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


Oil on panel, 47 x 34 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Formerly attributed to Leonardo, the name of Perugino is however accepted now unanimously. It is a painting of great beauty, and particularly happy both as conception and execution with its finely graduated, sensitive colour, low in tone and warmly brown. It comes very near to Raphael. Perugino's Magdalen is characteristic of his favoured type, with an oval, light-filled face delineated with delicately small features. Nonetheless, it could almost be a portrait, and might even have been one. In fact Perugino was skilled in that growing genre, in which his tight applications were able to register likenesses.