Portrait of don Baldassarre di Angelo

Pietro Vannucci detto Perugino

Data sheet

  • Author: Pietro Vannucci detto Perugino
  • Date: 1500
  • Collection: PAINTING
  • Technique: Oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 27,5 X 26,8 cm.
  • Inventory: Inv. 1890 n. 8376


The small panels with portraits of the monks Biagio Milanesi and Baldassarre di Angelo make up the only surviving elements of the predella of the altarpiece that was originally on the main altar in the Abbey of Santa Maria Assunta at Vallombrosa. The Assumption of the Virgin, reflecting the dedication of the church, is at the centre of the work and was executed between 1497 and 1500. It represents one of the most characteristic examples of Perugino’s period of activity in Florence. It was brought to France after the suppression of the convent (1810) and, upon its return to Italy in 1817, it was placed in the Accademia Gallery, where it is exhibited together with its other component panels in the Sala del Colosso.
The paintings in question – undisputed portraiture masterpieces of the period – stand out for the meticulous description in the facial features and the intensity of the individuals’ expressions, providing extraordinary testimony to the Umbrian artist’s insight into Flemish painting and Leonardo’s naturalism.


Like its counterpart, this small panel has a black background that accentuates the profile of the Vallombrosan monk, Baldassarre di Angelo. The individual is identifiable thanks to the epigraph along the edges of the painting. The protagonist was mayor and procurator of the Vallombrosa abbey in 1500, at the time Perugino’s altarpiece was completed.
The excellent pictorial quality is obtained through the masterly use of the oil painting technique. The portrait is distinctive for its precision in the drawing, the sensation of warmth transmitted by the flesh-tones, the luminosity of the gaze, the detailed rendering of the hair, constituting an admirable testament to the artist’s period of full maturity.


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