Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo

Catherine Higgitt, Marika Spring, Anthony Reeve and Luke Syson
Technical Bulletin Volume 27, 2006

Abstract 

Vasari listed Giannicola di Paolo as one of Perugino’s 'discepoli', that is, someone trained in his workshop. The technical examination of the National Gallery’s Annunciation of around 1500 attributed to Giannicola is presented, and the insight the study gives into the operation of Perugino’s workshop is discussed. 

The dependence of the composition on models by Perugino is obvious, and typical of Giannicola’s early work. Pounced dots, visible to the naked eye and by infrared reflectography around the contours of the composition, suggest that the artist had access to Perugino’s punched cartoons. The materials were analysed by optical microscopy, SEM-EDX, FTIR microscopy and GC-MS. The paint was found to have an egg tempera binding medium, rather than the oil medium for which Perugino was celebrated. The authors suggest that Giannicola was employed in Perugino’s workshop as an assistant rather than a pupil, using his designs but loyal to a technique in which he had been trained elsewhere.

Keywords

cartoons for paintings, cleaning and restoration, cost of commissions for painting, materials and techniques of 16th-century paintings, Renaissance painting, underdrawing, varnish analysis

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Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo, Catherine Higgitt, Marika Spring, Anthony Reeve and Luke Syson (PDF 11.12MB)

 

 

To cite this article we suggest using

Higgitt, C., Spring, M., Reeve, A., Syson, L. 'Working with Perugino: The Technique of an Annunciation attributed to Giannicola di Paolo'. National Gallery Technical Bulletin Vol 27, 96–110.
http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/technical-bulletin/higgitt_spring_reeve_syson2006


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