Pinacoteca art gallery, Room VII: Decemviri Altarpiece by Perugino
Madonna and Child with Sts Laurence, Ludwig of Toulouse, Ercolano and Constance.
Pietro Perugino: Pala dei Decemviri (Vergine in trono col Bambino tra San Costanzo, Sant'Ercolano, San Lorenzo e San Ludovico). Cat. no. 41 in Vittoria Garibaldi: Perugino. Catalogo completo. Octavo, Firenze 2000, ISBN 88-8030-091-1.
Virgin and Child with four Saints by Pietro Perugino, 1495. Also Known as the "Decemviri Altarpiece" we again see the Virgin placed under a portico. She is placed on a high throne surrounded by the saints, Lawrence, Louis, Herculanus and Constantius of Perugia.
Pietro Vannucci, called.
Madonna and Child with Sts Laurence, Ludwig of Toulouse, Ercolanus and Constance (Altar-piece of the Decemviri), 1495/96, "tempera grassa" on wood, cm. 193 x 165, cat. 40317
The altar-piece, signed by the artist and commissioned by the Decemviri of Perugia for the chapel of the Peoples' Palace, was painted between the end of 1495 and 1496. Originally the work was formed of two elements: the cymatium (upper part), showing Christ in the tomb (now in the National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia), and the Vatican panel. On the latter, at the centre of an arched architectural structure, the Virgin, with the Child Jesus on her knees, is seated on a monumental throne, at the sides of which are Sts Laurence, Ludwig of Toulouse, Ercolanus and Constance, protectors of the city.
The equilibrium of the composition, the clear perspective structure, the harmony with which the figures bind with the landscape, and the gracefulness of the personages painted with features of ideal beauty, are elements which distinguish all Perugino's work, consecrating his great fame which had already been acknowledged by his contemporaries.
At the bottom of the photograph.
Pietro Vannucci, called.
(Città della Pieve circa 1450 - Fontignano 1523)
St Benedict; St Flavia; St Placidus, 1496-99, "tempera" grassa on wood, cat. 40319-40320-40321.
The three panels formed part of the predella of a polyptych for the high altar of the Church of S. Pietro in Perugia for which Perugino was given a commission in 1495 and which he began the following year. The work was dismantled when the church was restored (1591). The central panel illustrated the Ascension with the twelve Apostles, the Virgin and angels. Above it appeared God in glory, while the predella contained: the Adoration of the Magi, the Baptism of Christ, the Resurrection and two panels with the Patron Saints of Perugia. Finally there were six panels on the bases of the columns that flanked the Ascension. These illustrated Benedictine Saints and among them were those now in the Vatican: St Benedict, founder of the order to which the monks who ordered the work belonged; St Flavia and her brother Placidus, disciple of St Benedict, martyred in Messina during an incursion of the Saracens. The figures, which repeat ideal types that are recurrent in Perugino's work, are painted with elegance of colours and meticulous detail.