Key to Umbria: Perugia

Giacinto Boccanera was born in Leonessa and trained in Rome in ca. 1684 under Giacinto Brandi.  One of his earliest signed works, a study (1689) for an altarpiece for the Duomo, Città delle Pieve, is now in the Pinacoteca, Bettona (see below).  He moved to Perugia in ca. 1714, becoming Director of the Accademia di Belle Arti.

Cristoforo Gasperi served as his apprentice in the 1730s.


St Pellegrine Laziosi (1705)

This preparatory panel, which is signed by Giacinto Boccanera and dated by inscription, came from the Carattoli Collection and is now in the Galleria Nazionale.   It shows St Pellegrine Laziosi praying before a Crucifix in order to cure himself of cancer of the leg.

Scenes from the Life of Samson (1716)


These two panels, which are signed by Giacinto Boccanera, form part of the Collection of the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di PerugiaThey depict:

  1. Samson burns Philistine crops; and

  2. Delilah arranging the cutting of Samson’s hair.

Adoration of the Magi (1717)

This panel in Santa Maria di Colle is signed by Giacinto Boccanera and dated by inscription.

Deposition (1729)

This altarpiece in the Museo Capitolare (Room 23), which presumably came from the Duomo, is signed by Giacinto Boccanera and dated by inscription.

Miracle of Pope Pius V (ca. 1730)

This panel by Giacinto Boccanera, which is on the right wall of the Cappella di San Pio V of San Domenico, depicts Pius V appearing to a dying man.   [Is he appearing posthumously to the Emperor Maximilian II, who refused the Last Rites  on his deathbed in 1576 ??]

St Spyridon Baptises Emperor Constantius I (1731)

This altarpiece by Giacinto Boccanera on the the Altare di San Spiridione (1st on the left) of Santo Spirito depicts an apocryphal scene in which St Spyridon baptises the Emperor Constantius I (the father of the Emperor Constantine).  In fact, it is unlikely that Constantius I was ever a Christian, albeit that he was married to the future St Helena.

Saints (ca. 1734)

These two oval panels by Giacinto Boccanera, each of which depicts a saint (identify ?), are on an altar (which one ?) in Santa Teresa that was built in 1734.

Frescoes (1735)


The frescoes in the arch above the Cappella di San Filippo of San Filippo Neri(in the right transept), which are by the ageing Giacinto Boccanera, are set in decorative chiaroscuro frames by Paolo Brizi.   The fresco at the centre depicts angels with symbols of the Virtues, while those to the sides depict scenes from the Old Testament:

  1. Elijah and the widow of Zarephath; and

  2. Jeremiah contemplating a phoenix, which prefigures the resurrection of Christ.

Frescoes in Palazzo Donini (1745-50)

In the 14 rooms on the piano nobile of Palazzo Donini (including the Salone d’ Onore and the chapel) are mostly attributed to:

  1. Pietro Carattoli (fictive architecture);

  2. Nicolò Giuli (decorative elements); and

  3. Francesco Appiani (figurative scenes). 

However, the figurative scene in the sala del caminetto (the room of the fireplace), which depicts Apollo driving his chariot of fiery horses across the sky to give light to the world, is attributed to Giacinto Boccanera.  Since he died in 1746, this was presumably the first room on this floor to be decorated and its fresco was probably Boccanera’s last work.  The framing of the fresco (presumably by Pietro Carattoli) makes the most daring use of fictive perspectival architecture in the palace.  

Miracle of St Pius V (18th century)

This altarpiece is in the Cappella di San Pio V, San Domenico.


St Sebastian tended by Irene (1689)

This study for the altarpiece in the Duomo, Città delle Pieve, which is signed by Giacinto Boccanera and dated by inscription, came from the Biancalana Collection.  It is now in the Pinacoteca.


SS Emidius, Francesco di Paola and Rita (18th century)

This panel is in the Museo Civico, Palazzo Santi.


St Philip Neri (18th century )

The altarpiece on the high altar of San Filippo Neri, which is attributed to Giacinto Boccanera, depicts St Philip Neri converting to Jews to Christianity.  It suffered some repainting in the 19th century.  It was removed from the church in ca. 1940 but returned after restoration in 2010. 

Madonna and Child with angels (late 15th century)

This fresco in San Secondo (on the 2nd altar on the left) is attributed This  fresco on the 2nd altar on the left is attributed alternatively to Bernardino di Nanni dell’ Eugenia or Orlando Merlini.  The angels to the sides of the Virgin, which were added in the 18th century, are attributed to Giacinto Boccanera.

Massa Martana

Madonna and Saints (1723)

This altarpiece on the high altar of San Felice is by Giacinto Boccanera.  It depicts the Virgin holding the consecrated host, with the Blessed Roger of Todi and SS Felix, Rita and Pius V.


Scenes from Via Crucis (1728-9)

These eleven small panels in the Pinacoteca survive from a series of 14 from the church of San Girolamo.  The surviving scenes include this one, of the Crucifixion.   Four of the surviving panels are signed by Giacinto Boccanera, one of which is dated 1728 and three of which are dated 1729.  Two of these inscriptions record that they were painted in Perugia. 


Trinity with Saints (18th century)

The main panel on the high altar of the “public” church of San Severino is by Giacinto Boccanera.  The smaller panels to the side of it, which are attributed to him, depict:

  1. the birth of Christ, on the left; and

  2. the birth of St John the Baptist.


San Francesco di Paola (1712)

This panel from San Fortunato, which is now in the Pinacoteca, has recently been restored.  The inscription discovered at that point revealed that Giacinto Boccanera painted it in 1712.

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Giacinto Boccanera (1666-1746) 

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