I Trionfi

I Trionfi

By Piero della Francesca

The Triumphs of the Dukes of Urbino are part of the "Diptych of the Duchess and the Duke of Urbino", a series of paintings signed by Piero della Francesca (two on the right and two on the reverse side) oil-painted around 1465. It measures 47 x 33 cm and it can be admired at the Uffizi Gallery, in Florence.

TRIUMPH OF FEDERICO II DA MONTEFELTRO:
Piero painted it on the reverse of Federico’s portrait. We can read an inscription in Latin at the bottom of the painting saying: "CLARVS INSIGNI VEHITVR TRIVMPHO./ QVEM PAREM SVMMIS DVCIBVS PERHENNIS./ FAMA VIRTVTVM CELEBRAT DECENTER./ SCEPTRA TENENTEM. It can be translated as follows: “He rides illustrious in glorious triumph, as he wields the sceptre in moderation.  The eternal fame of his virtues celebrates [him] as equal to the greatest dukes”. Federico da Montefeltro, on his chariot drawn by two white horses and guided by a winged putto, sits on a throne as he is being crowned by Victory; on the chariot’s platform, in its front part, sit the four cardinal Virtues.

TRIUMPH OF BATTISTA SFORZA:
Painted by the artist on the reverse side of Battista Sforza’s portrait. The inscription under the triumph scene says: "OVE MODVM REBVS TENVIT SECVNDIS./ CONIVGIS MAGNI DECORATA RERVM./ LAVDE GESTARVM VOLITAT PER 0RA./ CVNCTA VIRORVM." A translation in English could be: “She who observed modesty in success flies on all men’s lips, honoured by the praise of her great husband’s exploits”. Two liocorns, a symbol for chastity, draw the chariot guided by a winged cupid. Four theological Virtues are next to the Duchess who is reading (two sit on the front, on the chariot’s platform; two on the back, on the two sides of the throne).



Piero della Francesca