“Wildfire”, Piero di Cosimo – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Wildfire – Piero di Cosimo. 1488 – 1507. Oil on canvas. 71 x 203 cm

Wildfire – a picture painted by Pierrot di Cosimo in the period from 1488 to 1507. It is impossible to establish the authenticity of the work. Any study is fraught with a complete loss of the picture, up to the destruction of colors. The painting is an example of social satire, which the artist tried to portray.

History of creation

The work was written to order, made by the well-known family of patrons of Puglieze. Basically, all of Cosimo’s works were written to order, and only a third of the paintings were created for themselves. The artist tried to get a good reward for his paintings, since all research in the field of biology cost money. Studying the body structure of both animals and humans forced Pierrot to pay a round sum for them.

In the same period, the Puglieze family decides to decorate their living room. They want a professional picture to appear in their house that could lure famous guests in the area. The choice fell on Pierrot, because for his services he asked for an acceptable amount.

The painting was painted for about 20 years. For that time, this writing speed was commonplace.

The painting was done in rough strokes; antediluvian brushes were used in the process. The long one was only a couple of millimeters, and because of the high cost, only wealthy people could allow it.

Each figure is detailed. The oil is distributed even with rough strokes, but afterwards, due to careful smearing, a soft drawing appears. The strokes were made thanks to mascara sticks and applied on top of the oil after a couple of days after it dries.

A layer of a mixture of rosemary and alcohol was applied on top. Thus varnished oil work at that time.

A huge fire touches all layers of animal society. The animals leave their homes and try to escape, while there is still a chance to get out."