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Adoration of the Magi, Pietro Vannucci
Art in Umbria

Perugino in Città della Pieve

Città della Pieve: the town that gave birth to the Divine Painter

Pietro Vannucci, also known as Perugino, the "Divine Painter", was born in Città della Pieve in 1446. And right here in his hometown, some of his beautiful paintings are preserved.

 

We suggest that you discover them in a tour of the village and its surroundings that will take you to places that will make your jaw drop.

 

The most striking artwork byPerugino in Città della Pieve is the Adoration of the Magi, on a wall in the Oratory of Bianchi, in via Pietro Vannucci. The oratory, jointly owned by the municipality and by the Brotherhood of Bianchi, only allows visitors in one room, the one containing the imposing painting by Perugino. The work, in fresco, measures seven metres wide by six and a half metres high and dates back to 1504.

Viewers are amazed by its size, its extremely realistic colours, its perfect perspective games and especially by the sweetness that typifies the faces painted by Perugino. In this fresco, the story of the adoration is set in a vast landscape, an ideal representation of the view that stretches from Città della Pieve to Lake Trasimeno and Val di Chiana. Here the elegant figures recall Hellenic postures.

This is one of Perugino's last artworks, in fact he was already watching one of his pupils, carefully and with deep respect: Raphael.

Now go to the central square and enter the cathedral: the beautiful cathedral of St. Gervasio and Protasio. The church has pre-Romanesque origins and offers the view of numerous artworks: the Madonna and Child by Domenico Alfani, the Virgin Enthroned by Salvio Salvini and many others. But stop to observe the two paintings by Perugino.

The first one is located on the left, at the entrance: it is The Baptism of Christ of 1510. Here, too, the perspective used by the Divine Painter is perfect and the two figures, representing St. John and Jesus Christ, are in a pose that recalls the statues of Ancient Greece. In the apse is another painting by Pietro Vannucci: a panel representing the Madonna in Glory between the patron saints Gervasio and Protasio, signed and dated 1514.

The family home of Pietro Vannucci, now remembered with a plaque, used to be located between the Piazza del Duomo and the present Via Vittorio Veneto. The house has been now replaced by a structure that preserves nothing of the old house. However, we invite you to stop here and observe the plaque.

As the last stop of your journey, head to the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi, just outside the walls. The Church, open only upon reservation and for guided tours, now houses the Diocesan Civic Museum and is the home of another important painting by Perugino. Although the painting is only partially visible, you can’t but notice its distinctive hand: it is the Deposition of the Cross of 1517, the most important artwork of the master's old age (the painting, hidden by a cavity, was discovered in 1834).