Key to Umbria: Città di Castello

Giovanni Battista Pacetti, lo Sguazzino (1593-1662)

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Lo Sguazzino in:   Bevagna;   Città di Castello;   Spello

Giovanni Battista Pacetti was born in Città di Castello.  He acquired the nickname “lo Sguazzino" because of his slap-dash methods: “sguazzare” means to splash. 

Città di Castello

Scenes from the Life of Blessed Margherita (1662)


Fr. Lorenzo Giustini commissioned these frescoes depicting scenes from the life of the Blessed Margherita of Città di Castello in the lower storey of the cloister of San Domenico. Each of the frescoes has a painted inscription describing the scene.  Some of the scenes are now ruined and others have been heavily restored.  The first five are by the aged lo Sguazzino.  They include these two, which depict:

  1. the Blessed Margherita receiving the Dominican habit; and

  2. the funeral of the the Blessed Margherita.

After the death of lo Sguazzino, Salvi Castellucci painted the other 27 lunettes and the frescoes of Dominican saints:

  1. the date 1662 appears in the inscription under the fresco in which the Blessed Margherita educates the children of Venturino (her adoptive father); and

  2. the same date appears in two inscriptions that also contain the signature “SC”, under:

  3. Blessed Margherita cures the blindness of Sister Venturella; and

  4. the resurrection of Giustolo da Marzano.

Work in the Duomo

The following works (17th century) in the Duomo are by or attributed to lo Sguazzino:

Cappella di San Michele Arcangelo

The altarpiece in this chapel depicts:
  1. Trinity with the Virgin and St John the Baptist (above); and

  2. SS Floridus and Amantius kneeling in a landscape, with the Castel Sant’ Angelo in the background and other saints to the sides.


The frescoes on the walls:

  1. the capture of Christ; and

  2. Christ’s descent into limbo.

Cappella dell’ Angelo Custode

The altarpiece in this chapel, which depicts the Virgin in glory looking down on Tobias and the Angel, was restored in 2010.

Cappella di San Crescenzio

The panel on the left wall of this chapel depicts the Virgin interceding with Christ for souls in Purgatory.

Cappella di San Carlo Borromeo

The panel on the left wall of this chapel depicts the Crucifixion with SS Nicholas of Bari, Floridus, John the Baptist and Francis.


The panel (ca. 1630) on the right wall depicts the Virgin and SS Floridus, Sebastian and Roch, who implore Christ to save Città di Castello from the plague.  The Duomo and its circular campanile are at the centre of the landscape in the lower part of the composition.  The painting was almost certainly commissioned during the serious outbreak of plague in 1630.

St Crescentian (early 17th century)

This panel above the door to the sacristy of the Chiesa di Buon Consiglio (to the right of the high altar) is by/attributed to lo Sguazzino.  It depicts St Crescentian on horseback, killing a dragon.

Saints (17th century)


The following four panels in the Pinacoteca Comunale, which are of unknown provenance, are attributed to lo Sguazzino:

  1. two rectangular panels depicting SS Peter and Paul; and

  2. two oval panels depicting unidentified male martyrs. 

Saints (17th century)


                        St Crescentian             St Laurence                St Floridus               St Amantius

The Museo del Duomo displays four panels of saints from the same, unknown provenance:

  1. two attributed to lo Sguazzino:

  2. St Crescentian; and

  3. St Laurence; and

  4. two attributed to his workshop:

  5. St Floridus; and

  6. St Amantius.

Martyrdom of St Bartholomew (17th century)

This panel in San Francesco, which is attributed to lo Sguazzino, came from San Bartolomeo

Madonna and Child with saints (17th century)

This panel on the altar wall, which is attributed to lo Sguazzino, is in the church of Santa Veronica.  It depicts the Madonna and Child in glory with:
  1. St Martin, the original titular of the church; and

  2. three Franciscan saints:

  3. St Antony of Padua on the left (behind St Martin); and

  4. SS Francis and Clare on the right.

Madonna and Child with saints (17th century)

This altarpiece on the left wall of Santa Maria Nuova, which is attributed to lo Sguazzino, depicts the Madonna and Child enthroned with saints and angels.


The following works are from San Domenico, Bevagna.

Miracle of San Domenico in Soriano (ca. 1626)

This altarpiece depicts a miracle that occurred in 1530 at the sanctuary of San Domenico in Soriano, Calabria, when the Virgin and SS Mary Magdalene and Catherine of Alexandria appeared to one of the brothers and gave him an image of St Dominic.  Here,
  1. the copy of the miraculous image is attributed to lo Sguazzino; and

  2. the surrounding figures of the Virgin and SS Catherine of Alexandria and Mary Magdalene are attributed to Andrea Camassei.

Miracle of the Crucifix (1642)

This damaged altarpiece is signed by lo Sguazzino and dated.   It depicts the miracle of the Crucifix that spilt blood over the Blessed James Bianconi as he prayed before it. 

Scenes from the life of the Blessed James Bianconi (1640-1)

These 26 frescoes by lo Sguazzino in the cloister celebrated the beatification of the Blessed James Bianconi.  They are now badly damaged and most are illegible. 


Madonna of the Girdle (ca. 1650)

This altarpiece on the Altare di Santa Monica of Santa Maria Maggiore is attributed to lo Sguazzino.

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