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(b Castello della Pieve [now Città della Pieve], Umbria, c.1450; d Fontignano, nr. Perugia, Feb./Mar. 1523). Italian painter, active mainly in Perugia, from which his nickname derives. His early career is obscure, but he seems to have formed his style chiefly in Florence, where Vasari says he studied with Verrocchio—this would have been at about the same time that Leonardo da Vinci was training with him (he is also said to have been a pupil of Piero della Francesca; this could have preceded his training in Florence). In 1472 he was enrolled as a painter in the fraternity of St Luke in Florence (the same year as Leonardo) and in 1475 he was back in Perugia. By 1481 he was sufficiently well known to be commissioned to paint frescos on the walls of the newly built Sistine Chapel, Rome, for Pope Sixtus IV (Francesco della Rovere), along with Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Cosimo Rosselli (Signorelli later completed the work).

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)

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