Painter/Artist: Luca Signorelli

Umbro-Florentine School. Pupil of Piers della Francesca, and influenced by Antonio Pollaiuolo. His chief works were frescoes in the Cathedral at Orvieto and elsewhere.


THE CIRCUMCISION The Virgin is seated, turned slightly to our right, with head bent over the Child on her knee, who leans forward to the priest kneeling in profile to left. Behind the mother is a woman leaning forward; to the right Simeon, his hands raised, looking upward to the right. In the left foreground stand an old man in profile leaning on a staff. On the right a woman stands with her back to us. Two other figures behind. A vaulted arch in the centre background. The floor paved with coloured tiles. The figure of the Child is said to have been entirely repainted by Sodoma.

Presumably the altar-piece described by Vasari in the Church of S. Francesco at Volterra.

Purchased from the Hamilton Palace Collection in 1882.


PAN AS THE GOD OF NATURE An allegorical group of six nude figures in the open air. In the centre, on a low ledge of rock which runs across the picture, Pan is seated on a chair, his goats’ knees wide apart and the hoofs crossed, his right hand holding a staff and his left his pipes resting on his knee. He is represented as a robust young man with reddish skin and thick curly hair falling over his shoulders, and his horns are like the crescent moon. He has a scarf over his shoulders. At his right knee stands a young man with much fairer skin with his back to us, playing on a long pipe. On the other side is another dark figure of an elderly man leaning on a long staff, bending his head towards Pan’s. Below this ledge in the foreground are, in the centre, a recumbent youth-his feet to right-resting on his right elbow, blowing a reed which he holds upright with his left hand; on the left stands facing us a nymph with a fair skin, her weight on her left foot; her right hand rests on a long cane, and her left, holding a long reed, extends downwards, meeting that of the recumbent youth; on the right another old man stands in profile leaning with both hands on a staff. Two more small figures are seen on the left in the mixed landscape background.