The Early Renaissance



Luca Signorelli



Luca Signorelli

(b Cortona, c. 1450; d between Oct and Dec 1523).

Italian painter and draughtsman. Overcoming the handicap of lifelong residence in the provincial town of Cortona, in the 1480s he obtained early recognition as a leading artist in central Italy from fellow artists and major patrons, including Pope Sixtus IV and Lorenzo de’ Medici. Yet rapid evolution of taste, dominated by a sense of constant progress in truth to nature, led to his eclipse, beginning in the 1490s, together with his contemporaries Botticelli and Perugino, in favour of younger masters such as Filippino Lippi and Leonardo da Vinci. He was still respected for his skill in anatomical drawing and the expressive and dramatic effects for which he used it; this most notably produced Michelangelo’s homage to Signorelli (Vasari reported that Michelangelo praised his frescoes at Orvieto highly and borrowed certain motifs from them for his Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel, Rome).



Madonna and Child

c. 1490
Panel, 170 x 117,5 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Madonna and Child with Saints

Museo Nazionale di Castel S. Angelo, Rome


Lamentation over the Dead Christ

Wood, 270 x 240 cm
Museo Diocesano, Cortona

Madonna and Child with St Joseph and Another Saint

Panel, diameter: 99 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Mary Magdalene

Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Orvieto

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