ABSTRACT

Drawings, pilgrim badges, and descriptions by pilgrims merely offered information about what contemporary Jerusalem looked like, not about the face of the city at the time of Christ. Some of Piero's contemporaries imagined first-century Jerusalem as a city in ruins, a remarkable patchwork of different architectural styles: Classical Roman architecture, mixed with actual architectural monuments from Jerusalem, like the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Piero agreed with Mantegna that the architecture of Jerusalem resembled ancient Roman buildings. The doorframes in the rear wall of Pilate's palace reappear on the ground floor and the piano nobile of the Palazzo Ducale. In the preface to a series of bound architectural and mechanical drawings dedicated to Federico, Francesco di Giorgio compared Montefeltro's patronage of architecture to that of Augustus, presenting the city of Urbino as a new Rome. The architecture in Piero's painting does what the painting itself avoids.