Raffaello in Perugia

RAFFAELLO ‘THE ENTOMBMENT OF CHRIST’ COMMISIONED IN 1507 BY ATALANTA BAGLIONI TO HONOR THE DEATH OFF HER SON GRIFONETTO

Recently, a Zoom meeting was held in the city of Perugia, Italy with a historic presentation of the prestigious Baglioni family by Alessandra Oddi Baglioni.

Alessandra is the author of the book “Nozze Rosse” (Red Wedding). Nozze Rosse is a very descriptive history of the tragic death of Atalanta’s son, Astorre and his wife Lavinia on the evening of their wedding day. The same evening so many people died, when Grifonetto and his men wanted to take control of Perugia from Gianpaolo.

The tragic events of night of June 3, 1500 was chosen by Grifonetto to take control from Gianpaolo. But with the assistance of his men, Gianpaolo escaped.

The mother, Atalanta refused to give shelter to Grifonetto after the attack on the family home. Grifonetto pursued Gianpaolo but he was killed by the friends of Gianpaolo.

Gianpaolo became commander of the Papal forces, First for Pope Julius II (Giuliano Della Rovere 1503-1513) and then for Pope Leone X (Giovanni Medici 1475-1521 nephew of Lorenzzo Il Magnifico)

Raffaello was at this time in Perugia and he had many friends in the area.

He received the commission from Atalanta for a painting to commemorate the death of Grifonetto whom he is represented in this famous painting carrying the body of Christ, and the grieving mother shows all the pain that a mother feels for her son’s death.

He received the commission from Atalanta for a painting to commemorate the Grifonetto death whom he is represented in this famous painting carrying the body of Christ, and the grieving Mother show all the pain that a mother feels for the death of her son.

Detail of the Mother mourning from ‘The Entombment of Christ’ by Raffaello.

In the recent Zoom presentation, Alessandra described the symbolism Raffaello used in the painting with the beautiful, single tree of life in the background, the church as his dream to go to Rome, and the flower representing the Church that expanded around the world.

Symbols of a church, a single tree of life and flowers in “The Entombment of Christ” by Raffaello.

Raffaello was known for his painting of St. George and the Dragon, commissioned by the Duchess of Montefeltro in Urbino and now with his relationship with the Baglioni family, his introduction to Pope Julius II gave him the possibility to go to Rome, which was the dream of his life.

My interest in this story is because I was familiar with Raffaello’s painting for the Duchess of Montefeltro from Urbino but did not know the tragic story of the Baglioni family from Perugia.

Many thanks to Alessandra Odd Baglioni for sharing this information.

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