Key to Umbria: Perugia

Girolamo Danti (1547-80)

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Girolamo Danti in:   Gubbio      Perugia

Girolamo Danti was born in Perugia, the son of the architect and goldsmith Giulio Danti. (1500-75).  He had two distinguished brothers:

  1. Ignazio Danti (1536-86), who became a Dominican monk and a famous mathematician; and

  2. Vincenzo Danti (1530-76), who was a sculptor. 

Girolamo enrolled in the Arte degli Orafi (goldsmiths’ guild) in 1575.  When Vincenzo died in 1576, Girolamo took over his workshop in Palazzo Armellini.  He gave these premises to the Commune two years later to provide the first home for the Accademia del Disegno (now the Accademia di Belle Arti), which Vincenzo had promoted. 

Girolamo died when he was only 33 years old.  He is commemorated in the lower inscription on the family monument (1576) in San Domenico: the bust here commemorates Vincenzo, who features with Ignazio and their father, Giulio, in the upper inscription.


Madonna and Child with saints (ca. 1573)

This panel in the Museo Capitolare, which is attributed to Girolamo Danti, depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Joseph and Claudius.  An inscription on the frame records that it is a gift from the Collegio di Pietra e Legname (guild of stone masons and carpenters), who had commissioned it for their church of San Claudio.  The gift was presumably made in 1798, when the guild was suppressed and the church was demolished.

Scenes from the lives of SS Peter and Paul (1574)

These frescoes on the walls of the sacristy of San Pietro, which are dated from documents, are attributed to Girolamo Danti.  (He is not specifically mentioned in connection with these frescoes, but he is documented in connection with a number of other works in San Pietro at this time, none of which survive).  The frescoes in the sacristy depict:

  1. the baptism of Saul (later St Paul) (illustrated here);

  2. St Peter baptising the centurion Cornelius;

  3. St Peter’s vision of a sheet full of animals that God commanded him tho eat;

  4. the attempted sacrifice to SS Paul and Barnabus at Lystra, after they had cured a lame man; and

  5. the death of Ananias, after he had lied to St Peter.


Adoration of the Shepherds (ca. 1575)

This panel in San Domenico is attributed to Girolamo Danti.

Read more:

G. Sapori, “Perugia 1565-75: Girolamo Danti”, Bollettino d' Arte, 11 (1981) 1-12

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