Works by Il Perugino A major exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria runs from 4th March to 11th June 2023
Following a major renovation programme the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria – the National Gallery of Umbria which sits in a very prominent position in the main Corso of Perugia finally re-opened in a much enlarged form last year. I suggested, when in the city, to take time and visit the museum to many of my guests, all of whom returned to Bellaugello very enthusiastic about the experience. I thought it about time I went myself, and finally got to visit earlier this week which fortunately coincided with a major exhibition of early works by the 15th century Umbrian painter Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci from Castel della Pieve, known as “Il Perugino”.
Walk up the Corso, the principal street of Perugia, our regional capital and one quickly sees that this is a proud, strong and elegant city with centuries of history. Elegant buildings follow elegant buildings, the stone white with dappled grey streaks, mullioned windows and heavy ancient doors lead up towards the Piazza IV Novembre, the large open space in front of the Duomo, which has in its centre the magnificent 13th century Fontana Maggiore, which decadently celebrates a strong water supply to the city.
The Duomo, or cathedral of San Lorenzo, is, like most in Umbria plain facade and took over two hundred years from laying the foundation stone to being consecrated. But I digress, back to the gallery;
Walk through two heavy imposing doors into the inner courtyard, pass by the bronze Griffin and the Lion, symbols of the city that after centuries of living on the wall of the Sala dei Notari – the city chambers have now been retired. Their places having been taken by more recent copies, and head left to the ticket office and inevitable gift shop.
The ticket, which includes the entire museum and the Il Perugino exhibition is good value at €10
Now the steady climb, past the council chambers, you are walking a broad staircase with well-worn marble steps. Climb to the third floor, the signage is not the best, and you are greeted by different spaces, some light, some dark, hand over your ticket and enter the room which commences with paintings by contemporaries of Perugino.
...and on to the Perugino s
The exhibition is brilliantly curated by Marco Pierini and Veruska Picchiarelli and includes at the end a video display showing the skills and attention to detail and huge amount of work of some of the extensive team behind the exhibition.
A picture tells a thousand words, so here are a selection of some of the paintings that hit my eye.
and This is the Man himself
So, many more paintings some from The National Galleries of UK France and Germany the exhibition continues.
I all to briefly continued through the extensive galleries in the remainder of the museum, learning about paintings architecture and furniture. A few pictures follow, and of course no blog post on paintings would be complete without a painting by a follower of Caravaggio.
The Perugino exhibition runs until 11th June, tickets including the entire gallery complex is €10.
To learn more:
When you leave, cross the Corso and head to Sandri, the most traditional café in Perugia, glorious painted ceiling, elegant staff, superb coffee and sublime cakes and exquisite homemade chocolates