(b. 1450, Citta della Pieve, d. 1523, Perugia)

The Madonna between St John the Baptist and St Sebastian

Egg tempera and oil on panel, 178 x 164 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

From the church of S. Domenico at Fiesole. Signed and dated. A work the fame of which is in excess of its actual artistic worth. It expresses an entirely exterior religious feeling by means of elements which are merely illustrative rather than definitely figurative, and is somewhat lifeless.

Perugino was in demand during the last decade of the fifteenth century, particularly for religious altarpieces such as this one. He specialized in a type of Madonna that is approachable, youthful, and sweet. She sits on a high-based throne with a Roman-style decorative frieze. A strong architectural background provides compositional stability to the two standing saints framing the Virgin and Child.