Key to Umbria: Perugia

Sinibaldo Ibi was born in Perugia.  He is first documented in 1496, when he joined with four other young artists in Perugia to form the so-called Workshop of 1496 (see below).  His earliest known work was Gonfalon of St Ubaldus, which was commissioned by the Commune of Gubbio in 1503 (below).  He seems to have remained in Gubbio until at least 1507, and his known work in Perugia began in ca. 1510.  He is last documented in 1548, when he was elected for the sixth time as the treasurer of the Arte dei Pittori of his native city.

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 the Galleria Nazionale

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: 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.

Madonna and Child enthroned with saints (1510)

The Confraternita di Sant’ Agostino commissioned this altarpiece, which is dated by inscription, from Berto di Giovanni and Sinibaldo Ibi for the Oratorio di Sant' Agostino.  The altarpiece, which depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS Augustine and Sebastian, was moved to the sacristy, possibly when the oratory was remodelled in the 17th century.  The confraternity gave it to the Galleria Nazionale in 1872.  

Crucifixion (early 16th century)

This fresco on what was the altar wall of the hospice of the Oratorio di Sant' Agostino, which was rediscovered in 1991, depicts the Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist and the kneeling St Mary Magdalene.  It was initially attributed to the young Raphael, but is now attributed to Berto di Giovanni, Sinibaldo Ibi and/or Lattanzio di Giovanni

Gonfalon of St Antony Abbot (1512)

This processional banner, which is signed by Sinibaldo Ibi and dated by inscription on the reverse, depicts St Antony Abbot enthroned with two members of the the Confraternita di Sant’ Antonio Abate.  It was first documented in 1907, when the confraternity gave it to the Galleria Nazionale.  Although there is no earlier record of it, it almost certainly came from the Oratorio di Sant’ Antonio Abate, and was probably used in the annual procession during the blessing of animals carried out each year on the feast of St Antony Abbot (17th January).   [The banner was removed from the deposit of the gallery in January 2011 and returned to its original location in the Oratorio di Sant’ Antonio Abate - see this notice by the Associazione Ri Vivi Borgo Sant’Antonio.  It will apparently only be available for viewing during the annual celebration.]

Madonna and Child with saints (1515)

Antonio and the heirs of Bernardino di Piergiovanni de Catrano (who belonged to a cadet Benincasa branch of the Ansidei family) commissioned this altarpiece from Sinibaldo Ibi for the Cappella del Beato Filippo Benizi in San Fiorenzo, which they endowed in 1515. 

  1. The main panel, which depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS John the Baptist, Philip Benizi, Florentius and Joseph, passed to the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1810 and is now in the Galleria Nazionale

  2. The predella, which seems to have included a panel of the Marriage of the Virgin, has been lost.

Madonna and Child with saints (1543)

According to the inscriptions, Luca Alberto Podiani commissioned this altarpiece, which is dated by inscription.  [Luca Alberto Podiani (1474-1551) was a celebrated doctor and scholar, rector of the Sapienza Vecchia in the period 1504-20.]  The altarpiece, which is attributed to Sinibaldo Ibi, depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with SS Francis and Leonard.  Two flying angels above who hold a crown above the head of the Madonna.

The altarpiece entered the Accademia di Belle Arti in 1810 and is now in the Galleria Nazionale.  There are at least two possibilities for its original location:

  1. the Convento di Monteripido, where, according to his will of 1548, Luca wished to be buried; or

  2. Sant’ Agostino, where Luca was actually buried in 1555, in his family chapel that was dedicated to St Leonard.

Annunciation (1525-8) 

This altarpiece, which is signed by Sinibaldo Ibi and dated 1528, was commissioned by the procurators of the Ospedale di Santa Maria Annunziata, the hospice owned by the Collegio dei Notai (the notaries’ guild).  It was destined for the chapel in the hospice.  On receipt of the altarpiece, the procurators commissioned its frame from Giovanni Battista Bastoni, to a design by Sinibaldo Ibi. 

The altarpiece was subsequently moved to the Collegio dei Notai, probably in 1588 before that building was partly demolished, changing places with another altarpiece of the same subject that is attributed to Benedetto Bonfigli.  The altarpiece by Sinibaldo Ibi seems to have returned to its original location in the early 19th century, and entered the Galleria Nazionale in 1863.  Its original frame no longer survives. 

Adoration of the Magi (1538) 

This damaged detached fresco, which is attributed to Sinibaldo Ibi and used to be dated by an inscription, was transferred from the Ospedale di Santa Maria della Misericordia to the Galleria Nazionale in 1879.

Works from Perugia

Madonna and Child with saints (1524)

This altarpiece, which is signed by Sinibaldo Ibi and dated, was commissioned for the Olivetan monastery of San Secondo on the Isola Polvese.  The monks took it with them when they moved to Sant’ Antonio Abate in 1624 and to Montemorcino Nuovo in 1740.  Agostino Tofanelli  moved it to the Musei Capitolini, Rome in 1812, but it was returned to Montemorcino Nuovo in 1815.  When Montemorcino Nuovo passed to the University of Perugia in 1822, the altarpiece was sent to the Olivetans’ mother house, Santa Francesca Romana, Rome.


Gonfalon of St Ubaldus (1503)

The Commune commissioned this double-sided processional banner, which is signed by Sinibaldo Ibi and dated by inscription. 

  1. One side depicts the standing St Ubaldus in episcopal robes, his right hand raised in blessing, and two angels, one of which holds his episcopal staff.

  2. The other side depicts the Madonna della Misericordia with musical angels and two groups of worshippers (one male and one female) kneel below.  Two of the angels above the Madonna hold a crown above her head.

The Commune entrusted the banner to the nuns of Santo Spirito, and it was carried in procession in times of need.  On the feast days, the Confraternita dei Bianchi carried it in procession from Santo Spirito to the Duomo, where it stayed on the high altar for the octave of the feast.  Controversy broke out in 1663, when the nuns unilaterally removed it from the Duomo on the feast of Corpus Cristi and installed it outside their nunnery.  The Commune, at the behest of Bishop Alessandro Sperelli, ordered its return to the Duomo and insisted that it should be kept in the chapel of Palazzo dei Consoli thereafter.   Cardinal Carlo Bichi, the vice-legate of the Romagna, mediated and arranged for the return to the status quo after the nuns had shown appropriate contrition.

The banner was restored in 1742 (by Giuseppe Reposati), in 1780 and in 1832.  It was enclosed in the present gilded wooden frame in 1833 and transferred “permanently” to the Duomo, although it continued to be used in processions.  It was restored again and  transferred to the Pinacoteca Civica in 1900.

Madonna and Child with SS Sebastian and Ubaldus (1507)

This altarpiece is in the Duomo (in the 8th bay on the left).   According to an inscription, Girolamo Bentivogli commissioned it from Sinibaldo Ibi.  The inscription records the month but not the year, which is thought to have been 1507.


Madonna and Child with saints (mid 16th century)

The altarpiece on the high altar of the church of the Franciscan nunnery of San Bernardino is attributed to Sinibaldo Ibi.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Peter, Paul, Francis and Bernardino. 

The altarpiece must already have been about 100 years old when it was placed on the high altar of the nuns’ new church. If they had originally commissioned it, this would have occurred soon after they acquired the complex.  However, the figures of SS Francis and Bernardino seem to have been painted after the completion of the original altarpiece, and it may be that they acquired it from a non-Franciscan location and adapted it to their purposes.

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Sinibaldo Ibi (died after 1548) 

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