Key to Umbria: Perugia

Simeone Ciburri, who came from a Perugian family of artists [Polidoro di Stefani Ciburri; Ottaviano Ciburri; Silla Piccinini], trained under Benedetto Bandiera.  The styles these two artists are difficult to distinguish, which makes attribution difficult.   The attributions here follow Vittorio Casale (referenced below).

An altarpiece from Santa Maria della Pace, Perugia (see below) is signed “SIMEON BEVILACQUA DE CIBURRIS”; this establishes that Simeone Ciburri enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Bonifazio Bevilacqua, the Papal Legate to Umbria in the early 17th century.   It was probably through the good offices of Cardinal Bevilacqua that Simeone Ciburri secured the prestigious commission to decorate a chapel in Santa Maria degli Angeli in 1603 (see below).  He apparently died in Gubbio in 1624, and was buried in Santa Maria dei Laici there.


St Didacus (Diego) of Alcalá (ca. 1600)

This panel from the Convento di Monteripido, which is signed by Simeone Ciburri, is now in the deposit of the Galleria Nazionale.  It depicts the standing figure of St Diego of Alcalá carrying a cross and flanked by the Blessed Antony of Stroncone and the Blessed John of Stroncone.  Personifications of the Virtues of Humility, Purity and Patience are depicted above.  It is illustrated in the website of Musei d’ Italia.

God the Father Blesses Perugia (1602)

This panel on the left wall of the Duomo was documented in 1602, when a payment was made to Simeone Ciburri.  Perugia is represented by a fine cityscape of the church of Sant’ Ercolano and the adjacent Porta Marzia.  This is an allusion to the martyrdom of St Herculanus.

Adoration of the Shepherds (17th century)

This altarpiece, which is signed “SIMEON BEVILACQUA DE CIBURRIS”, was documented of the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Pace in ca. 1671 and again in 1822.  (The form of the signature establishes the fact that Simeone Ciburri enjoyed the patronage of Cardinal Bonifazio Bevilacqua).  The altarpiece is now in the parish church of Antria, near Magione.

Virtues (17th century)

These panels from the Oratorio di Sant’ Agostino, which are attributed to Simeone Ciburri, depict:

  1. the Theological Virtues, Faith, Hope and Charity; and

  2. the virtue of Mercy (Clemenza).

They are now in the Galleria Nazionale

Stigmatisation of St Francis (17th century)

This altarpiece, which is attributed to Simeone Ciburri, is on the altar of the Cappella della Natività (the 3rd on the left) of San Filippo Neri.  However, it almost certainly originally came from a Franciscan church.  It depicts the stigmatisation of St Francis,  withthe Virgin above, flanked by: SS John the Baptist and Anne, to the left; and SS Catherine of Alexandria and Gregory, to the right.

Assumption of the Virgin with saints (17th century)

This altarpiece in Santa Maria della Valle, which is attributed to Simeone Ciburri, depicts the Assumption of the Virgin with SS Stephen and Charles Borromeo.

Martyrdom of St Ursula  (17th century)

This altarpiece in San Domenico is attributed to Simeone Ciburri.  It was executed for the outer apsidal chapel on the left but subsequently moved to the adjacent chapel (the inner apsidal chapel on the left).

Communion of St Bonaventure (17th century)

This panel from San Francesco al Prato, which is attributed to Simeone Ciburri, is now in the Galleria Nazionale.


Work in Santa Maria degli Angeli (1603) 

The decoration of the Cappella della Incoronazione della Vergine  of Santa Maria degli Angeli, is by Simeone Ciburri.

The altarpiece, which is signed by Simeone Ciburri and dated by inscription, is a free copy of the altarpiece (1505-25) that the nuns of Santa Maria di Monteluce commissioned from Raphael, which was executed by his workshop after his death.

The panels on the walls depict:

  1. St Diego of Alcala posthumously curing Don Carlos, the son of King Philip II of Spain (a miracle reported in 1562, which culminated in the canonisation of St Diego in 1588); and

  2. SS Francis and Clare appearing to nuns and friars who share a meal at Santa Maria degli Angeli.

The main panels in the vaults depicts God the Father.



Madonna and Child with saints (1605)

The inscription on this altarpiece, which is attributed to Simeone Ciburri, records that Troilo Signorelli of Perugia had initiated the commission but had died before it was completed, so his wife, Ortensia Graziani had brought it to fruition in 1605.  The altarpiece was recorded in the 17th century (attributed to Benedetto Bandiera) in the Cappella di San Giovanni Battista in San Francesco al Prato, Perugia.  It passed to the Galleria Nazionale, Perugia in 1927.  The nuns of San Leonardo, Montefalco subsequently acquired it and it is now in the Pinacoteca Comunale there.  (Another panel from San Francesco al Prato with the same attribution, which depicted the Communion of St Bonaventure, also passed to the Galleria Nazionale in 1927 but was subsequently lost.

The altarpiece in Montefalco depicts the Madonna and Child with the young St John the Baptist and SS Nicholas of Bari and Francis. 


Descent of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1613)

This damaged altarpiece on the Altare del Spirito Santo in San Francesco is attributed to Simeone Ciburri.  An inscription records that Filippo Palazzi, “PHILOSOPHUS ARTIS MEDICINAE DOCTOR” commissioned this altar, which was completed (presumably after his death, by his brother Ascanio in 1613.   An inscription on the altarpiece also commemorates Filippo Palazzi.

Read more: 
C. Galassi, “Simeone Ciburri”, 
in A. Ambrosini Massari and M. Cellini (Eds.), “Nel Segno di Barocci: Allievi e Seguaci tra Marche, Umbria, Siena”, (2005) Milan pp 330-3 
V. Casale, “Come Distinguere e Considerare Benedetto Bandiera e Simeone Ciburri ”, in:
Arte e Musica in Umbria tra Cinquecento e Seicento:  Atti del XII Convegno di Studi Umbri”, Gubbio (1981) pp 302-26

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Simeone Ciburri (died 1624) 

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