For Pintoricchio this is not the case; and the exhibition at Perugia is thus of particular importance.
Pintoricchio was evidently an astonishingly precocious performer, aged only 17 at the time of his collaboration over the panels depicting the miracles of St Bernardino of Siena painted for the oratory of S Bernardino in Perugia in 1473.
One section of the exhibition was provisionally called Foreigners in Siena, and was later given the politer title of Distinguished Visitors, which is still not quite the right designation for a room in which works by Sodoma, Pintoricchio
and Signorelli are hung.
The results deck the National Gallery's walls: masterpieces by Bellini, Raphael, Rembrandt, Michelangelo, Pintoricchio
, Velazquez, Piero della Francesca, and others scoured within an inch of their life, or further.
Bringing together an amazing collection of paintings, sculpture, rare books, and works on paper for an exhibition held at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center at Wellesley College, it features works of art from the thirteenth through the twentieth century and includes works by Pintoricchio
, Mantegna, and Chagall, among other lesser-known masters.
The frames for these heroes and heroines are new, but the exhibition's reconstruction of the camera bella of the Petrucci Palace sets the transferred frescoes by Pintoricchio
and Signorelli between their original wooden pilasters (loaned from Siena).
One is surprised to encounter the burly ruffian face of Perugino, painter of delicate, delectable religious scenes in an ethereal perspective; the gaunt severity of Pintoricchio
, celebrant of blithe young Madonnas; the youthful Italianate swagger of Ghirlandaio, homely and unassuming in his delineations of the Holy Family; the sportive self-mockery of the sentimental pietist Carlo Dolci.
I was also troubled by some of the portrait identifications, especially the claim that Pintoricchio
is Raphael's companion in The School of Athens.
Although Balducci, a Sienese painter, was influenced by Pintoricchio
, he perpetuated the use of jewelled colours and gold leaf, such as raggedly bedeck the damaged portable altarpiece nearby, painted in Duccio's workshop at least two hundred years before.
The first room is devoted to Raphael's early mentors--his father, Giovanni Santi, Perugino and Pintoricchio
(Signorelli is absent from the display, but much discussed in the catalogue)--and shows them off at their very considerable best.
The portrait closely resembles in style and setting Pintoricchio
's Portrait of a Boy at the Dresden Gemaldegalerie, and looks more like the work of the visionary Pintoricchio
than that of the homelier Ghirlandaio, who rarely ventured into portraiture.
Vasari discusses Raphael's work with Pintoricchio
in Siena, (3) and most scholars now accept that the younger artist played a role in designing the fresco decoration of the Piccolomini Library (which opens off the nave of the cathedral in Siena).