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Pietro Perugino, The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis

Key facts
Full title The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis
Artist Pietro Perugino
Artist dates living 1469; died 1523
Date made probably about 1507-15
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 185.5 × 152.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1879
Inventory number NG1075
Location On loan: Long Loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum (2021 - 2024), Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
Collection Main Collection
The Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis
Pietro Perugino

This painting stood above the altar in a chapel built to commemorate a local carpenter, Giovanni di Matteo di Giorgio Schiavone, in the church of Santa Maria dei Servi in Perugia. Giovanni left instructions in his will that the proceeds of the sale of his workshop should go towards the chapel, which he wanted Perugino to paint with a mural showing the Virgin and Child with Saints Jerome and Francis.

It is possible that Perugino delegated the work to one of the assistants although some parts – Christ and Jerome’s heads, and the atmospheric, soft landscape – look more like his work. Perugino might have made it himself, working quickly and reusing existing designs and drawings – common practice for him at the end of his career. As a result he received fewer commissions, while his pupil Raphael overtook his fame.

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