Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (below), Abraham about to Sacrifice Isaac (above)

Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) Italian

Not on view

One of the first independent projects Perino del Vaga undertook after the death of his master Raphael in 1520 was the decoration in fresco of the Pucci chapel in the Roman Church of Trinità dei Monti for the powerful Florentine cardinal Lorenzo Pucci (1458-1531). In the triangular-shaped compartments of the High Gothic–style vault, a challenging and awkward pictorial field, particularly for multifigured narrative compositions, the artist executed scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary, to whom the chapel was dedicated. A preparatory study for one of the frescoes, this confident drawing—characterized by a fluid handling of different media, and squared for enlargement in order to transfer the design to the vault—attests to Perino’s prodigious gifts as a draftsman, for which he was acclaimed from the very beginning of his career. Here, as in the other scenes in the Pucci Chapel, the Marian subject matter is paired with an Old Testament narrative, in this case, the Sacrifice of Isaac, which theologians interpreted as a prefiguration of the sacrifice of Christ.

The decoration in fresco of the Pucci chapel was carried out by Perino in 1523, but left unfinished in 1527 after the dramatic events of the Sack of Rome. The cycle was later completed by the brothers Taddeo (1562-66) and Federico Zuccari (from 1566). Together with a second preparatory sheet for the Pucci chapel now in the Albertina, Vienna (‘Joachim and Anne Meeting at the Golden Gate,’ inv. 24983, 23.4 x 25.6 cm) the drawing in the Metropolitan Museum of Art is listed in the 1601 post-mortem inventory of the Roman collector Antonio Tronsarelli as follows: "A60. Quando la mad.[on]na sale al tempio pur de chiaro oscuro Pierino" (for this inventory and full bibliography see here ‘References’)

Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (below), Abraham about to Sacrifice Isaac (above), Perino del Vaga (Pietro Buonaccorsi) (Italian, Florence 1501–1547 Rome), Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, squared in black chalk, on brownish paper. The empty triangular corners are tinted in gray-green wash, the right diagonal border tinted in gray wash

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.