Key to Umbria: Città di Castello

Giovanni Ventura Borghesi (1640-1708)

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Giovanni Ventura Borghesi in:   Città di Castello     Perugia

Giovanni Ventura Borghesi, who was born in Città di Castello, trained in Rome from ca. 1662 in the workshop of Pietro Berrettini da Cortona.   When Pietro da Cortona died in 1669, he was still working on an altarpiece of St Yves among the poor, which Pope Alexander VII had commissioned some eight years earlier for the high altar of Sant’ Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome.  The executors of the dead artist commissioned its completion from Giovanni Ventura Borghesi in ca. 1680. 

Città di Castello 

St Yves among the Poor (ca. 1685) 

This is a loose copy of the altarpiece (ca. 1680) that Giovanni Ventura Borghesi completed for the high altar of Sant’ Ivo alla Sapienza, Rome (above), and is probably also his work.  It was first documented in the sacristy of San Francesco in 1868 and passed to the civic collection some ten years later.  It is now in the Pinacoteca Comunale.  

Martyrdom of St Ventura (17th century)

This panel on the high altar of the Chiesa del Seminario was designed by Giovanni Ventura Borghesi and executed by Simone Nelli di Citerna

Martyrdom of St Vincent (17th century)

This altarpiece in Santa Maria di Belvedere, in which St Vincent is identified by inscription, is attributed to Giovanni Ventura Borghesi.

Work in Santa Maria delle Grazie (17th century) 

Work by or attributed to Giovanni Ventura Borghesi in Santa Maria delle Grazie include:
  1. the design (1695) of the arch in the left wall of the church, which opens onto the Oratorio di Santa Maria delle Grazie;  

  2. an altarpiece that depicts St Peregrine Laziosi being miraculously cured of cancer of the leg as he prayed before a crucifix (illustrated here); and

  3. an altarpiece (ca. 1700) of the Virgin with the seven founders of the Servite Order, which is now in the sacristy. 

From Città di Castello

Martyrdom of St Faustinian  (1673)

Giovanni Ventura Borghesi painted this altarpiece for his sister, Maria Florida, who was the abbess of San Giuseppe.  Agostino Tofanelli, the Director of the Musei Capitolini, Rome confiscated it in 1813, and it remains in the Pinacoteca Capitolina.


Death of St Peter Martyr (1705)

The inquisitor Fr. Paolo Ottaviani commissioned this altarpiece from Giovanni Ventura Borghesi in 1705 for the Cappella di San Pietro Martire in San Domenico.  It is based on the now-lost altarpiece (1528-30) by Titian in the Dominican church of SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice.

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