Pietro Perugino, ‘Delivery of the Keys to Saint Peter’, 1481, Art History 101

Fresco on the right wall of the Sistine Chapel.

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About Pietro Perugino

A contemporary of Leonardo and an associate of Raphael (whom he would influence), Pietro Perugino painted religious subjects and portraits, overseeing two workshops and diffusing his characteristic style and imagery throughout central Italy in the late 15th century. He is thought to have been a pupil of Piero Della Francesca, and from 1470 was associated with the circle of Verrocchio in Florence, but may also have worked with Botticelli. From 1480–2, Perugino was put in charge of producing wall frescoes for the Sistine Chapel in Rome, which were later destroyed to make space for Michelangelo’s Last Judgment (1535-41). Perugino’s paintings are often noted for their “sweetness”, particularly his graceful, pious Madonnas and female saints set against gentle landscapes, and by the early 16th century his work was becoming old-fashioned. He is thought to have been an inspiration to the Pre-Raphaelites in England in the 19th century.

Italian, ca. 1446/1450 - 1523, Città della Pieve, Italy, based in Florence and Perugia, Italy