example in Romagna of the work of this great painter to have a certain date.

At Montefeltro, thanks to the project Montefeltro Art Views, you can rediscover the landscapes and views that have formed the backdrops to famous paintings such as The Baptism of Christ, The Nativity, Portrait of Battista Sforza, St Jerome and a Supplicant.


Another great painter with links to the city of Ferrara is Leon Battista Alberti, a multi-talented maestro whose treatises were to revolutionise the Italian way of “doing” art.  

Thanks to Leonello, prince and lord of the city between 1441 and 1450, Alberti produced an invaluable intellectual legacy, from the treatise called Theogenius through to De equo animante. He is also thought to have played a role in the work on the bell tower of the Cathedral of Ferrara, for which construction began in 1412 and which was completed in stages between 1451 and 1487.

The trail of Leon Battista Alberti continues in Rimini, which is where, in 1450, the painter was asked to redecorate in a classical style the church of San Francesco  (now the Malatestian Temple), which is a Gothic basilica with side chapels. The patron was none other than Sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta, who was lord of Rimini and Fano from 1432 and commissioned a large part of the restyling of Rimini.

Alberti’s design was a truly inspired one. The monument was supposed to have been completed with a large dome, copied from the queen of all temples, the Pantheon in Rome.

The aim of the work is to celebrate the eternal love between Sigismondo and Isotta degli Atti, whose initials can clearly be seen on the façade, carved into the stone and interlinking their family crests.



Distance: 223 km

Download gpx



Last update 17/05/2023