19 July 2023

Perugino’s Masterpieces in Ultra-High Definition

A new digital acquisition project has made Perugino’s masterworks more accessible to the public than ever before.

Backstage Haltadefinizione Caen

Upon the 500th anniversary of the death of Perugino, Haltadefinizione has published free online Gigapixel images of selected masterpieces of the Umbrian master, including some of the most famous works in the National Gallery of Umbria as well as the celebrated Marriage of the Virgin, which is held in the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Caen, France.

Gonfalone della Giustizia 3508x2481Detail of the Justice Gonfalon - National Gallery of Umbria

The ultra-high resolution digital photography of Perugino’s works is the result of a well-established and fruitful collaboration between the National Gallery of Umbria and Haltadefinizione. Following on the success of the National Gallery’s just-concluded exhibition, “Italy’s Best Maestro: Perugino and His Day,” the publication of these Gigapixel images allows the public to continue to explore many works online which were also part of the exhibition. The National Gallery of Umbria holds most of Perugino’s works, including the Adoration of the Magi, The Farneto Pietà, the Ranieri Annunciation and the Lamentation Over the Dead Christ. They are all available inside the Image Bank for detailed viewing and analysis.

Annunciazione Ranieri 3508x2480Detail of the Ranieri Annunciation - National Gallery of Umbria

Haltadefinizione’s team of specialists have also collected multispectral data for diagnostic analysis on some of the works in the Gallery, using ultraviolet fluorescence and infrared reflectography. These techniques, in addition to ultra-high definition digital photography itself, are important new ways to monitor the conservation status of the works. The Adoration of the Magi makes a good example. While multi-spectral analysis gave a clear picture of its conservation status, the ultra-high definition digital image allowed the director of the National Gallery, Marco Pierini, to discover the word “io” (“I, myself”) on the collar of the young man on the left, to show it is the artist’s self-portrait.

Adorazione dei Magi 3508x2480Detail of the Self-Portrait of Perugino from the Adoration of the Magi - National Gallery of Umbria 

In addition to the works of the National Gallery of Umbria, Haltadefinizione has conducted ultra-high resolution digitization on what many consider to be Perugino’s greatest masterpiece, the Marriage of the Virgin. Painted between 1501 and 1504 for the Chapel of the Santo Anello in the Cathedral of Perugia, the painting was stolen by Napoleon’s troops over two centuries ago. The oil on wood panel is currently held in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen, Normandy.

Sposalizio della Vergine 3508x2481Detail of the Marriage of the Virgin - Musée des Beaux-Arts di Caen 

To prepare for this exhibition in Perugia, the Haltadefinizione team travelled to Caen to conduct digital photography using the company’s Gigapixel technology. The digitization of the Marriage of the Virgin means that the public has access to ultra-high definition images of one of the artist’s greatest achievements. This emphasizes the primary importance of Perugino among the artists featured at the National Gallery of Umbria.

Adorazione dei Magi 3508x2480 2Detail of the Adoration of the Magi - National Gallery of Umbria

Thanks to the extraordinary resolution offered by ultra-high definition Gigapixel images, we can explore the sober elegance of Perugino’s perspective compositions as never before. The high-resolution digitalization of these masterpieces of Perugino, preserved both in Italy and abroad, allows scholars and art lovers to immerse themselves in the fascinating world of this great master, even after the physical exhibition has closed.




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