Agnolo Bronzino

Agnolo Gaddi

Ambrogio Lorenzetti

Andreadi di Bonaiuto

Andrea del Castagno

Andrea del Sarto

Andrea di Bartolo

Andrea Mantegna

Antonello da Messina

Antonio del Pollaiuolo

Bartolo di Fredi

Bartolomeo di Giovanni

Benozzo Gozzoli

Benvenuto di Giovanni

Bernard Berenson

Bernardo Daddi

Bianca Cappello

Bicci di Lorenzo

Bonaventura Berlinghieri

Buonamico Buffalmacco

Byzantine art



Dietisalvi di Speme

Domenico Beccafumi

Domenico di Bartolo

Domenico di Michelino

Domenico veneziano


Duccio di Buoninsegna

Eleonora da Toledo

Federico Zuccari

Filippino Lippi

Filippo Lippi

Fra Angelico

Fra Carnevale

Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Francesco Pesellino

Francesco Rosselli

Francia Bigio

Gentile da Fabriano


Domenico Ghirlandaio


Giorgio Vasari

Giotto di bondone

Giovanni da Modena

Giovanni da San Giovanni

Giovanni di Francesco

Giovanni di Paolo

Giovanni Toscani

Girolamo di Benvenuto

Guidoccio Cozzarelli

Guido da Siena

Il Sodoma

Jacopo del Sellaio

Jacopo Pontormo

Lippo Memmi

Lippo Vanni

Lorenzo Ghiberti

Lorenzo Monaco

Lo Scheggia

Lo Spagna

Luca Signorelli


masolino da panicale

master of monteoliveto

master of sain tfrancis

master of the osservanza

matteo di giovanni

memmo di filippuccio

neroccio di bartolomeo

niccolo di segna

paolo di giovanni fei

paolo ucello


piero della francesca

piero del pollaiolo

piero di cosimo

pietro aldi

pietro lorenzetti



sandro botticelli

sano di pietro


simone martini

spinello aretino

taddeo di bartolo

taddeo gaddi

ugolino di nerio



Travel guide for Tuscany

Pietro Perugino | Marriage of the Virgin

The Marriage of the Virgin is a painting by the Italian Renaissance master Perugino. It is housed in the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Caen, France. Initially commissioned to Pinturicchio for the recently completed cathedral of Perugia, Perugino took over the commission and finished the work around 1500-1504, probably after several periods of stasis. Perugino painted his Marriage of the Virgin for a chapel in the cathedral in Perugia, which was completed in 1489, and in which the Virgin's engagement ring was kept. This valuable relic had been stolen from a church in Chiusi in 1478 and had only recently been retrieved, so it is not surprising that it takes pride of place in the centre of this picture.
The painting prominently displays the Virgin's engagement ring, which was then kept at the cathedral as a holy relic.
Later, in 1797, the picture was confiscated by Napoleon and was subsequently taken to Caen, Normandy. Any attempt of the commune of Perugia, which saw also the personal commitment of Antonio Canova, to retrieve the work failed.


The wide perspective of the picture, with at its centre a hoctagonal edifice and the aligned composition of the figures on the sides, is strongly related to the Perugino's Christ Giving the Keys to St. Peter at the Sistine Chapel. The painting prominently displays the Virgin's engagement ring, which was then kept at the cathedral as a holy relic.
Raphael, Perugino's pupil, painted a version of his own of the picture in 1504. After his father died, Raphael went to Perugia to be an apprentice of Perugino. Perugino taught Raphael the use of depth and perspective. Raphael created masterpieces like Christ Delivering the Keys of the Kingdom to St. Peter and The Deposition as an apprentice for Perugino. Raphael created his Marriage of the Virgin before he was even 21 years old.
In the early years of the 16th century, patrons in Città di Castello sent three commissions to Raphael's teacher Pietro Perugino which, in Perugino's absence, were completed by Raphael. The Marriage of the Virgin was the last of these. Evidently inspired by one of Perugino's paintings, Raphael completed his own work, according to the date placed next to his signature, in 1504. There have been several historians who have disputed that Perugino's painting preceded Raphael's and some who have suggested the painting was not Perugino's at all but instead produced after Raphael's by one of Perugino's followers, but 16th century documentary evidence supports the conclusion that Perugino had begun working on the painting in 1499, though it was not completed until some point after December 26, 1503.[2]

Napoleon's commissioner, Jacques-Pierre Tinet selected the altarpiece for confiscation in 1797, and it was duly sent to Paris. It was transferred to Caen in 1804 and is now in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Caen.


Perugino, Marriage of the Virgin (detail), (1501-1504), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen

[1] Pietro Perugino, the greatest painter of the Umbrian school (his real name: Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci), was active mainly in Perugia. He studied under Fiorenzo di Lorenzo, assisted Piero della Francesca at Arezzo, and in the early 1470s was a fellow pupil of Leonardo da Vinci and Lorenzo di Credi in Verrocchio's studio in Florence.

In 1479 Perugino was summoned to Rome by Pope Sixtus IV to help decorate the Sistine Chapel. He is recorded in the 1481 contract for the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel (along with Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio and Cosimo Rosselli), where his Christ Handing the Keys to St Peter demonstrates his qualities of simplicity, order and clearly articulated composition. He seems to have been the leader of the team. Some of his work in the Sistine Chapel was destroyed to make room for Michelangelo's Last Judgment.

The influence of his friend Luca Signorelli strengthened his draughtsmanship, that of Flemings like Hans Memling suggested the landscape background for his portraits as well as their general composition, and to the persistence of Piero's influence is due the use of architectural and landscape settings for his figure compositions. The Piet? (Florence, Accademia) set centrally in a receding arcade, and above all the Cruxifixion with Saints (Florence, Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi), a fresco of 1496 with an extensive landscape linking the three apparent divisions of the wall, are perfect examples of his quiet, pietistic art, with gentle, rather sentimental figures with drooping postures, tip-tilted heads, and mild rounded faces - a type he repeated all his life with, in his later years, dull and routine repetitiveness.

From c. 1500 to c. 1504 Raphael was a pupil in his shop and may have helped with the fresco cycle in the Sala del Cambio at Perugia, Perugino's largest (but not best) work in fresco. Raphael's own early work in San Severo at Perugia was later - after his death in 1520 - completed by his master. In 1506 Perugino retired to Perugia, since his style was now hopelessly outmoded in Florence, where, however, it had served to counter-balance the confusion of late Quattrocento style. It was to be the herald of the High Renaissance.
Pietro Perugino, Self-portrait, 1497-1500, Collegio del Cambio, Perugia.
Pietro Perugino, selfportrait in Collegio del Cambio, Perugia, 1497–1500,

[2] The first work that was signed by Raphael is The Marriage of the Virgin. The young painter from Urbino who at the time is only twenty years old, takes inspiration from the work with the same name of his master.
There are several analogies between the two paintings: they are both realized with oil on board, which at the top is in the form of an arch. In the foreground the two artists put the characters. In the middle there are bride, bridegroom and the priest. From the side of the maid the painters collocate the ladies, from the one of the bridegroom, the men. On the background a temple arising on a staircase dominates the scene. But while Perugino paints his temple with eight sides and with a pronao on every two sides which is a symbol of continuity between the ancient times and Christianity, Raphael decides himself for a temple with sixteen sides, a form closer to the circular one, and consequently more harmonic.
The temple is surrounded by a peristasis of arches and columns. Probably Raphael took inspiration from Bramante’s Temple of ST.Peter in Montecitorio. Considering that both the artists came from Urbino and there was a close frendiship between them, Raphael might have seen the project of the temple. Both the painters realize the perspective effect drawing the floor in a checkered pattern but Raphael uses stronger colors, Moreover in this last one the perspecive lines coincide with the corners of the staircase, so, despite of being parallel, the lines create a circularity sensation, coherently with the sixteen sides temple. A last difference between the two works is the collocation of the sight point, at the height of the eyes of the characters in Perugino’ s painting, a little above in Raphael one: a solution, the last one more modern and effecting.

On the popular theme of the "marriage of the Virgin", the painting depicts a marriage ceremony between Mary and Joseph. The story depicted is not Biblical, but relates to a legend which posits that so many people wanted to wed Mary that the High Priest ordained a test to see who would find favor for her hand. Every eligible man in the Davidic line was given a dry rod to place on the altar. Joseph's rod was the only one to flower.Mary and Joseph each have five attendants. Joseph's attendants are failed suitors for the bride, one of whom is in the act of snapping his rod, which had failed to blossom. Around the cupola are other people, primarily grouped in conversation. The high priest at the center picture is joining together the hands of the bride and groom. In his 1917 biography of the artist, Edward McCurdy noted that Raphael seemed to have, perhaps deliberately in placing distance between the figures, altered the proportions of the bodies of Joseph and Mary, as the arms they stretch towards one another appear unnaturally long. [Above the central arch of the temple is the artist's signature and the year the painting was completed.

Raphael, Marriage of the Virgin, 1504, Milan, Pinacoteca di Brera

Art in Tuscany | Art in Tuscany | Giorgio Vasari | Lives of the Most Excellent Painters, Sculptors, and Architects | Pietro Perugino

Arte in Toscana | Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori (1550) | Pietro Perugino

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Giorgio Vasari | download pdf

Pietro Perugino and the Trasimeno lake scenary | Renaissance and Mannerism Painting in Città della Pieve, Paciano, Panicale and Castiglione del Lago

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Giorgio Vasari | download pdf

This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia articles Marriage of the Virgin (Perugino) and The Marriage of the Virgin (Raphael) published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pietro Perugino. and Marriage of the Virgin (Perugino).

Holiday houses in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia
Century-old olive trees, between Podere Santa Pia and Cinigiano

Tombolo di Feniglia

Wines in southern Tuscany
Siena, Palazzo Publicco
Sunsets in Tuscany


Podere Santa Pia, a jewel in the heart of the Valle d'Ombrone, overlooks vineyards with views to the sea and Montcristo


The Cappella di Sant' Anello in the Duomo, Perugia

The Duomo di S. Lorenzo was built in XV century. At the entrance, there is the bronze statue portraying Pope Julius II and a pulpit built for S. Bernardino da Siena (1425). Inside there are three naves and interesting works of art: the chapel called Cappella del Santo Anello, in which there is, according to an ancient tradition, the wedding ring of Our Lady, made with a precious agate stone. A legend tells that the colour of the stone changes according to the person that wears it.

The chapel, situated at the corner of the left wall and counter-facade was commissioned soon after the canonisation of St Bernardino of Siena in 1450, and was originally dedicated to him. All that survives from the original decoration is the fresco (ca. 1471) of St Bernardino by Benedetto Bonfigli on the 1st column on the left side of the nave.

The chapel was re-dedicated in 1488 to the "Sant' Anello", an onyx relic that was thought to have served as the Virgin’s wedding ring on her marriage to St Joseph.

According to the archives of Chiusi, this relic was given to the church of Santa Mustiola there in 989. It was moved to the Duomo of Chiusi in 1352 and restored to Santa Mustiola in 1452. An inscription in the cloister of the Palazzo delle Canoniche records that a certain Fra Wintherius (Winterio) brought the ring to Perugia in 1473. He settled in Perugia and acted as rector of San Giovanni del Mercato (now the Cappella di San Giovanni Battista of the Collegio di Cambio) until his death in 1506.

What the inscription does not say is that Fra Wintherius had stolen the relic in Chiusi. The Sienese, who controlled Chiusi, appealed to the Pope Sixtus IV, but he arbitrated in favour of the Perugians, and the ring was duly secured in the Palazzo dei Priori. Sixtus IV compensated the Chiusians for the loss of the Sant' Anello by approving the fortuitous re-discovery of the relics of St Mustiola (a 3rd century Roman matron who had been martyred at Chiusi for her faith) in the nearby catacomb and by formally recognising her cult. (The catacomb is illustrated in this Vatican website).

In 1486, the Franciscan Bernardino da Feltre urged that a chapel in the Duomo should be dedicated to St Joseph (whose feast had been introduced into the calendar in 1479) and that a Confraternita di San Giuseppe should be established there. On July 31st, 1487, the feast of San Giuseppe was honoured for the first time in Perugia, and in 1488, the Sant’ Anello was translated to the new chapel. It was (and still is) venerated each year on July 31st by pilgrims en route for Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi to celebrate the Festa di Perdono there on August 2nd.

The relic is housed in a reliquary (1498-1511) that is usually behind curtains above the present altarpiece. However, it is exhibited on the altar each July 31st.