In the lands of Perugino between the villages of Montefalco and Trevi, discover two precious works by the Divine Painter.
Trevi is located between Foligno and Spoleto and is known as the town of Olive Oil par excellence. Travelling along the SS3, Trevi will appear perched on top of a hill, enveloped by its mysterious medieval charm and characterised by its Romanesque-style buildings.
In addition to being famous for its ‘oro giallo’, it is well-known for its sedano nero (black celery) and other precious fruits of the earth, Trevi conserves among various artistic treasures, an important work by Perugino, kept inside the church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime. The church itself was built specifically following a miraculous event connected to a painted image of the Virgin Mary which was seen weeping blood on the 5th August 1485.
The work by the Divine Painter which you’ll be able to see is the Cappella di Adorazione dei Magi (Chapel of the Adoration of the Magi) or of the Nativity, dating back to 1522 and as such, one of the Maestro’s last works. The fresco depicts a marvellous scene of the Nativity, with figures in adoration and the apostles Peter and Paul at the sides. The setting of the painting is a simple wooden hut, where the Virgin Mary is holding the infant Jesus in her arms: Saint Joseph is on the left. At either side of the Madonna’s seat are two Magi each offering a flask and the third King standing next to them. The background to the main scene is a characteristic country landscape with shepherds intent on grazing their flocks. You will notice in particular, two shepherds in the distance, in the central part of the painting who are looking upwards, covering their eyes; they are probably gazing towards the light of a comet, which today is no longer visible in the fresco.
Not far from Trevi is splendid Montefalco, renowned for its excellent red wine, as well as for olive oil, cured meats and honey. Montefalco will offer you a marvellous panorama overlooking the surrounding area and for this reason is called ‘la ringhiera dell’Umbria’ (the balustrade of Umbria).
In the town’s historic centre, inside the Church of San Francesco, you’ll be able to see the magnificent Natività by Perugino which fills an aedicule on the right-hand side of the counter-facade. The fresco depicts three scenes each framed by false architectural elements: the Annunciation above, then God in Glory between angels and below, in the foreground, the scene of the Nativity. You will see Jesus surrounded by a green landscape which opens into a wide horizon from an undefined boundary behind him. It is precisely this characteristic from which you can identify the hand of Perugino, who in his mature phase, used this dominating presence of the landscape as a distinguishing feature of his work.
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