PIERO DI COSIMO
(b. 1462, Firenze, d. 1521, Firenze)
The Death of Procrisc. 1500
Oil on panel, 65 x 183 cm
National Gallery, London
This painting was probably part of the decoration of a palace in Florence.
Despite the different datings they have been given the two panels (Death of Procris, and Venus and Mars) may have formed part of a cycle illustrating themes from ancient mythology. Considering that they stem from the hand of a Florentine artist, both demonstrate an unusual interest in landscape. The progression towards lighter colours in the background and the accompanying softening of focus reflect Leonardo da Vinci's new theories of colour.The first panel shows the death of Procris, killed by mistake, while out hunting, by a javelin which Procris had been given by King Minos and which never missed its mark. The dog on the right was also a gift from Minos.