This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
The Court of Urbino was a meeting point for architects,
painters, sculptors, writers, mathematicians and
scientists. Raphael was born here. Piero della
Francesca, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio
Martini, Justus van Gent, Luca Pacioli and Baldassare
Castiglione all lived and worked here. By forming a
harmonious symbiosis of suggestions and ideas, these
artists codified a new vision of the world and society.
The collective knowledge that built up around the
Court of Urbino produced masterpieces of painting
and art, poems and literary works, musical scores and
scientific discoveries that still form the foundations of
Italian culture and Western civilisation to this day.
Such artworks can be admired today by visiting
Raphael’s House, the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche
– which contains the Ideal City, the Flagellation
of Christ by Piero della Francesca, the Desecrated
Host by Paolo Uccello, and the Portrait of a Young
Woman (La Muta) by Raphael – and the Oratories,
the Botanical Garden, the palaces and the various
museums, among other places.
In the latter half of the 15th century in Urbino, a series
of elements intertwined to create conditions that were
unique in Europe at the time. This was the moment
in which mathematics, geometry and architecture
irrevocably entered the world of art. This innovative
spirit was not limited to pure intellectual speculation;
instead, it permeated the very foundation of the city.
The new dictates of the exact sciences made their mark
on the city’s buildings, squares and entire urban layout.
In Urbino, until the late Renaissance – the first half of
the 17th century – the desire for knowledge continued
to prove a fertile breeding ground for the scientific
tradition, one which produced figures such as Federico
Commandino, Guidubaldo Dal Monte, Bernardino
Baldi and Muzio Oddi, as well as workshops producing
scientific instruments that even Galileo Galilei used.
This cultural fervour, the creativity generated in
Urbino, spread throughout Europe as if driven by a
great centrifugal force. At the same time, however,
Urbino acted as a sort of ‘cultural magnet’ that attracted
intellectuals from all around Europe.
You can find the perfect pairing of art and science
today by visiting the “Gabinetto di Fisica”, Urbino’s
Museum of Science and Technology, housed in the
Collegio Raffaello building.