An Annotated “Ideal City”

The painting La Citta Ideale (The Ideal City), contains many signs of Urbino’s “mathematical Renaissance.” See the guide below. For an enlarged view, click the image. The work is on permanent display in Urbino’s Ducal Palace.

"The Ideal City" painting

A  – Deserted City: The city has no people. Thus it becomes “perfect” by lacking “imperfect” man.

B –  Temple: The temple in the center of the painting takes a circular form, symbolizing the eternalness of God.

C – Precision: If you get close enough to the painting, you can see the mark left by the protractor the artist used to measure out the exact proportions of the image.

D – Open door: The door of the temple remains open, symbolizing the hope that man can one day reach perfection.

E – Socialization: As in Renaissance Urbino, the open piazza was a place where people could gather to share thought and ideas.

F- Harmony: The balance and proportion of the shapes and spaces in the painting were inspiration to have harmony in reality.

This article is from Urbino Now‘s Urbino Centro section, which offers an in-depth look at the daily life of Urbino. Please view more magazine articles or order a complete printed copy of Urbino Now.