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Umbrian School. Pietro Vannucci, generally called Perugino. Influenced by Signorelli and Verrocchio. The master of Raphael.
LONDON, NATIONAL GALLERY
THE VIRGIN ADORING THE INFANT CHRIST The lower part of an altar-piece painted for the Certosa near Pavia in 1504, in three compartments, each measuring 1.27 in height, the centre being o'64 and the sides 0.57 in width. In the centre the Virgin kneels, three-quarters to the left, adoring the Child, who lies on a white cushion looking up at her, while an angel, fronting us, looks up at her. On the right the Angel Raphael stands looking down at the boy Tobias, who holds his hand. On the left stands the Archangel Michael armed and winged, nearly full face, his shield between his feet, held by his left hand. Landscape background.
"Perugino's skill in the application of oils reached its highest development in this picture, while in respect of conception, sentiment, and design he never went further."(C. and C.)
Purchased from the Duke of Melzi at Milan in 1856.
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH SAINTS The Virgin stands facing us on a low pedestal in a black cloak over a red robe. To the left stands St. Jerome in a crimson habit turning half to right holding a missal. To the right St. Francis, full face, in a brown habit, holding a red cross and missal. The figures are surrounded by a low stone parapet. Above two angels hold a crown over the Virgin's head. In the background a hilly landscape.
Painted in 1507 for the executors of a carpenter at Perugia for their chapel in S. Maria Nuova.
"A masterpiece, combining fine proportions with natural movement, Umbrian tenderness with facility of brush, and graceful outlines with bright warm colour." (C. and C.)
Purchased from the Baron della Penna at Perugia in 1879.
THE VIRGIN AND CHILD WITH ANGELS AND SAINTS The Virgin with the Child on her right knee is seated on a stone stool on a low base upon a paved terrace which is enclosed by a plain, low, thick stone wall, beyond which, at either side of the picture, is seen a distant landscape. On either side of her stand St. Rose (left) and St. Catherine fronting us, the former holding a cup in her left hand and a rose branch in her right, the latter a book in her right and a palm branch in her left. Between these three figures, standing on the parapet behind, are two angels looking down in adoration with clasped hands.
Painted in 1491.
"It represents Perugino in his ascending period, a genuine painter of Peru gia still, but fortunate in having instilled a new life and beauty into the art of his countrymen."(C. and C.)
APOLLO AND MARSYAS A small picture, known as "The Morris-Moore Raphael," but now ascribed to Perugino. At either side, in the foreground of a varied landscape, are the nude figures of Apollo (right) standing fronting us, but with his head turned to left, and I1larsyas, who is seated in half profile playing on a reed. Between them on the ground stands a lyre.
THE DEPOSITION FROM THE CROSS The Saviour's body is supported in its winding sheet on a stone by Joseph of Arimathea; the head (to the right) is held up by the Magdalene, the left arm by the Virgin. Mary Cleophas with arms extended stands behind, with Mary Salome kneeling at her side between the Virgin and a youth who stoops to raise the corners of the cloth at the feet. St. John and the wife of Zebedee stand behind the Magdalene, and to the left Nicodemus shows the nails of the Crucifixion to an old man and another youth. The background is an elaborate landscape with a river and a view of the city of Jerusalem.
Painted in 1495 for the Convent of Santa Chiara, Florence.
( Originally Publihed 1910 )