HumanitiesWeb HumanitiesWeb
Periods Alphabetically Nationality Topics Themes Medium Glossary
pixel - Pietro Perugino

Sort by Period
Sort Alphabetically
Sort by Nationality
Themes in Art


Get Your Degree!

Find schools and get information on the program that’s right for you.

Powered by Campus Explorer

& etc

All Rights Reserved.

Site last updated
28 October, 2012
Real Time Analytics
Pietro Perugino
By all accounts, Pietro Perugino was an accomplished painter. Born around 1450, he distinguished himself in that most difficult of all painterly mediums, the wall-size fresco. Not only was he an outstanding painter but an excellent draughtsman as well. In an era when the use of linear perspective was cutting edge visual technology, Perugino had a grasp of its demanding intricacies beyond that of most of his peers. Though he was limited to the traditional one-point perspective characteristic of Renaissance art, his work demonstrates a three-dimensional depth unusual even for this amazing era in art history.

His most important work is a massive fresco painted around 1482 entitled The Delivery of the Keys, depicts a standing Christ and his apostles delivering a massive key to a kneeling St. Peter. The nearly two-dozen life-size figures in the painting are arrayed across the lower picture plane in the foreground while a second group of some 50 or more middle-ground figures mingle just over their heads deep within an open space, perfectly proportioned to those in the foreground.

In the background, perfectly rendered in amazing detail is a domed, octagonal church flanked by two Roman arches of the triumphant variety, all drawn in perfect, one-point perspective. The painting is a tour-de-force of early Renaissance painting. In its time, it was heralded as a masterpiece. Yet, Perugino is today is largely forgotten, and the painting, though prominently displayed, is largely ignored. Why? Well, it has suffered the misfortune of having been upstaged by an even more important work of Renaissance art. Perugino's The Delivery of the Keys graces the left wall, some twenty feet above the floor, of the Sistine Chapel.

Contributed by Lane, Jim
15 January 1998


Terms Defined

Referenced Works