Key to Umbria: Perugia

Eusebio da San Giorgio (died after 1540)

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Eusebio di San Giorgio in:  Assisi    Perugia    Spello

Eusebio di Giacomo, known as Eusebio da San Giorgio, was born in Perugia.  Giorgio Vasari records him as a pupil of Perugino.  He is documented in 1507 as an associate of Pintoricchio in relation to an important altarpiece in Spello (see below).

Eusebio was a prominent member of the Arte dei Pittori (Painters’ Guild) of Perugia, which he represented as a Prior of Perugia in 1509.  In 1520, he rented a workshop of his own in Piazza del Sopramura.  He was documented for the last time in 1539, and died at an unknown date thereafter.

Workshop of 1496

An important document dated 1496 records that a group of artists formed a joint workshop in Perugia and took a year's lease on a workshop near the Porta Eburnea.  These artist, some of whom had previously been associated with Perugino, were:

  1. Eusebio da San Giorgio, who witnessed the contract (1495) commissioning Perugino to paint the San Pietro Altarpiece;

  2. Berto di Giovanni, who collected a payment on behalf of Perugino in 1494 for the panel of the Pietà that was part of the Decemviri Altarpiece;

  3. Sinibaldo Ibi;

  4. Ludovico di Angelo, who witnessed the final payment to Perugino for the San Pietro Polyptych in 1500; and

  5. Lattanzio di Giovanni (died 1534), who had previously worked for Bartolomeo Caporali.

It is not known how long the formal association between these artists lasted, by they frequently worked together during the rest of their careers.  They do not have seemed to have worked again with Perugino after 1495.


Works in Galleria Nazionale   

Adoration of the Magi (1505)

Giorgio Vasari recorded this altarpiece, which he attributed to Eusebio da San Giorgio, in Sant’ Agostino.  Later authors recorded it in the Cappella degli Oddi there.  The inscription on the hem of the Virgin’s gown records the date.   The predella of the altarpiece was lost in 1863, when the main panel was moved to the Galleria Nazionale.  The present frame, which is dated by inscription to 1490, originally belonged to another altarpiece that was probably in a Franciscan church.

Vasari's attribution of the panel to Eusebio da San Giorgio is generally accepted, although it is sometimes thought to have also involved at least one collaborator.  (Eusebio repeated this composition in a documented altarpiece in San Pietro in 1509 - see below).

Madonna degli Alberelli (1508-9)

This altarpiece from the Oratorio di San Benedetto was first recorded as the subject of a dispute between the Confraternita di San Benedetto and Eusebio da San Giorgio in 1509, which resulted in an additional payment to the artist.  He also had another dispute at this time with Giovanni Battista Bastoni, which related to the late delivery of a wooden frame, probably for the same commission.

The altarpiece, which depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS John the Baptist and Benedict, takes its names from the trees that flank the throne.  It seems to have been removed from its original frame in the 16th century and placed in the stucco frame that survives in the ex-oratory.  The altarpiece was moved to the Galleria Nazionale in 1863 (and replaced by a black and white copy that survives in situ).  It was restored in 1960. 

Madonna and Child with saints (1509) 

This altarpiece from Sant’ Agostino, which is dated by inscription, seems to be the work that Bartolomeo di Lorenzo commissioned from Eusebio da San Giorgio in 1506 for his family chapel there.   The contract specified that it should be similar to what is now known as the Tezi Altarpiece (1500) by Perugino, which was also in Sant’ Agostino).

It was also probably the work that was specified as being underway in Eusebio’s workshop in Perugia in the contract he signed in 1507 for the completion of the altarpiece by Pintoricchio in Sant’ Andrea, Spello (see below): the contract allowed him to complete this existing commission but precluded him from leaving Spello for any other reason.  The initials “LA SI” at the end of the inscription giving the date might indicate the involvement of two other members of the Workshop of 1496: Ludovico di Angelo and Sinibaldo Ibi

The altarpiece, which depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS Peter, Catherine of Alexandria, Agatha and Paul and two praying angels above, is now in the Galleria Nazionale.

SS Antony Abbot, Francis and Bernardino (ca. 1513)

This altarpiece seems to have been commissioned from Eusebio da San Giorgio in 1513 for San Francesco al Prato according to the will of Carlo Berardelli. 

  1. Its main panel depicts St Antony Abbot enthroned with SS Francis and Bernardino of Siena.  The Madonna and Child above are enthroned on clouds and surrounded by cherubs.  It passed to the Galleria Nazionale in 1863 and is now in deposit.

  2. A recently discovered predella panel that is attributed to Berto di Giovanni seems to have belonged to this altarpiece.  It depicts the Pietà with St Mary Magdalene and a female martyr in tondi.  This panel is now also the Galleria Nazionale (Room 27). 

Sant’ Agnese 

Crucifixion with Saints (1519)

These frescoes in the church of the nunnery of Sant’ Agnese, which are attributed to Eusebio di San Giorgio, form the backdrop to a Crucifix in a niche in the nuns' choir. 
  1. The main scene depicts the Virgin and St John the Evangelist, with angels above collecting the blood of Christ.  

  2. The plague saints SS Sebastian and Roch are depicted on the sides of the niche, with God the Father above. 

San Pietro 

Adoration of the Magi (1509)

This altarpiece in San Pietro has been associated with a payment made by Donna Leonarda Olivieri Baglioni in 1509.  It was listed among works to be sent to the Musei Capitolini, Rome in 1812 (at which time it was attributed to Dono Doni), but it was subsequently decided that it should remain in the church.  

Documentation linking the work to Eusebio di San Giorgio was published in 1906.   Another altarpiece depicting the same subject that is also attributed to him is in the Galleria Nazionale (see above).

Madonna and Child with saints (early 16th century)

This altarpiece in San Pietro depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Mary Magdalene and Sebastian.  It is attributed, somewhat uncertainly, to Eusebio di San Giorgio.

St Gregory confirms the Benedictine Rule (early 16th century) 

This altarpiece in San Pietro depicts an unhistorical event: Pope Gregory the Great confirms the Rule of St Benedict, who commends his brothers to the Pope.   The predella contains nine small panels depicting scenes from the martyrdom of St Catherine.  Since the subjects of the two parts of the work are unrelated, it seems unlikely that they belong together.

The attribution of the panel itself to Eusebio di San Giorgio is highly dubious; the attribution to him of the predella is more plausible. 

Sant’ Agostino 

Work on a “Cassa” for the Sant' Agostino Polyptych (1520)

The friars of Sant’ Agostino made two commissions in the early 16th century in relation to the hugh double-sided polyptych that they had commissioned in 1495 from Perugino for the high altar of their church: 

  1. In 1512, they commissioned “una cassa per la tavola del altare maiure” from Giovanni Battista Bastoni, to a design by Perugino. 

  2. In 1520, they commissioned Eusebio da San Giorgio to complete the part of this “cassa”.

There is some dispute about what this structure was: it is variously said to have been:

  1. the frame of the predella;

  2. a pair of doors that would cover the altarpiece except on special occasions; or

  3. a partition around it that would complete the separation of their choir from the rest of the church. 

Whatever it was, it no longer survives.


San Damiano

Frescoes (1507)


These frescoes in the south east corner of the cloister of San Damiano are signed by Eusebio da San Giorgio and dated by inscription.  They depict:

  1. the stigmatisation of St Francis; and

  2. the Annunciation.


Madonna and Child with saints (1506-10)

This panel, which is now in the right transept, belonged to an altarpiece that the procurators of Sant’ Andrea commissioned from Pintoricchio in 1506 for the high altar.  The artist might have started it soon after, but by 1507 he had moved to Siena.  He therefore subcontracted Eusebio da San Giorgio to continue the project to his design, which he entrusted to a local artist, Tommaso Corbo

Pintoricchio continued to take responsibility for the commission:

  1. he returned to Spello in 1508 to paint the most important parts of the main panel, albeit that he was soon called back to Siena (see below); and

  2. in 1510, he commissioned Giovanni Francesco Ciambella, il Fantasia to execute the frame to his design and painted a tondo of the Risen Christ that was inserted into it.

The local historian Fausto Gentile Donnola documented the altarpiece on the high altar in ca. 1621.  His description is the only surviving record of its predella, which contained small but exquisite scenes from the Passion of Christ.  The original frame and most of the panels from the predella were lost, probably when the main panel was moved to its current location.  The tondo of the Risen Christ mentioned above survived and was incorporated into the pulpit in the 19th century.

The panel in the right transept depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned, with SS Andrew, Louis of Toulouse, Francis and Laurence, set against a landscape.  Angels flank the throne and the young St John the Baptist sits on the steps below it.  The document on the small table in the foreground reproduces part of the text of a letter that Bishop Gentile Baglioni of Orvieto wrote to Pintoricchio in 1508, begging him to return to Siena, where Pandolfo Petrucci awaited him.  (Pandolfo, sometimes called the Magnificent, was in effect the Lord of Siena and Pintoricchio was involved in the frescoes for his palace there while the Spello commission was underway).

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