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Pietro Perugino, Crucifixion, 1495, fresco, Convent of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, Firenze


Travel guide for Tuscany

Pietro Perugino |
The Pazzi Crucifixion






The monumental fresco of the Crucifixion, painted by Pietro Perugino in 1493-1496, was commissioned by Dionisio and Giovanna Pucci, members of two aristocratic Florentine families.  The painting was commissioned in 1493. On the left side St Bernard and the Virgin, on the right side St John the Evangelist and St Benedict are represented. In the centre the crucified Christ is depicted with Magdalene.
The lower part of the fresco was repainted.

The decoration takes up a whole wall, divided by the ceiling vaults and the painted architectural arch elements. The harmonious and luminous scenery contributes to decreasing the emphasis of the drama represented by the scene, that reflects the typical serene and meditative attitude of the artist. The fresco portrays the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist, at the foot of the cross. The other personalities were chosen because they had a very special meaning for the monks living in this convent.

“Maddalena” is the saint to which the church was originally dedicated in 1257; St. Benedict is the father of western monachism, while Bernard de Clairvaux (represented in a white garment) is the famous theologian of the early years of the Cistercian order. The three trees with slim trunks and thick foliage behind the figure of St. Bernard are perhaps a symbol of Trinity.[1]

[1] Crucifixion Painted by Pietro Perugino |

Arte in Toscana | Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori (1550) | Pietro Perugino

Lives of the Most Eminent Painters Sculptors and Architects, Giorgio Vasari | download pdf

Pietro Perugino and the Trasimeno lake scenary | Renaissance and Mannerism Painting in Città della Pieve, Paciano, Panicale and Castiglione del Lago

Podere Santa Pia, a jewel in the heart of the Valle d'Ombrone with breathtaking views to the Tyrrhenian coast, Montecristo and Corsica

Nestled in southern Tuscany and Lazio, the Maremma is one of the most picturesque areas central Italy has to offer. Found in this beautiful Maremma, close to San Quirico d'Orcia, Montalcino, Pienza, Montepulciano and the medieval hilltop village of Castiglioncello Bandini, Podere Santa Pia is a perfect Tuscan getaway. Some of the towns in the area which are worth a stroll around and more include Arcidosso, Castel del Piano, Roccalbegna, Semproniano, Pitigliano, Sovana, Sorano and the spa town of Saturnia.More to the north we find Montalcino with it's famous Brunello di Montalcino, Montepulciano and its historical centre, the poor theatre or “Teatro Povero” in Monticchiello, and Pienza and San Quirico d'Orcia, two small architectural masterpieces.
For garden-lovers and those who just enjoy the vistas of the classic Tuscan countryside, one of the great private gardens of Italy, Villa La Foce lies on a hill overlooking this beautiful and unspoiled part of Tuscany, the Val d'Orcia.

Holiday houses in Tuscany | Podere Santa Pia


Podere Santa Pia
Century-old olive trees, between Podere Santa Pia and Cinigiano
Abbazia di Sant' Antimo
Crete Senesi, surroundings
of Podere Santa Pia
The abbey of Sant'Antimo
Villa La Foce

Cypress-Lined Montichiello Road, south of Pienza, Val d'Orcia, Tuscany
Wines in southern Tuscany
Pienza, Piazza Pio II
Cipress road near Montichiello

Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi


At 58, Borgo Pinti stands the church of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi.

The old convent of St Mary Magdalene was renamed, at the end of the 17th century, when the remains of Maddalena dei Pazzi, a devout member of the famous Pazzi family, were transferred here after her canonisation in 1669.

The cloister in front of the church was designed, in the 16th century, by Giuliano da Sangallo. The garden, which is now such a sorry affair, was once quite charming, as old photographs reveal. The layout of the cloister is unusual in that the columns on two sides support an architrave rather than arches, while on the other two sides they support a central arch flanked by pillars. There are clearly echoes of the Pazzi Chapel in the overall design of the cloister.

The church is a dreary affair and is, justly, seldom visited. But in the old Chapter House of the convent, a wonderful surprise awaits the intrepid traveller in the form of Perugino’s beautiful fresco of ‘The Crucifixion with Saints’ (c. 1490/5).

The fresco occupies the entire end wall of the Chapter House and the artist has ingeniously incorporated the real architectural details of the room in the painting. It is an unusual depiction of the scene of the ‘Crucifixion’’ in that the central space is occupied by only two figures, the dying Christ with Mary Magdalen at his feet. His Mother has been relegated to the left side with St Bernard, while St John the Evangelist is to be found with St Benedict in the space to the right. The fresco was painted in the 1490s and the Magdalen enjoys the position of centre stage, because the church was originally dedicated to her.

Opening hours
Daily 9am-noon; Mon-Fri 5-5:20pm and 6-6:50pm; Sat 5-6:20pm; Sun 5-6:50pm

Entrance next to Borgo Pinti 58. Perugino Crucifixion, ring bell at no. 58 9-10am or enter through sacristy (knock at the last door on the right inside the church) at 5pm or 6:15pm daily


Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi,
the entrance with the portico


This article incorporates material from the Wikipedia article Pietro Perugino published under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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