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Girolamo Muziano, who came from Brescia, studied in Venice and then settled in Rome in 1550.  He made his name with the painting (1555, now in the Pinacoteca Vaticana) of the Resurrection of Lazarus for Archbishop Francesco Colonna of Taranto, which led Michelangelo to describe him as one of the "first artists of that age".  He became a leading painter of the Counter-Reformation, and served as superintendent of works for Pope Gregory XIII.  He was responsible for re-founding the Accademia di San Luca in Rome in 1577.

His students included Cesare Nebbia; their association probably began when Girolamo Muzziano was commissioned to paint altarpieces for the Duomo of Orvieto in 1556 (see below).



The young Girolamo Muziano was the first major artist to be commissioned to contribute to a series of altarpieces depicting scenes from the life of Christ for the Duomo (as described in the page on the remodelling of the Duomo), on the recommendation (in 1555) of Raffaello da Montelupo and of citizens of Orvieto resident in Rome.  


                                              Raising of Lazarus                       Way to Calvary

The initial commission from Muziano was for two altarpieces:

  1. the raising of Lazarus (1556) (following the brilliant reception that he had received for an altarpiece on the same subject in Rome - see above); and

  2. the way to Calvary (1557), in which Santa Veronica holds the cloth with which she has wiped the face of Christ.

These altarpieces were installed (respectively) on the 4th altar on the left and on the altar opposite.  Girolamo Muziano also completed the fresco and stucco decoration of one of the new chapels (probably the 4th on the left) before he left Orvieto in 1558.


                                           Flagellation of Christ                      Capture of Christ

Muziano subsequently painted another two altarpieces, which were sent to Orvieto from Rome:

  1. the flagellation of Christ (1575); and

  2. the capture of Christ (1584).

The altarpieces were removed in 1890 and are now in the Museo dell’ Opera del Duomo.   The other work was destroyed in ca. 1890.

Pietà (16th century) 

This altarpiece in the Oratorio della Misericordia is by Girolamo Muziano.

Read more:

P. Tosini, “Il Duomo di Orvieto nella Seconda Metà del Cinquecento: un Modello per la Pittura della Controriforma”, in

  1. C. Benocci et al. (Eds), “Storia di Orvieto: Quattrocento e Cinquecento” (2010) Pisa, Volume II  (pp 469-88)

R.  Mack, “Girolamo Muziano and Cesare Nebbia at Orvieto”, Art Bull. 3 (1974) 410-3

Return to Art in:  Orvieto.

Return to “Foreign” Painters in Umbria.


Girolamo Muziano (died 1592) 

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Girolamo Muziano in:  Orvieto