Key to Umbria: Perugia

Rooms 33

This room was built above Via dei Priori in ca. 1330. 

The space on the right is known as the Sala dell' Orologio (Room of the Clock) and provides access to the clock that was inserted in the curtain wall overlooking Corso Vannucci in 1867.  In the 16th century, it housed the "Spenditori" (the officials responsible for the provisions consumed in the adjacent refectory (see below).  The frescoes on the vaults represent the coats of arms of a number of men who served in this capacity.

Christ Drives the Merchants from the Temple (16th century)

This stucco relief is attributed to Vincenzo Danti.  (It might be a cast of a bronze relief by this artist).  Nothing is known of its provenance before 1882, when it was recorded in the Museo Civico.  It entered the gallery in 1910.

Allegorical female figure (ca. 1573)

This small bronze figure, which is undocumented, is nevertheless firmly attributed to Vincenzo Danti.  It depicts a robed woman holding a crown of laurel leaves, almost certainly an allegorical representation of one of the virtues.  The Commune bought it from a private collector in 1862, and it entered the gallery in 1910. 

Rooms 34-7

These rooms formed part of the extension that was carried out in 1317-31 to accommodate the Priori delle Arti, and more specifically were used as the living quarters of the Priors. 

  1. The room to the right of Room 34 (not part of the gallery) served as the Sala del Consiglio.  This was the site of the Priors' fateful decision in 1375 to release prisoners of war who later defeated the city.  The room was subsequently known colloquially as the Sala del Malconsiglio.

  2. Room 36 served as the priors' refectory and Sala dell Udienza (Audience Chamber).  A fresco (1493) of the Last Supper by the young Giannicola di Paolo was recently uncovered on the wall of the ex-refectory (see Room 36 below). 

Room 34

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). 

Miniatures (ca. 1600)

These are five of eight miniatures by Cesare Franchi, il Pollino that were documented in the 17th century in the oratory of the Confraternita dei Nobili (which was in the Chiesa del Gesù).   Cardinal Scipione Borghese (died 1633) apparently tried to buy them, but without success.   Only these five survived in ca. 1800, when they were mounted in a sculpted panel.  They depict (from the top left):
  1. the Holy Family with angels;

  2. the Madonna and Child in glory with saints;

  3. the Holy Family;

  4. the Assumption of the Virgin; and

  5. the Martyrdom of St Stephen.

Room 35

Presentation of Jesus (ca. 1580)

An inscription on the back of this panel, which is attributed to Giovanni Battista Naldini, reveals that it formed part of the Anastagi bequest to the Chiesa del Gesù.  It was recorded in the sacristy of this church in the late 17th century.  Although Agostino Tofanelli, the Director of the Musei Capitolini selected it for dispatch to Rome in 1812, it was subsequently decided that it would remain in Perugia.  It passed to the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1810.

Madonna and Child with St John the Baptist (ca. 1606)

This panel by Ventura Salimbeni, which came from Palazzo Graziani, depicts Madonna and Child with the young St John the Baptist.

Room 36

Last Supper (1493)

This fresco fragment by the young Giannicola di Paolo was recently uncovered on the wall of this room (which, as noted above) served as the Priors’ refectory.  The contract in which the Priors commissioned the work from “Mag. Iohanicola M. i. Pauli, pictori de Perusio” and specified its iconography survives, and recent cleaning revealed the date 1493 on the painted architecture.  The final payment for the work was made in early 1496.  

The fresco in Perugia seems to have been modelled on another of this subject in the Convento di Sant' Onofrio, Florence which is usually attributed to Perugino and dated to the period 1485-93.  It is possible that Giannicola di Paolo was associated with Perugino in Florence at the time that this (probably) earlier fresco was painted.

Adoration of the Magi (1545)

Antonio di Filippo, the prior of Santa Maria Novella (later San Benedetto dei Condotti) commissioned a double-sided altarpiece from Giannicola di Paolo for the high altar, but Giannicola died before he could complete it.  His son Paolo transferred the commission to Domenico Alfani in 1544.  The altarpiece was moved to Sant’ Agostino in 1641.

The work was subsequently split into two panels:

  1. the Visitation;  and

  2. the Adoration of the Magi (illustrated here). 

The predella, which had an inscription bearing the date, was subsequently lost. 

The two main panels then went their separate ways:

  1. Dominique-Vivant Denon, the Director of the Musée Napoleon selected the Visitation for confiscation after the Napoleonic suppression of 1810, and it is still in what is now the Musée du Louvre, Paris.

  2. The Adoration of the Magi remained in Sant' Agostino until 1863, when it entered the gallery. 

Adoration of the Shepherds (1579)

This altarpiece by Marcello Venusti is from the Capuchin church of Santa Maria della Pace.

Purification of the Virgin (1651)

This altarpiece by Andrea Sacchi, which depicts the presentation of the baby Jesus at the temple during the ritual purification of the Virgin after His birth, came from the Cappella della Purificazione di Maria of San Filippo Neri

Model of an Equestrian Statue of Orazio Baglioni (ca.1630)

This wooden model was made for the bronze equestrian statue on the monument to Orazio Baglioni (died 1617) that was executed by an unknown sculptor in the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice (illustrated here).  Baglioni was given this honour after he was killed in action while commanding Venetian forces during the War of Gradisca (1615-7) against the Hapsburg Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.  In this statue, he crushes the Imperial enemy in a manner reminiscent of St George and the dragon.

Bust of Marcantonio Eugeni (ca. 1640)

This marble bust came from the tomb of Marcantonio Eugeni (died 1657), which was near his family chapel in Sant’ Agostino.  Eugeni worked as a lawyer at the Roman Curia, and was listed as a Roman consul in 1641.  The bust was included in an account of the work of Francesco Mochi that was written in 1730, and the tomb itself featured in guides to the church until its remodelling at the turn of the 18th century.  

Birth of the Virgin (1643)

Sofonisba Petrini commissioned this altarpiece, which is signed and dated, from Pietro da Cortona for his family chapel (the Cappella della Natività di Maria) in San Filippo Neri.  The Oratorian fathers were upset by the voluptuous representation of the female figures, but they were over-ruled.  

St Martina’s Vision of the Madonna and Child (ca. 1647)

This small panel by Pietro da Cortona is of unknown provenance.  This artist was devoted to St Martina, a 3rd century martyr whose relics were rediscovered in 1634 during his work on the refurbishment of the church of SS Luca e Martina, Rome.  This is one of a number of images of the saint that he subsequently painted.

Virgin in Prayer (ca. 1660) 

This small panel by Giovan Battista Salvi, il Sassoferrato, which depicts a half-length figure of the Virgin with her hands together in prayer, came from San Severo

Room 37

Panels from the della Fargna Collection (ca. 1620)


These two panels by Valentin de Boulogne depict

  1. the scene “Noli me tangere” (in which the risen Christ command St Mary Magdalene not to touch Him); and

  2. Christ with the woman from Samaria. 

They previously belonged to the della Fargna family of Città della Pieve. 

St Cecilia and an angel (ca. 1620)

This panel by Orazio Gentileschi was in the church of [San Francesco di Borgo, Todi] in the 1970s, but nothing else is known about its history.  It depicts St Cecilia playing the spinette.  

Presentation of the Virgin (ca. 1665)

Count Giovanni Antonio Bigazzini commissioned this altarpiece from Luigi Pellegrino Scaramuccia using money left for the purpose by his mother, Artemizia.  It was installed in the Cappella della Presentazione di Maria in San Filippo Neri, which belonged to the Bigazzini family. 

Holy family (ca. 1660)

This altarpiece by Giovanni Domenico Cerrini seems to have belonged to the Padri della Missione dei Frati Minori Cappuccini, who settled in Perugia in 1680 in a house bought for them by Giovanni Tommaso Cerrini [the son of the artist ?]; he left his possessions to the friars when he died a decade later. 

The panel depicts the Madonna breast-feeding the baby Jesus, watched by St Joseph, St Anne, the young St John the Baptist and angels.  (Some sources record the old lady in the painting as St Elizabeth, the mother of St John the Baptist, rather than as St Anne, the mother of the Virgin).

St Jerome in his Study (1669) 

This panel by Giovanni Andrea Carlone, which has the date inscribed at the lower right, came from San Girolamo.  

Christ and St John the Baptist (ca. 1685)

This panel, which is attributed to Pietro Montanini, came from the Collezione Sapori.  It depicts Christ and St John the Baptist as young boys, with a group of angels, set in a landscape.

Rooms 38-40

These rooms were built around the Torre di Madonna Dialdana in Via della Gabbia in ca. 1333 to provide more space for the Capitano del Popolo. 

The windows on the right in Room 38 look down into the Sala del Consiglio, the room of the original palace (1292-6) that was used for meetings of the advisory council.  This room was re-designated as the Sala dei Notai in 1583.

Room 38

Martyrdom of St Andrew (ca. 1708)

This panel, which is a copy by Francesco Trevisani of the panel that he painted before 1708 for the presbytery of Sant’ Andrea delle Fratte, Rome, came from the Carattoli Collection (see below).

Panels from Palazzo Della Corgna, Città della Pieve (1731)

These two panels by Sebastiano Conca depict scenes from the epic poem (1581), “La Gerusalemme Liberata” (Jerusalem Delivered) by Torquato Tasso.  They depict:

  1. the knight Rinaldo leaving the besotted witch Ermida on the island to which she has lured him (illustrated here); and

  2. the Princess Erminia being cared for by shepherds.

Trinity (1740-2)

Corrado Giaquinto executed this preparatory sketch for the frescoes of the vaults of San Giovanni Calibita, Rome.

Room 39

Works by Giuseppe Rossi (before 1860)



This room contains six of the seven views of Perugia by Giuseppe Rossi that he gave to the comune in 1891.  They comprise:

  1. four views of Rocca Paolina after the moat was filled in but before its demolition in ca. 1860 (illustrated above);

  2. a view of the stadium that Cardinal Rivarola built century beside the fortified corridor of the fortress in 1805-8, which was used for a ball game known as “gioco del pallone” and for other spectacles, including bull fights (Walk VII); and

  1. a view of Piazza Cavallotti (Walk II), before the demolition of Santa Maria degli Aratri in 1874.  

A seventh view by Giuseppe Rossi is in the Museo dell’ Accademia di Belle Arti.

View of Rocca Paolina (before 1860)

This view of Rocca Paolina is by an unknown artist. 

View of Perugia (ca. 1800)

This view of Perugia is by an unknown artist.

Room 40

St Pellegrine Laziosi (1705)

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

Communion of St Mary Magdalene (1738)

This altarpiece by Sebastiano Conca, which is signed and dated by inscription, was removed from the church of Santa Maria Maddalena delle Repentute when the adjacent nunnery was suppressed in 1860.  It depicts an angel administering the sacrament to the kneeling St Mary Magdalene. 

Panels from Montemorcino Nuovo (1745)

The gallery exhibits two preparatory designs by Pierre Subleyras, which relate to altarpieces that he painted for the church of the Convento di Montemorcino Nuovo:

  1. St Benedict (dressed in the Olivetan habit) revives a dead child; and

  2. St Ambrose absolves the excommunicated Emperor Theodosius after the massacre of the citizens of Thessalonica.

When Monte Morcino Nuovo passed to the University in 1822:
  1. the altarpiece of St Benedict reviving a dead child (which was signed by the artist and dated by inscription) was sent to the Olivetans’ mother house, Santa Francesca Romana, Rome; and

  2. the altarpiece of St Ambrose absolving the Emperor Theodosius was transferred to the gallery (and is illustrated here).

Head of a Man (18th century)

This fine portrait by Pierre Subleyras came from the Carattoli Collection (see below).

Works from the Carattoli Collection

The artist Giuseppe Carattoli assembled a fine art collection that included a number of works by his teacher, Jean Baptiste Wicar.  Giuseppe’s son, Luigi Carattoli donated it to the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1894.  

The works from the collection by Jean Baptiste Wicar himself that are exhibited in the gallery include:

  1. a compete set of preparatory drawings for his the panel (1804) of Pope Pius VII Ratifying the Concordat, in the papal retreat at Castel Gandolfo, including a fine sketch in oil on canvas of the head of Pius VII;

  2. a sketch in oil (ca. 1821) for an altarpiece of the Risen Christ with SS James and Antony of Padua; and

  1. the so-called Ritratto di Damigella (Portrait of a Bridesmaid), a sketch in oil on canvas (ca. 1809) sometimes said to depict Queen Caroline of Naples.  (She was the sister of Napoleon who married Joachim (Gioacchino) Murat, one of her brother’s generals.  In 1808, Napoleon appointed them as King and Queen of Naples, positions they held until their deposition in 1815).

Galleria Nazionale: Sala Podiani and Sala Conferenze    Rooms 1-3    Room 4

Rooms 5-6    Rooms 7-10    Rooms 11-16    Room 17    Rooms 18-20    Cappella dei Priori

Rooms 22-28    Rooms 29-32    Rooms 33-40    Deposit

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Galleria Nazionale: Rooms 33-40

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Galleria Nazionale: Sala Podiani and Sala Conferenze    Rooms 1-3    Room 4

Rooms 5-6    Rooms 7-10    Rooms 11-16    Room 17    Rooms 18-20    Cappella dei Priori

Rooms 22-28    Rooms 29-32    Rooms 33-40    Deposit