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Nobile Collegio del Cambio - Perugia

Noble College of the Exchange - Perugia

Built between 1452 and 1457 within the new wing of the Palazzo dei Priori, it was the headquarters of the guild of money changers.

From the Hall of the Legists, with a tribunal on the back wall and wooden side stalls carved and inlaid by Gian Pietro Zuccari, there is access to the Audience Hall, used for meetings and reception of the public.

Half of the right wall is occupied by the tribunal and counters made by Domenico Tasso, while the walls house a cycle of frescoes made by Pietro Vannucci, known as Perugino, between 1498 and 1500.

The works start from the vault with allegorical figures of the planets: the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus are depicted in the seven canopy sections, and in the centre is Apollo, in a rich grotesque decoration, where decorative and monstrous figures chase each other.

 

The Master's disciples completed this part of the works based on his drawings. On the walls they paid homage to the Cardinal Virtues, distinguished figures from Greek and Roman history (Prudence and Justice over six ancient sages) and the Liberal Arts.

On the bottom of the wall are the episodes of the Transfiguration and the Nativity.

Finally, on the long right wall are the Six Prophets and Six Sibyls with the Eternal blessing above.

The themes were apparently dictated by the Perugian humanist Francesco Maturanzio, a professor at Vicenza and Venice, and later, after his return home around 1498, secretary to the Decemvirs.

Most of these frescoes were executed personally by Perugino, who used a few aides under his close supervision. The artist also portrayed himself within a small painting hanging from the false dividing pillar on the left wall.

Next to the Audience Hall is the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, with frescoes by Giannicola di Paolo, executed from 1513 to 1529: those on the vault have a strong Perugino character, while on the walls they look to contemporary examples by Raphael, Sodoma, and Andrea del Sarto.

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