Perugino, Pietro

, a celebrated Italian painter, the master of Raphael, was born in 1446, at Perugia, whence he took the name that has totally obliterated his family appellation, which was Vanucci. His parents were poor; but, being desirous to put him in a way of supporting himself, placed him with a painter, under whom he imbibed at least a strong enthusiasm for his art, and desire to excel in it. His application to study was intense; and when he had made a sufficient progress, he went to Florence, and became a disciple of Andrea Verocchio. From this painter he acquired a graceful mode of designing heads, particularly those of his female figures. He rose by degrees to considerable eminence, and was employed by Sixtus IV. to paint several pieces for his chapel at Rome, Great as his talents were, he was unfortunately infected with the vice of covetousness. It was from this cause that, when he | returned to Florence, he quarrelled with Michael Angelo, and behaved so ill, that the Florentines, being enraged against him, drove him from their city: on which he returned to his native Perugia. The same foible proved accidentally the cause of his death; for, having accumulated some money, which he was very anxious not to lose, he always carried it about him. He continued this practice till some thief robbed him of his treasure; and, the grief for his loss being too severe for his strength, he died in 1524, at the age of 78.

His touch was light, and his pictures highly finished; but his manner was stiff and dry, and his outline was frequently incorrect. His most capital painting is in the church of St. Peter at Perugia It is an altar-piece, the subject of which is the Ascension of Christ. The disciples are there represented in various attitudes, but all directing their eyes to heaven, and looking after the Lord, who is supposed to have ascended. 1

1 Pilkington.