Presenting and Discussing Pietro Perugino, Delivery of the Keys to Saint Peter: A Suggested Approach
By Pamela Trimpe
Art in Context: 2006–2007 Professional Development Workshop Materials (2006)
The articles in this series are intended to provide teachers with resources and classroom ideas relating to these topics.
The discussion of this significant work from the Renaissance, the 1481 fresco by Pietro Perugino in the Sistine Chapel, offers the rich opportunity to review some of the major themes of that era. Some topics that may be relevant to consider in order to fully understand and appreciate the painting include the following:
1. The scholars and artists of the Renaissance were fascinated with classical antiquity—with its art, literature, and all other forms of culture.
2. This interest spawned a new interest in the natural world as artists searched for ways to depict what and how we see—the fields of science, medicine, and engineering were of special interest to the pioneering thinkers of this time.
3. The patronage of the church provided the financial support for this work, yet artists portrayed humans and their environment in a realistic manner when visually interpreting biblical texts.
4. The concerns of the era can be said to be “humanist” concerns—a worldview focused on human beings, their potential, achievement, and subsequent civic responsibility.
You may wish to interweave these themes into your discussion of this painting.