Resurrection of Christ – Vatican Palaces – Vatican City

This work, preserved in the room where the Pope meets Heads of State, repeats some suggestions that Perugino had already experienced in Umbria, as the compositional scheme seen in the predella of the Polyptych of Abbazia di San Pietro mixed together with that of the Transfiguration of the Nobile Collegio del Cambio. The scene takes place on two registers: in the upper one the figure of Christ is surrounded by an almond of light, while two angels float in the air arounf him in prayer, while, just below him, three soldiers are still sleeping by the open tomb: only one of the is awake, blinded by the great brightness coming from the Saviour in the moment of the Resurrection.
The painting was commissioned by Bernardino di Giovanni da Corneto to adorn an altar in the church of San Francesco al Prato, where it was preserved until 1797, when the Napoleonic troops requisitioned it and transferred it to Paris. Thanks to the interest of the sculptor Canova the work was moved back to Italy, but it never came back to Perugia, ending up in Vatican City collections.
The work is preserved in the private library of the Pope, the Biblioteca Pontificia, in the Vatican Palaces.
Perugino, Resurrection of Christ, about 1499, oil on panel, 233 x 165 cm, Città del Vaticano, Palazzo Apostolico / Copyright © Governatorato dello Stato della Città del Vaticano - Direzione dei Musei