In the year of Perugino, an exhibition follows the ups and downs of his fortunes in the modern and contemporary ages. After the major exhibition “Italy’s Best Master. Perugino in His Time,” which restored him to the role of artistic prominence that his public and his era had assigned him, the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia will host from last Oct. 28 until Jan. 14, 2024, the exhibition “Looks at Perugino. From the Modern Age to the Contemporary,” curated by Carla Scagliosi and Benedetta Spadaccini.
The itinerary consists of 25 works, including engravings, drawings, and a painting, coming not only from the GNU but also from prestigious public and private institutions, such as the Central Institute for Graphics in Rome, the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, the Civica Raccolta delle Stampe Achille Bertarelli – Castello Sforzesco in Milan and the Brazilian Embassy in Rome. On display is the art of authors such as Tommaso Minardi (1787-1871), an artist fascinated by Venetian and Flemish colorism and 15th-century drawing, who became a promoter of the Purist manifesto; Giovan Battista Cavalcaselle (1819-1897), founder of modern art history studies in Italy; and Silvestro Massari of Perugia (1794-1851), a pupil of Minardi and professor of sculpture at the Perugia Academy, who devoted himself to the engraving reproduction of city monuments.
Three sections document the fortune and passing down of the artist’s portraits, the dissemination of his masterpieces and best-known iconographies through the medium of translation printing, and the errors in the attribution of works that, due to their adherence to the figurative language of the “best master of Italy,” were considered to be by his hand. These works are complemented by a virtual section consisting of two films: the first offers a chance to browse through the entire album of Tommaso Minardi’s drawings displayed in the showcase; the other offers a selection of works inspired by Perugino, from the nineteenth century to the present day, from Pre-Raphaelites such as William Dyce to nineteenth-century French authors such as Ingres or Delacroix, from the photographs of Julia Margaret Cameron to the abstract works of Ian Davenport, to those artists who have been protagonists in the past years of the initiatives organized by the Galleria Nazionale dell’Umbria, from Brian Eno to Roberto Paci Dalò to others.