Key to Umbria: Città di Castello

Museo del Duomo

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This museum has been established in the ex-Canonica to the right of the Duomo.  There was a community of canons associated with the Duomo from an early date, although the earliest surviving part of the ex-Canonica dates to the 13th century.

Treasure of Canoscio (6th century)

This consists of 25 pieces of magnificent altar furniture that were dug up in 1935 in a field on the Colle di Canoscio, some 12 km south of Città di Castello.  See this page in the Museum’s website

Rule of St Augustine (11th century)

This leather-bound book, which was restored by Bishop Giulio Vitelli in 1522, contains the rule followed by the canons of the Cathedral Chapter.

Altar frontal (1144)


According to tradition, Pope Celestine II (who was a native of the city) presented this silver gilt altar frontal to the Duomo in 1144.  The central panel of Christ in Glory and the symbols of the Evangelists is surrounded by panels depicting scenes from the life of Christ:

  1. the Annunciation, the Visitation and the Nativity (top left);

  2. the Adoration of the Magi and the Presentation at the Temple (top right);

  3. the Flight to Egypt and the Capture of Christ (bottom left); and

  4. the Crucifixion (a very early figure of the iconography of Christus Patiens) and three figures usually identified as SS Floridus, Amantius and Donninus (bottom right).

Imperial privilege (1163)


This is one of two privileges granted by the Emperor Frederick I in favour of (respectively) the schismatic Bishop Corbello and his associate, Prior Raniero, the schismatic head of the cathedral canons.  It placed them under imperial protection and exempted their possessions from  restitution to their exiled predecessors.  (It seems that the canonically appointed Bishop Peter was in fact able to return to his post in 1164.)

Inscription (1261)

This inscribed tablet was found during work on the sacristy of the Duomo in 1749.  The inscription reads:




It promises that those who follow the rights of St Floridus will flourish, while those who turn away from them will face the laws of Hell.

Statutes (14th -15th century)

These statutes of the Compagnia di Sant’ Antonio presumably came from the premises of the confraternity next to the church of Sant’ Antonio Abate.

Panel from a Triptych (1412)

This tempera panel of St Floridus was the right had panel of a triptych that the canons commissioned from Giorgio d’ Andrea di Bartolo and Giacomo di Ser Michele Castellano for a chapel in the Duomo.  It is attributed to the latter artist.
  1. The central panel of the Madonna and Child, which is attributed to the former artist, is in the Pinacoteca Comunale.

  2. The third panel, which depicted St Amantius, has been lost.

Madonna and Child with the young St John the Baptist (ca. 1485)

This panel, which is attributed to Pintoricchio, was formerly in the Bufalini collection.  This implies that Nicolò di Riccomanno (Manno) Bufalini di Città di Castello commissioned it, probably in Rome.   (He also commissioned Pintoricchio to fresco the Cappella di San Bernardino in Santa Maria d' Aracoeli in Rome in 1484-6).  Nicolò di Manno was at this time an advocate in the papal courts in Rome, and he had commissioned the fresco cycle in thanks to San Bernardino (died 1444) for resolving the conflict between his family and the Baglioni of Perugia.

Madonna and Child with Saints (1492)

This panel, which is signed by Giovanni Battista da Città di Castello and dated by inscription, came from the church of San Girolamo, which (as noted above) belonged to the Gesuati.  It remained in situ when the church itself was transferred to the Episcopal Seminary (see Chiesa del Seminario) in 1752.  

The panel depicts the Madonna and Child with SS John the Baptist and Jerome.  The kneeling figure in white is probably the Blessed Giovanni Colombini da Siena, who founded  the Gesuati’s convent in Città di Castello in 1365. 

The predella panels depict:

  1. St Jerome removing a thorn from a lion’s paw;

  2. the Nativity; and

  3. St Jerome meditating on a Crucifix.

Annunciation (ca. 1504)

This altarpiece, which is attributed to Francesco Tifernate, was originally in the crypt of the Duomo and later moved to the Cappella Uberti in the main part of the church.  It was damaged in a fall and subsequently restored before its move to the Museo del Duomo.

The main panel of this altarpiece, like the upper part of the Ognissanti Altarpiece above, is based on one of the predella panels of Raphael’s Oddi Altarpiece (ca. 1503).  

Baptismal Font (ca. 1521)

This font  in Room VII, which came from the Pieve di San Crescentino de’ Saddi, is inscribed:


([Bishop] Giulio Vitelli, elected in 1521).

Vitelli  formally held episcopal office at Città di Castello in 1499 - 1503, although he held on to the post through force of arms until 1505, when Pope Julius II threatened the city with an interdict.  He then served with distinction as a mercenary in the papal army, before retiring to Città di Castello in ca. 1520.  As noted above, this inscription  names him as bishop-elect in 1521.  However, circumstances must have intervened to prevent him from taking office: Baldassarre Caetano de Grassi was (at least formally) in post at Città di Castello throughout 1515-35.  According to Elvio Ciferri (referenced below, at pp. 234-6), he was “proposto della cattedrale” from 1514 until his death in 1530 and was buried in the Duomo.

Transfiguration (1528-30)

The Compagnia del Corpus Domini commissioned this important panel from Rosso Fiorentino for their chapel in the Duomo.  Its corners were sadly removed in 1685, when it was moved to its current location on the back wall of the Cappella del SS Sacramento there.  The panel as restored in 1982-3.

The upper part of the picture, which follows the stipulations of the original contract, depicts the Risen Christ in glory, with the Virgin and SS Anne, Mary Magdalene and Mary of Egypt.  This contract added that “below ... several different figures [should be painted] to denote and represent the people".  According to Giorgio Vasari, the roof fell in while Rosso was at work on this picture, damaging it and causing him to develop a high fever.  He took refuge at Sansepolcro, where, "in a fury he depicted the figure of Christ ascending heavenwards flanked by four worshippers, with below them a group of people including moors, gypsies and some of the strangest beings in the world.  All these figures, though perfectly executed, form a composition that was far removed from the expectations of those who had commissioned the picture".  It is equally likely that the revolutionary nature of the composition was conditioned by Rosso’s during the sack of Rome.

Epitaph of Alessandro Vitelli (1554) 

This lead funerary inscription presumably came from the coffin of Alessandro Vitelli.  The inscription reads:

To Almighty God, Alessandro Vitelli,

commander of the infantry of Popes Clement VII, Paul III, Julius III,

leader of the armies of Emperor Charles V,

who ... died at the age of 57 years on 15th February 1554....

Placed here by his faithful wife and grieving children     

Angels (mid 16th century)

These two panels, which are attributed to Giulio Romano, were probably painted for a vaulted chapel, the location of which is unknown.  The inscriptions carried by the angels translate (respectively:
  1. Behold the promised king of the people; and

  2. Listen to him therefore and adore him.

SS Floridus and Amantius (16th century)

These gilded wooden figures from the Duomo are attributed to Alberto di Giovanni Alberto.

Panels (16th century)


These two panels, which are of unknown provenance and attributed (somewhat tentatively) to Durante Alberti, depict:

  1. the Visitation; and

  2. the raising of Lazarus.

Painted Cross (16th century)

This lovely painted processional cross is from San Michele Arcangelo.

Processional Cross (17th century)

This gilded wooden cross came from Santa Croce.

Raising of the Cross (17th century)

This panel, which is of unknown provenance, is attributed to Bernardino Gagliardi.

Saints (17th century)


                        St Crescentian             St Laurence                St Floridus               St Amantius

The museum displays four panels of saints from the same, unknown provenance:

  1. two attributed to Giovanni Battista Pacetti, lo Sguazzino:

  2. St Crescentian; and

  3. St Laurence; and

  4. two attributed to his workshop:

  5. St Floridus; and

  6. St Amantius.

Designs for Frescoes of Cupola of Duomo (1751) 


The  documented frescoes by Ludovico Mazzanti in the cupola of the Duomo were mostly lost in the earthquake of 1789.  However, those of the four Evangelists survive in the pendentives.  The designs for the original work are exhibited in museum.

Designs for Frescoes of Transepts of Duomo (1789)


These designs are by Ermenegildo Costantini, who was at work on their execution when he was almost killed in the earthquake of 1789.  He fled to Rome, and the work was subsequently completed, essentially to his designs, by Tommaso Conca.  The composition of the two designs are as follows:

  1. The one illustrated here on the left incorporates a piece of writing by Giuseppe Crosti, Costantini’s assistant, who died while at work in the Duomo during the earthquake.  The scenes depict:

  2. the triumph of religion, represented by a papal figure in glory;

  3. two small scenes from the lives of (respectively) SS Floridus and Amantius to the sides; and

  4. the death of St Floridus below. 

  5. The second design depicts:

  6. the triumph of Faith, represented by a female figure with a chalice;

  7. small scenes from the lives of (respectively)of the condemnation and martyrdom of St Crescentian; and

  8. a scene below that probably represents the condemnation of the bishop St Albert and his deacon, St Brictius, who were martyred in 711 AD.

Rest on the Flight to Egypt (ca. 1797)

This panel, which is of unknown provenance, is attributed to Tommaso Conca.  It is based on a panel (1771) by Tommaso Conca that that is now in the collection of the Accademia di San Luca, Rome.

Read more:

E. Ciferri, “Tifernati Illustri: II”, 2001, Città di Castello

C. Vaiani, “La Cattedrale Tifernate e il suo Museo: Guida Storico-Artistica”, (1991) Città di Castello

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