Pietro Perugino.
The Renaissance Master from Umbria.

 The Umbrian artist Pietro Perugino was born in the town of Citta delle Pieve which is situated between Siena and Perugia. Although he was born Pietro Vannucci, he owes his name to the city of Perugia, his date of birth is estimated as 1450 but the exact date is unknown. 

Self Portrait, Pietro Perugino

self portrait. Pietro Perugino. (w)

Until recently his work was overshadowed by his most famous pupil Raphael, this is unjust, Perugino was an acclaimed master who received commissions from many important patrons.

Perugino was apprenticed (at the tender age of nine) to the local artistic workshops of Perugia where he showed a precocious talent for his chosen trade. Later he worked under Piero della Francesca at Arrezzo and then as a pupil of Andrea Verroccio alongside Leonardo da Vinci, Domenico Ghirlandiao and Fillipino Lippi.

 In 1481 he was summoned to Rome where, along with others, he worked on the fresco's for the walls of the Sistine Chapel. His contribution to the Chapel included "The Charge to St Peter", "Moses leaving to Egypt" and "The Baptism of Christ".

Assisting him in these works were various painters from his formidable workshop making the attribution of some of the details difficult, a debate that continues to the present day. 

Moses Leaving to Egypt, Perugino

Moses Leaving to Egypt. Perugino and his workshop. 1482.
Sistine Chapel, Fresco 350 cm × 572 cm (140 in × 225 in) (w)

Baptism of Christ, Perugino

Baptism of Christ. (detail) (w)

Charge to Peter, Perugino

The Charge to St Peter 1481-1482. Sistine Chapel, Rome. (s)

Lorenzo di Credi by Perugino

Lorenzo di Credi (w)

 The Charge to St Peter is on the North wall of the chapel. Jesus is shown delivering the gold and silver keys to the kingdom of heaven. The keys symbolize the power to forgive sinners therefore allowing them to repent and enter heaven. St Peter is shown kneeling as he receives the keys from Jesus who is surrounded by the other Apostles. Perugino has given the painting depth by introducing the large, foreshortened rectangular paving leading to a central building in the background. The octagonal building also features in Perguino's "The Marriage of the Virgin". (shown below)

Marriage of the Virgin by Perugino

 The Marriage of the Virgin, c.1504 Oil on wood. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen. (s)

Marriage of the Virgin by Raphael

Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin. (s) 

Francesco delle Opere by Perugino

Francesco delle Opere. (w)

 Peitro Perugino's famous pupil Raphael painted the same subject. When we compare the two images the extent of Perugino's influence on the young artist becomes clear.

Pieta by Perugino

Pietà. Oil on Panel, 168 cm × 176 cm (66 in × 69 in) Ufizzi Gallery, Florence. (w)

 The subject of the Pieta, the image of the dead Christ cradled on his mother's lap, was  popular for the artists of the renaissance. The receding portico leading to a serene landscape is a device often used in Perguino's work at this time.   

Virgin and Child with four Saints by Perugino

Pietro Perugino's...

Virgin and Child with four Saints. 1495. Vatican, Rome. (s)

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 Constantious of Perugia. 

Madonna and Child with two Angels by Perugino

Madonna and Child with two Angels. c.1495/6 Citta delle Pieve, Umbria, Italy. (s)

 Pietro Perugino became one of the foremost masters of the renaissance. He produced a considerable body of work and influenced many of his contemporaries and pupils. Pinturicchio, Fra Bortholommeo and, most importantly, Raphael all took inspiration from him. Perugino died of the plague in 1523.