Key to Umbria

Benedetto di Bindo Zoppo, who came from Castiglione di Valdorcia, near Siena, probably trained in Siena.  He was first securely documented there in 1409, when he was paid by the Opera del Duomo.  In 1412, he directed the fresco decoration of the three chapels in the sacristy of the Duomo, Siena , one the most prestigious commissions in Siena at that time.

He subsequently moved to Perugia, where he was documented in 1415 and where he died prematurely in 1417.  He was buried in the cloister of San Domenico (see below).


Assumption of the Virgin (early 15th century)

This altarpiece from Santa Maria Maggiore, which is attributed to Benedetto di Bindo, is now in the Pinacoteca Civica.


Cartoons (1415)

Benedetto di Bindo was paid in 1415 for the design of the stained glass for sacristy of San Domenico.  Unfortunately, it was destroyed when the sacristy was remodelled in 1665.

Frescoes (ca. 1415)


             St Peter Martyr preaching            St Catherine before                    St Catherine converts

                                                                          before the Emperor                            the Empress

The frescoes in the Cappella di Santa Caterina of San Domenico, which were recovered from under plaster in 1911, include two of the most complete (albeit damaged) pictorial cycles that survive in Perugia.  These two cycles depict:

  1. scenes from the life of St Peter Martyr (on the back wall), and

  2. scenes from the life of St Catherine of Alexander (on the left).

Related frescoes were discovered in the vaults in 1920-2, together with the arms of Menico di Marino.  Still more frescoes (mostly standing figures of saints) adorn the pilasters. 

Giorgio Vasari named a number of Florentine artists whom he believed had worked in the chapel:

  1. “ Perugia, .... in the Chapel of the Buontempi in the Church of San Domenico .... [Buonamico Buffalmacco (died after 1336)] painted there in fresco .... stories of the life of S. Catherine, virgin and martyr”.

  2. “At Perugia ..., in the Church of San Domenico, [Stefano Fiorentno (died after 1350)] began in fresco the Chapel of Sant Caterina, which remained unfinished”.

  3. “[Taddeo di Bartolo (died 1422)] was called to work at Perugia in the Church of San Domenico, where, in the Chapel of S. Caterina, he painted in fresco all the life of that Saint. .... A little time afterwards there befell the death of [Biordo Michelotti], Lord of Perugia, who was murdered in the year 1398; whereupon Taddeo returned to Siena ...”

The last of these attributions has historically been accepted.  However, modern scholars mostly attribute all of the frescoes to Benedetto di Bindo.  This obviously implies a date of ca. 1415.

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Benedetto di Bindo (died 1417)  

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