Hitherto unpublished, this refined panel, showing Christ at the edge of the tomb, supported on either side by the Madonna and Saint John the Evangelist, is a composition known through two other treatments of the subject, one in the Musée du Louvre, Paris (inv. no. 724) and another in the Kress collection, now in the Episcopal Church of Saint Philip’s in the Hills, Tucson (inv. no. K1186). The Louvre panel belongs to Giovanni di Pietro’s Coronation of the Virgin
from the Convento Montesanto, Sellano, now in the Museo-Pinacoteca, Todi, while the Tucson picture has been identified as the missing panel from the predella
for his large-scale altarpiece from the church of San Martino, Perugia and now in the Pinacoteca Communale, Trevi.1
The measurements and form of the Louvre and Tucson panels are analogous to this panel, and we might therefore surmise this work also once a scene forming part of a predella
, though it is possible it was conceived as an independent panel. 2
The corresponding Todi and Trevi altarpieces date to 1511 and 1522 respectively, offering a guideline by which to reconstruct the chronology of the present panel.3
While details of his early life and training are unknown, Giovanni di Pietro is first documented as working in Perugia in 1504 and his earlier known works are unmistakably inspired by Perugino. From 1510 onward the artist’s style began to bear the influence of Raphaelesque models, certainly recognizable in the present panel.
1. Fondazione Federico Zeri, Fototeca Online, inv. nos. 24599 and 24598 respectively.
2. The Louvre and Tucson panels measure 14 3/4 by 18 3/4 in.; 37.5 by 47.5 cm. and 14 1/2 by 31 1/4 in.; 37 by 79. 5 cm. respectively.
3. Fondazione Federico Zeri, Fototeca Online, inv. nos. 24599 and 24598.