was an Italian painter, the greatest painter of the Umbrian school (his
real name: Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci), active mainly in Perugia. He
studied under Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, assisted
Piero della Francesca
at Arezzo, and in the early 1470s was a fellow pupil of
Leonardo da Vinci
and Lorenzo di Credi in Verrocchio's studio in Florence.
In 1479 Perugino was
summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to help decorate the Sistine Chapel.
He is recorded in the 1481 contract for the frescoes in the Sistine
Chapel (along with
Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli), where his Christ Handing the
Keys to St Peter demonstrates his qualities of simplicity, order and
clearly articulated composition. He seems to have been the leader of the
team. Some of his work in the Sistine Chapel was destroyed to make room for
The influence of his friend
strengthened his draughtsmanship, that of Flemings like
suggested the landscape background
for his portraits as well as their general composition, and to the
persistence of Piero's influence is due the use of architectural
and landscape settings for his figure compositions. The Pietà
(Florence, Accademia) set centrally in a receding arcade, and above
all the Cruxifixion with Saints (Florence, Santa Maria Maddalena
dei Pazzi), a fresco of 1496 with an extensive landscape linking
the three apparent divisions of the wall, are perfect examples of
his quiet, pietistic art, with gentle, rather sentimental figures
with drooping postures, tip-tilted heads, and mild rounded faces
— a type he repeated all his life with, in his later years,
dull and routine repetitiveness.
From c. 1500 to c. 1504
was a pupil in his shop and may have helped with the
fresco cycle in the Sala del Cambio at Perugia, Perugino's largest
(but not best) work in fresco. Raphael's own early work in San
Severo at Perugia was later — after his death in 1520 —
completed by his master. In 1506 Perugino retired to Perugia, since
his style was now hopelessly outmoded in Florence, where, however,
it had served to counter-balance the confusion of late Quattrocento
style. It was to be the herald of the High Renaissance.
The image accompanying this
biography is a self-portrait Fresco painted by Perugino in 1497–1500.
It measures 40 x 31 cm, and is now hanging at the Collegio del Campbio,
From October of 1916 through January of 1917, Rudolf Steiner gave a series
of nine lectures known as the Art Course. These lectures were given
the title of:
The History of Art.
Click here to discover what Steiner said about
in the first lecture, or in the entire