2 July – 30 September 2023

Città della Pieve celebrates its extraordinary artist and son, 500 years after his death

Città della Pieve celebrates its extraordinary artist and son, 500 years after his death with an exhibition called ” …al battesimo fu chiamato Pietro. Il Perugino a Città della Pieve”, by Vittoria Garibaldi, Francesco Federico Mancini and Nicoletta Baldini, with the collaboration of Antonio Natali.
The exhibition is organized by the Municipality of Città della Pieve with the contribution of the sponsoring committee on the five hundredth-death anniversary of the great painter Pietro Vannucci, known as Il Perugino.

There are three exhibition venues: Palazzo della Corgna, Museo Civico-Diocesano di Santa Maria dei Servi and the Oratorio di Santa Maria dei Bianchi.
The exhibition aims to bring Perugino’s local and national works together with other works painted by popular Renaissance artists such as Pinturicchio, Cosimo Rosselli, Ghirlandaio and their collaborators that came from both Florence and Umbria.

The 27 works on display come from the major Italian and international museums, such as the Pinacoteca Vaticana, Uffizi Galleries, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna and the National Gallery of Umbria.

The exhibition was originally conceived with the intent to study the “style of Perugino“, that influenced both contemporary painters and the following generations of artists.

... al battesimo fu chiamato Pietro

Twenty seven works on display

It is divided into five sections: The first four sections are on the Piano Nobile (first floor) of Palazzo della Corgna and the last one at the Museo Civico-Diocesano di Santa Maria dei Servi. It also includes the Oratorio di Santa Maria dei Bianchi, where the famous fresco the “Adoration of the Magi” is another must-see.

The first section, curated by Francesco Federico Mancini in Palazzo della Corgna, analyzes the similarities and differences of two popular art iconographies: the Adoration of the Shepherds and the Adoration of the Magi, in a lapse of time that goes before and after the artistic activity of Perugino, the first-ever artist who was able to synthesize the two iconographies.

The second section, curated by Antonio Natali, focuses on the connections that Perugino had with the city of Florence, with the sculptor Verrocchio first, and his Florentine collaborators later.

In an immersive room, it will be possible to compare digitally Pietro’s local altarpiece, “the Baptism of Christ”, located in the Cathedral of Città della Pieve with those of Verrocchio and Leonardo and with Pietro’s Sistine fresco of Christ being baptized by Giovanni (1481-1483).

A separate section is dedicated to the exhibition of some documents coming from the historical archive of Città della Pieve that date back to the times of Perugino. Their aim is to underline the close connection between the painter and his hometown. 

The third section displays the works of artists belonging to the Florentine and Umbrian school, who, together with Perugino, attended Verrocchio’s workshop and worked in the Sistine Chapel in the early Eighties of the 15th century, such as Cosimo Rosselli and Domenico Ghirlandaio and finally yet importantly, Pinturicchio.

The fourth section, curated by Nicoletta Baldini, deals with the theme of Pietro’s Florentine workshop and his many young forgotten Florentine collaborators whose works are being rediscovered and reevaluated thanks to a new and detailed documentary research.


The itinerary is divided into three exhibition venuese: Palazzo della Corgna, il Museo Civico-Diocesano di Santa Maria dei Servi e l’Oratorio di Santa Maria dei Bianchi.

The fifth and final section curated by Vittoria Garibaldi is located inside the Museo Civico-Diocesano di Santa Maria dei Servi. It is dedicated to the two frescoes depicting “the Deposition from the Cross and the Mourning of Christ”. They decorated the walls of a pre-existing chapel owned by a confraternity of penitents that commissioned its internal decoration to Perugino in 1517. This is the first ever and only Deposition painted by Perugino, who had approached this subject only once before, when he completed the Deposition by Filippino Lippi for the Annunziata in Florence between 1504 and 1508. Alongside the models Perugino used for the completion of the work, evidence on the subject by his followers such as Domenico Puligo and Bachiacca/ Perugino will be on display, up to the unpublished late seventeenth-century copy of the Deposition of the Serviti made before the eighteenth-century damage.

A virtual reconstruction of the original chapel and a video mapping of both the Lowering from the Cross-, and the Mourning of Christ will be also available. A further reading of the works will be available through infrared reflectography that will allow penetrating to different extents under the pictorial surface, and seeing the creative process, the preparatory drawing, the “pentimenti” and the adjustments in the elaboration of the composition.

The exhibition itinerary will be enriched by a section where some manuscripts and rare books will also be visible, like the famous text “Nella Patria del Perugino” written by Fiorenzo Canuti, with handwritten notes by the author himself. 


History, art and traditions