Key to Umbria: Foligno

Ugolino di Gisberto, who was born in Torre del Colle, Bevagna, was first documented in 1452, by which time he had become a citizen of Foligno.  In 1458, he signed a contract for a year-long position as a “garzone” (apprentice) in the workshop of Pietro di Giovanni Mazzaforte and Nicolò di Liberatore, l' Alunno.  

Documents relating to two lost works by Ugolino di Gisberto in Foligno were recorded by Stefano Felicetti (referenced below):

  1. The superintendents of the workforce at the Palazzo Apostolico (ex-Palazzo Trinci) commissioned coats of arms (probably for the Sala di Sisto IV on the piano nobile) from Ugolino di Gisberto and from Polidoro di Bartolomeo di Tommaso in 1477 (entry 156, page 78).

  2. The Priors commissioned frescoes of the Annunciation and the patron saints of Foligno from Ugolino di Gisberto for the “new lower loggia” of Palazzo dei Priori in 1479 (entry 165, page 80). 

The only known signed work by Ugolino di Gisberto is in Santa Maria Infraportas, Foligno (see below).

[The documents mentioned here are catalogued by Stefano Felicetti (referenced below)]


Works in the Pinacoteca Civica

The following are in Room 3 of the Pinacoteca Civica:

Madonna and Child enthroned (1491)

This detached fresco, which is attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto and dated by inscription, came from Santa Caterina Vecchia.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with angels and a kneeling donor.

Madonna di Loreto and Pietà (1494)

This detached fresco, which is attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto and dated by inscription,  is of unknown provenance.

Madonna and Child with angels (15th century)

Only the upper part of this detached fresco from the church of the Ospedale Vecchio di San Giovanni Battista survives.  It is attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto.

Madonna and Child with saints (15th century)

This detached fresco, which is attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto, was discovered in Palazzo Barnabò in Piazza XX Settembre in 1908.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Michael and Francis.  The baby Jesus lifts His tunic to show his genitals, presumably to emphasise his humanity.

SS Sebastian and Roch (1496) 

This fresco, which is low down to the right of the right wall of the Cappella di San Matteo in San Francesco, seems to have been the work for which Ugolino di Gisberto was paid in 1496.

Madonna and Child with St John the Evangelist (ca. 1500)


This fresco in the 2nd bay of the left wall of Santa Maria Infraportas is signed by Ugolino di Gisberto and partially dated 15.. in the inscription.  It was damaged when the window to the right was inserted, at which time another figure to the right was lost. 

Madonna and Child with saints (1507)

This fresco in the left transept of Santa Maria in Campis, which is dated by inscription, is sometimes attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Francis and Antony of Padua, with a figure of St Antony Abbot to the right.   Another figure further to the right, which apparently depicted St Joseph, has been lost. 


Madonna and Child with saints (15th century)

This fresco in a niche in the left wall of Sant’ Agostino is attributed to Ugolino di Gisberto. It depicts the Madonna and Child with St Augustine and the Blessed Angelo of Foligno (the founder of the convent), who holds a model of Montefalco seen from Porta Sant’ Agostino.


Triptych (15th century)

This triptych was first recorded in 1733 in an inventory of the new church of the Eremo di Santa Maria delle Grazie, Monteluco.  At that point, the panels, which were on the high altar, were described as:
  1. Santa Maria delle Grazie, which must have referred to the image of the Madonna and Child enthroned on the left;

  2. Santa Maria dell’ Assunta, which must have referred to the image of the standing Virgin crowned by angels at the centre; and

  3. St John the Baptist.

They are attributed on stylistic grounds to Nicolò di Liberatore, l' Alunno, with a contribution from Ugolino di Gisberto, who (as noted above) was documented as an apprentice in the workshop of Nicolò di Liberatore in 1458.  

The original location of the panels is unknown: they could have come from San Giuliano or from the earlier hermitage on the site of the Eremon di Santa Maria delle Grazie.  They passed to the Congregazione di Carità in ca. 1860 and entered the Pinacoteca Comunale in 1921.  They are now in Room 14 of the Museo del Ducato di Spoleto.

Read more:

Documents relating to Ugolino di Gisberto are catalogued in:

S. Felicetti, “I Pittori di Foligno nei Documenti d’ Archivio (1439-1502): Verifiche e Nuove Ricerche”,

  1. in B. Toscano (Ed), “Pittura a Foligno (1439-1502)”, Foligno (2000), pp 21-128

Return to Art in:     Foligno    Montefalco    Spoleto.


Ugolino di Gisberto (died after 1502)

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