(b. ca. 1454, Perugia, d. 1513, Siena)

St Catherine's Disputation

Fresco with gold leaf
Palazzi Pontifici, Vatican

Although this fresco in the Room of the Saints imitates the decorous poses and disposition of figures seen in the Sistine Chapel frescoes (Pinturicchio worked as Perugino's assistant in the Sistine Chapel), the entire surface of the painting is elaborately patterned with different luxurious materials and further adorned with gold. Even the landscape takes on a decorative cast, with trees silhouetted against the sky. Their leaves are speckled with gold and provide both sparks of light on the surface and abstract patterns comparable to those on the costumes of the figures.