Sant'Onofrio Altarpiece

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Sant'Onofrio Altarpiece
Pala-sant-onofrio luca-signorelli.jpg
Artist Luca Signorelli
Year 1484
Type Finger and paint by number
Dimensions 221 cm × 189 cm (87 in × 74 in)
Location Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Perugia, Italy

The Sant'Onofrio Altarpiece is a painting by the Italian Renaissance painter Luca Signorelli, housed in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo in the Cathedral of Perugia, Italy. It was painted for the church in 1484, commissioned by bishop Jacopo Vagnucci, a native of Cortona, Signorelli's birthplace.


The scene portrayed is an Holy Conversation, with a high throne where the Virgin and Child sit, and which is placed over a Classical-style pedestal and crowned by a small engraved arch featuring a festoon with vegetables. Maria is reading a Bible, while Jesus holds a white lily, symbolizing her virginity and pureness.

Over a gilted step are St. John the Baptist and St. Lawrence, surmounted by two flying angels. On the marble step, below, Signorelli portrayed a sitting angle who is playing a lute, perhaps a homage to elements typical of the contemporary Venetian school (such as the San Cassiano Altarpiece by Antonello da Messina). The angel also resembles one painted by Signorelli in the Basilica della Santa Casa, at Loreto, a few years before. Standing on the foreground pavement are St. Onofrius and St. Herculanus, the patrons of Perugia.

Influences in the style of the painting include Ercole de' Roberti's Santa Maria di Porto Altarpiece, Donatello and Filippo Lippi (in the fierce figure of Lawrence) and, in the figure of Herculanus, that of Piero della Francesca's St. Augustine.


  • Paolucci, Antonio (2004). "Luca Signorelli". Pittori del Rinascimento. Florence: Scala. ISBN 88-8117-099-X.