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Avanzino Nucci (died 1629)

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Avanzino Nucci in:   Città di Castello     Gualdo Tadino    Gubbio    Perugia 

Avanzino Nucci, who was probably born in Gubbio, although claims have been made for both Città di Castello and Gualdo Tadino.   His relationship the latter is complicated:  he signed two works (below) for churches in that city:

  1. the Annunciation (1580) in Santa Maria dei Raccomandati, where the signature describes  him as “de Gubio” (from Gubbio); and

  2. the now-lost Madonna del Rosario (1620) for San Benedetto that was painted in Rome, where the signature describes  him described him as “gualdensis” (from Gualdo).

An artist named Luca Nucci, who might well have been Avanzino’s father, was documented in Gualdo Tadino from 1567.

According to his biographer, Giovanni Baglione, Avanzino Nucci was a follower of Nicolò Circignani Most of his known surviving works are in Rome.  They include work for Pope Sixtus V (for example, in the Biblioteca Sistina) and Pope Clement XIII.   He also worked in Naples (in 1595-98) and in Umbria and the Marches.

His students included Bernardino Gagliardi.


St Augustine gives a rule to the Augustinians (1619)

Elisabetta Brancaleoni Ansidei (who had married into the Perugian Ansidei family) commissioned this huge panel from Avanzino Nucci on the death of her young son, Annibale Ansidei.  The panel, which was painted in Rome, was installed in his burial chapel in Sant’ Ubaldo (in the 1st bay on the left) in 1619.  It depicts the Madonna and Child in glory while St Augustine below gives a copy of the Augustinian Rule to two young canons, flanked by SS Nicholas of Bari and Ubaldus.  (The subject was almost certainly chosen by the Lateran Canons of Sant’ Ubaldo, whose rule derived from one written by St Augustine).

Scenes from the life of St John the Baptist (1604)

Virgilio Nucci was paid in 1604 for the first of this series of 20 panels along the walls of the nave of San Giovanni Decollato.  Following the restoration of these panels in 1984:

  1. five are attributed to Virgilio Nucci:

  2. the Annunciation to Zacharius;

  3. the Birth of St John the Baptist;

  4. the Naming of St John the Baptist;

  5. the Massacre of the Innocents; and

  6. St John the Baptist in the Desert;

  7. eight are attributed to Avanzino Nucci;

  8. the Circumcisione of St John the Baptist;

  9. St John the Baptist preaching;

  10. St John the Baptist introduces Jesus to the crowd;

  11. Salome at the banquet of King Herod;

  12. the dance of Salome;

  13. St John the Baptist in prison;

  14. the beheading of St John the Baptist; and

  15. the burial of St John the Baptist;

  16. three are attributed to Felice Damiani; St John the Baptist in prison;

  17. Agnus Dei;

  18. St Elizabeth flees with the young St John the Baptist from the Massacre of the Innocents; and

  19. the death of St Elizabeth; and

  20. four are by one or more inferior artists

  21. the Visitation;

  22. St John baptising people in the River Jordan;

  23. the Baptism of Christ; and

  24. St John the Baptist before Herod. 

Città di Castello  

Coronation of the Virgin (1582 ?) 

This altarpiece in the Pinacoteca Civica, which came from the Cappella del Rosario of San Benedetto, has recently been attributed (see the reference below) to Avanzino Nucci.  It depicts the Coronation of the Virgin, with six saints below: SS Benedict, John the Baptist, Catherine of Alexandria, Mary Magdalene, Lucy (?) and Scolastica.  It was documented in the 19th century with this attribution and dated to 1582, although the catalogue (1987) of the Pinacoteca gave it to Virgilio Nucci

Crucifixion (16th century)

This fresco, which forms the altarpiece of the altar on the right of Santa Maria Nuova , is attributed to Avanzino Nucci.  Angels collect the blood of the crucified Christ, the Virgin and St John the Evangelist stand to the sides, and St Mary Magdalene kneels at the foot of the cross.

St Charles Borromeo (early 17th century) 

This panel in the Cappella delle Reliquie of the church of the Abbazia di San Salvatore di Monte Corona, has recently been attributed (see the reference below) to Avanzino Nucci.  It depicts St Charles Borromeo kneeling in prayer at an altar.

St Charles Borromeo before a Crucifix (early 17th century)

This altarpiece in the Cappella di San Carlo Borromeo of the Duomo is attributed to Avanzino Nucci.

Gualdo Tadino

Annunciation (1580)

This altarpiece in Santa Maria dei Raccomandati (on the wall to the right of the presbytery), which is signed and dated by inscription, is the earliest securely attributed work by Avanzino Nucci.  The signature describes  him as “de Gubio” (from Gubbio).

Madonna del Rosario (1620)

The inscription of this now-lost altarpiece in San Benedetto recorded that it had been painted in Rome in 1620 by Avanzino Nucci and described him as “gualdensis” (from Gualdo).

Copy of Raphael’s Foligno Madonna (17th century)

This copy of Raphael’s famous altarpiece in San Benedetto is by/attributed to Avanzino Nucci.

Works in the Pinacoteca Comunale

The following altarpieces are now in the Pinacoteca Comunale:

Miracle of St Diego of Alcalá (1627)

This altarpiece, which came from SS Annunziata, depicts St Diego curing a blind man.  Its inscription records that it was painted in Rome in 1620 by Avanzino Nucci.

Madonna and Child with saints (17th century)

This altarpiece, which is attributed to Avanzino Nucci, came from the Monastero di San Nicolò dei Silvestrini.  It depicts the Madonna and Child in Glory with: the Archangel Raphael and Tobias; SS Jerome and Antony Abbot; and the so-called Guardian Angel (angelo custode).

Works Recently Attributed to Avanzino Nucci

The following works (17th century) in Gualdo Tadino have recently been attributed to Avanzino Nucci:

  1. two works in San Benedetto:

  2. St Charles Borromeo venerating the Madonna and Child; and

  3. Pentecost;

  4. the Annunciation in SS Annunziata; and

  5. a documented but now-lost altarpiece (17th century) of the Holy House of Loreto with SS Nicholas of Bari and Charles Borromeo from the high altar of the church of the the Monastero di San Nicolò dei Silvestrini.


St Albert (1607)

The altarpiece in San Simone del Carmine [is signed by Avanzino Nucci and dated by inscription, and was painted in Rome]

Scenes from the Life of St Peter (early 17th century)


These panels in the Collection of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia, which are attributed to Avanzino Nucci, depict:

  1. St Peter and Simon Magi; and

  2. St Peter converting the centurion Cornelius.

Read more:

S. De Mieri , “NUCCI, Avanzino”, Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani (Treccani), 8 (2013)

S. Borsi, “San Salvatore di Monte Corona nell’ Età della Controriforma: Committenza Artistica e Vivacità Culturale”, in

  1. N. d’ Acunto and M. Santanicchia (Eds), “L’ Abbazia di San Salvatore di Monte Acuto-Montecorona nei Secoli XI-XVIII: Storia e Arte”, (2011) Perugia pp 227-9

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