Pietro Vannucci, called
(Città della Pieve circa1450 - Fontignano 1523)
Madonna and Child with Sts Laurence, Ludwig of Toulouse, Ercolanus and Constance (Altar-piece of the Decemviri),1495/96
"tempera grassa" on wood
cm. 193 x 165
The altar-piece, signed by the artist and commissioned by the Decemviri of Perugia for the chapel of the Peoples' Palace, was painted between the end of 1495 and 1496.
Originally the work was formed of two elements: the cymatium (upper part), showing Christ in the tomb (now in the National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia), and the Vatican panel. On the latter, at the centre of an arched architectural structure, the Virgin, with the Child Jesus on her knees, is seated on a monumental throne, at the sides of which are Sts Laurence, Ludwig of Toulouse, Ercolanus and Constance, protectors of the city.
The equilibrium of the composition, the clear perspective structure, the harmony with which the figures bind with the landscape, and the gracefulness of the personages painted with features of ideal beauty, are elements which distinguish all Perugino's work, consecrating his great fame which had already been acknowledged by his contemporaries.