This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of the Perugino (1523), one of the most important Italian painters between the 15th and 16th centuries. He was particularly active in Florence, Perugia, and Rome and is also known for being the master of Raphael.
Born in Città di Castello around 1450, Perugino was initially influenced by Umbrian painting but also by other artists such as Piero della Francesca, who worked a lot in that region. The years spent in Florence at the workshop of Verrocchio was particularly important. Other notable artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and Filippino Lippi also trained in this workshop. Perugino remained there until 1472, when he began his independent career.
Perugino arrived in Florence after producing a series of works of art in Umbria, particularly in Perugia, and in Rome, including the decoration of the side walls of the Sistine Chapel along with renowned Florentine artists like Botticelli and Ghirlandaio.
From 1493, Perugino lived in Florence, thanks in part to his flourishing workshop, where he realized a lot paintings, most of which are still found in the city today.
In the Cenacolo di Fuligno, he frescoed the splendid Last Supper. The Uffizi Gallery houses the highest number of Perugino's paintings in Florence, including the Agony in the Garden and the Pietà (created for the Convent of San Giusto alle Mura), the portrait of Francesco Delle Opere, and the Madonna and Child with St. John the Baptist and St. Sebastian. Perugino used his wife, Chiara Fancelli - daughter of the famous architect Luca -, as a model for many of his renowned Madonnas, characterized by perfect ovals, delicate expressions, and softly blended contours, which would later inspire his most famous pupil, Raphael. They married in Florence during those years.
The Palatine Gallery in Palazzo Pitti also boasts remarkable Perugino masterpieces, such as the intense Lamentation over the Dead Christ, the Magdalene (almost a contemporary portrait), and the Adoration of the Child, also known as the Madonna del Sacco.
Around 1495, when he frescoed the evocative Crucifixion in the chapter hall of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, Perugino also created some paintings that are now housed in the Gallery of the Academy. These include the solemn Vallombrosa Altarpiece and part of the "Polyptych of the Santissima Annunziata" (the Deposition from the Cross, initially started by Filippino Lippi). The other side of the polyptych, the Assumption of the Virgin, is still located in the renowned Marian Sanctuary.
To complete this itinerary, we should also mention the stained glass windows, designed by Perugino, for the churches of Santo Spirito and San Salvatore al Monte, depicting the Pentecost and St. John the Baptist, respectively.
Via Faenza, 40, 50123 Firenze FI, Italia
via Ricasoli, 58/60, 50122 Firenze FI, Italia
Via della Colonna, 9, 50121 Firenze FI, Italia
Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, 50122 Firenze FI, Italia
Piazzale degli Uffizi, 50122 Firenze FI, Italia
Piazza de' Pitti, 50125 Firenze FI, Italia
Piazza Santo Spirito, 30, 50125 Firenze FI, Italia
Via di S. Salvatore Al Monte, 9, 50125 Firenze FI, Italia