Olga's Gallery

Pietro Perugino Biography

Pietro Perugino, real name Pietro Vanucci, Italian painter, master of the Umbria School, was born near Perugia in Umbria (southeast of Tuscany). We do not know about his initial training, but his early development was decisively influenced by

Verrocchio and years spent in Florence, where he worked in the studio of Verrocchio, simultaneously with Leonardo da Vinci. An important role in his artistic development was played by the paintings of Piero della Francesca. In 1472, he was admitted to the Florentine guild and practically all his life he continued to get commissions from Florence. Besides Florence, Perugino worked in Perugia, Rome, Venice, Mantua, and other cities.

In 1482, Perugino, among the important painters of central Italy, including Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, was invited to carry out the large cycle of Old and New Testament Scenes in the Sistine Chapel. His fresco The Delivery of the Keys (1482) is ranked as his finest achievement, it depicts St. Peter, who as the first pope, is receiving the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven from Christ Himself.

Among his other works are: The Vision of St. Bernard (1489), which is considered a masterpiece, The Crucifixion with the Virgin, St. John, St. Jerome and St. Mary Magdalene (c.1485), The Virgin and Child Surrounded by Two Angels, St. Rose, and St. Catherine, Pietà (1493-1494), The Combat of Love and Chastity. He was known as a good portrait painter: Portrait of Francesco delle Opere (1494).

Perugino played an important role in formation of his outstanding pupils Pinturiechio and Raphael, the most classic master of the High Renaissance, whose fame outshined the fame of his teacher.


Pietro Perugino. by N.E. Eliasberg. Moscow. 1966.

Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow. Iskusstvo. 1999.

Perugino by Pietro Scarpellini. Publisher: Electa.

Pietro Perugino: Master of the Italian Renaissance by Joseph Antenucci Becherer, Perugino, Katherine R. Smith Abbott. Rizzoli, 1997.