Exhibits and Events

The return of Pietro Perugino's Decemviri Altarpiece

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Perugia
10 October 2019-26 January 2020 
Tourist information and welcome office
Piazza Matteotti, 18 - Loggia dei Lanari - 06121 Perugia
info@iat.perugia.it
From 10 October to 26 January, Pietro Perugino's Decemviri Altarpiece returns to embellish the Cappella dei Priori after nearly two centuries of absence from Perugia.

The exceptional loan of the Decemviri Altarpiece by Pietro Perugino from the Vatican Museums is an historic event not only for the identity that connects the work to the city of Perugia, but also for the meaning it assumes from the historical and artistic point of view. Originally the artwork was located in the Cappella dei Priori.

Thus, it will be possible to admire the extraordinary reconnection between the frame, the cymatium and the central table of Perugino's masterpiece in their original location, that is the Cappella dei Priori, the beating heart of the main administrative body of Perugia. 
The work was commissioned to Pietro di Galeotto in 1479, but after his death the assignment was given to Pietro Vannucci in 1483. This second project also included the addition of a cymatium with the Madonna della Misericordia. Due to the excessive prolongation of the works, Sante di Apollonio was involved. He finished the works in 1486. The following year, however, Perugino was called to paint again the cymatium, since the Decemviri intended to celebrate the opening of the Monte di Pietà by affixing the image of Christ in Pity.
In 1797, the work was requisitioned by the French troops as a result of the Treaty of Tolentino and was taken beyond the Alps in the Musée de la République (later Musée Napoleon and today Musée du Louvre), a common destiny for hundreds of other works belonging to the Church. 
For some reason, however, the French troops ignored the cymatium with Christ in Pity and the carved and gilded wooden frame by Giovanni di Battista di Cecco called the Bastone. After a stay at the Quadreria of the Accademia di Perugia, these two works returned to Palazzo dei Priori
In 1816, only after the Bonaparte period and when the Bourbon monarchy was restored, Antonio Canova was sent by Pope Pius VII to Paris to recover the stolen goods. So, he succeeded in bringing the table back to Rome, which was destined to the Pinacoteca Vaticana.
The return of the Decemviri Altarpiece allows the visitor to admire the masterpiece in the space for which it was conceived, finally reconstituted in its entirety, with the splendid cymatium and the precious frame which are both kept at the National Gallery of Umbria today.

Information: +39 075 58668436 / gan-umb@beniculturali.it
Source: National Gallery of Umbria