Art in Umbria

In the lands of Perugino: The Divine Painter

In the lands of Perugino between the villages of Montefalco and Trevi, discover two precious works by the Divine Painter.

map thumbnail


Tourist information and welcome office
Corso Cavour 126 - 06034 Foligno
info@iat.foligno.pg.it

Trevi is located between Foligno and Spoleto and is known for its excellent olive oil. Travellers along the SS3 see Trevi perched on a hill, enveloped by mysterious medieval charm and characterized by Romanesque buildings.

Trevi is located between Foligno and Spoleto and is known for its excellent olive oil. Travellers along the SS3 see Trevi perched on a hill, enveloped by mysterious medieval charm and characterized by Romanesque buildings.

In addition to being famous for its ‘oro giallo', it is well-known for its  sedano nero (black celery) and other prized agricultural products, Trevi conserves artistic treasures, including an important work by Perugino, in the church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime. The church itself was built specifically following a miraculous event connected to a painted image of the Virgin Mary which was seen weeping blood on the 5th August 1485.

The work by the Divine Painter is in the Cappella di Adorazione dei Magi (Chapel of the Adoration of the Magi) or of the Nativity, dating back to 1522 and is one of the Master's last works. The fresco depicts a marvellous scene of the Nativity, with figures in adoration and the apostles Peter and Paul at the sides. The setting of the painting is a simple wooden hut, where the Virgin Mary is holding the infant Jesus in her arms: Saint Joseph is on the left. At either side of the Madonna are Magi offering a flask with the third King standing next to them. The background to the main scene is a characteristic country landscape with shepherds intent on grazing their flocks. You will notice in particular, two shepherds in the distance, in the central part of the painting who are looking upwards, covering their eyes; they are probably gazing towards the light of a comet, which today is no longer visible in the fresco.


Not far from Trevi is splendid Montefalco, renowned for its outstanding red wine, as well as for olive oil, cured meats and honey. Montefalco offers a marvellous panorama over the surrounding area and for this reason is called ‘la ringhiera dell'Umbria' (the balustrade of Umbria)

In the town's historic centre, inside the Church of San Francesco, you can see the magnificent Natività by Perugino which fills an aedicule on the right-hand side of the counter-facade. The fresco depicts three scenes each framed by false architectural elements: the Annunciation above, then God in Glory between angels and below, in the foreground, the Nativity with Jesus in a green landscape which opens into a wide horizon from an undefined boundary behind him. It is precisely this characteristic which identifies the hand of Perugino, who in his mature phase, used this dominating presence of the landscape as a distinguishing feature of his work.