Key to Umbria: Spoleto

The archival research by Silvestro Nessi referenced below reveals Jacopo di Vinciolo as an active citizen of Spoleto with strong links to the Franciscan convent of  SS Simone e Giuda.  He was first documented in Spoleto in 1444 and disappears from the record after 1495. 


SS Simone e Guida

The archival research by Silvestro Nessi referenced below reveals strong links between Jacopo di Vinciolo and SS Simone e Giuda.  Two surviving panels from the church, which are now in the Museo del Ducato di Spoleto, are attributed to him:


  1. Madonna and Child with Franciscan saints (ca. 1450)

  2. This altarpiece, which is somewhat tentatively attributed to Jacopo di Vinciolo, came from the altar in SS Simone e Giuda that housed the relics of the Blessed Simon of Collazzone.  It depicts the Madonna and Child with SS Francis, Bernardino of Siena and Antony of Padua and the Blessed Simon (2nd on the left).  He is identified by the words “Sanctus Simon” inscribed in his halo despite the fact that he was never canonised.

  3. SS John the Baptist and Peter (1466)

  4. This panel probably belonged to the polyptych that the friars commissioned from Jacopo di Vinciolo in 1466 for the high altar of the church.  The other two panels, which were subsequently lost, depicted:

  5. the Madonna and Child; and

  6. SS Paul and Francis.


Work in San Francesco

Frescoes in two of the chapels of San Francesco are attributed to Jacopo di Vinciolo:

Frescoes of the Cappella di San Bernardino (1461)

These frescoes in the 2nd chapel on the right include:
  1. on the back wall

  2. a figure of St Bernardino (who had been canonised in 1450) in a fictive tabernacle;

  3. scenes from his life, to the sides; and

  4. a (damaged) Crucifixion, above and

  5. St Jerome, the only surviving fresco in the vaults. 

The unusual scene at the left left depicts an apparition in which Pope Celestine V (died 1296) appeared to San Bernardino in 1444, foretelling his imminent death.  This work is dated by inscription.

Frescoes of the niche of St Antony of Padua (ca. 1461)

These frescoes in the niche on the left wall include:
  1. St Antony of Padua in a fictive tabernacle;

  2. scenes from his life, to the sides; and

  3. a figure of the Crucified Christ with the Virgin and St John the Evangelist, above.

Crucifix (ca. 1461)

This processional crucifix, which is attributed to Jacopo di Vinciolo, came from Sant’ Agostino and is now in the Pinacoteca.

Frescoes (15th century)

These frescoes in the Cappella del Sacramento of Sant’ Agostino are attributed to Jacopo di Vinciolo.  They depict:
  1. the Crucifixion with saints;

  2. the Madonna and Child with SS Severus, Paul, Peter and Fortunatus in a fictive polyptych;

  3. stories from the lives of SS Fortunatus and Severus (of which only one survives); and

  4. the doctors of the church (in the vaults).

Madonna and Child (1479)

This detached fresco on the altar on the left is all that remains of what was an extensive and documented series of frescoes by Jacopo di Vinciolo in San Leonardo.  (The church belongs to an enclosed community of Poor Clares, and cannot be visited).


S. Nessi, “Jacopo di Vinciolo da Spoleto: un Pittore Sconosciuto Rivelato dai Documenti di Archivio”, Prospettiva 33-6 (1993) 76-83

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Jacopo di Vinciolo (died after 1495)

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