Key to Umbria: Perugia

Palazzo Graziani (1585)

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According to local tradition, the first palace here belonged to the Benati family.   It subsequently passed to the Graziani family.  In 1585, Giovanni Battista Graziani bought adjoining properties and commissioned the design of the present palace from Valentino Martinelli.  (Local tradition attributes its design to Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola, although it was built some twelve years after his death).  The facade is distinguished by a pair of imposing portals.

Further modifications were made to the palace in the early 18th century by Count Francesco Graziani and (in ca. 1820) by Countess Anna Graziani Baglioni, the last survivor of the family.  On her death in 1824, Vincenzo Sereni bought the palace: he sold it to the newly-formed Banca di Perugia in 1886.  It passed to the Banca Commerciale Italiana in 1905. 

The Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia moved its headquarters to the piano nobile in 1995.  Its 19th century decoration was recovered during the restoration by Carlo Salucci in 1999.

Decoration of Sala Brugnoli (189-5)

The Banca di Perugia commissioned this decorative programme of the main room on the piano nobile from Annibale Brugnoli.  The work comprised:

  1. the frescoes (1889-90) on the ceiling, which depict:

  2. a sacrifice to the goddess Cupra (illustrated above);

  3. Hannibal’s defeat of the Romans at Lake Trasimene;

  4. the defence of Torgiano by Rodolfo Baglioni and Ascanio della Corgna against Luigi Farnese during the Salt War; and

  5. St Francis and his followers praying for the victims of war in the valley to the right; and

  6. four panels (1890-5) that depict scenes from the tumultuous history of Perugia in the 19th century:
  7. Benedetto Baglioni begins the demolition of Rocca Paolina after the rebellion of 1848;

  8. Francesco Guardabassi and other patriots demand the capitulation of the papal legate, Luigi Giordani in 1859;

  9. a scene of the following massacre by papal troops on 20th June 1859, set near San Domenico (illustrated here); and

  10. a Piedmontese soldier on guard at Palazzo dei Priori in 1860, soon after Perugia became part of the newly-united Italy; and

  1. this panel (1890-5) which depicts the inauguration of this room in Palazzo Graziani in 1890, after the completion of its ceiling frescoes, during the visit to Perugia of King Umberto I and Queen Margherita.

Read more:

F. Boco, “Il Palazzo Graziani: Storia e Architettura” in

  1. F. Mancini (Ed.), “Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Perugia: Le Sedi e la Collezione”, (2003) Perugia, pp 17-42

Return to Monuments of Perugia.

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