Perugino in the trees

Perugino in the trees

Back in the 16th century A.D.
The High Renaissance moved
its way into the heart of Italy.
Though short-lived
one talent was a pleasant,
kind and faithful son.
From Urbino did Raphael emerge,
the famous painter known for
his Madonna’s.
Trained by Perugino,
he was well liked by
Pope Julius II,
who waged war day and night.

Though often known
for his buon frescoes
covering the walls
of the Stanza della Segnatura,
his trees were of the sort
borrowed from Perugino
and rarely altered,
resembling a scantly clad
deciduous species.
The scenery he painted
had a few little toothpicks
interspersed between
buildings and figures of
Roman Catholicism, royalty
and Jesus.

It might then be stretching
the point, but Italian painters
might be referencing Montana’s Scapegoat
with trees living on a high altitude diet,
skinny as a malnourished artist,
trying to find his place in the Tuscany sun
or be immortalized by Vasari
(on second thought, how dull).

Then again, similarities
can only go so far –
while one is drawn
from the artist’s imagination
the other is no mere
simulacrum, carved
out of nature and although
famished as a rail, trees
of the northwest
are tougher than nails.

Thus, if Perugino’s plants
of southern Europe
were exposed to the cold,
the bark, which like skin
is for show, would shortly
flake off and, as with Raphael,

poem and photo from ‘Nostalgia, Naturally’
by Tyler Pedersen, Copyright 2007

Please click on the link below for more information on the paintings and life of the Renaissance Master, Raphael of Urbino:

About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
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6 Responses to Perugino in the trees

  1. Wonderfully different

    • Thank you! I minored in art history and criticism in college and fell in love with the Renaissance Masters. Ironically, as a child, I was a passionate follower of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so I think my exposure to pop culture foreshadowed my later interest in art history as an adult. Glad you enjoyed this poem 🙂

  2. I have been enjoying your blog.
    I decided to nominate you for a Liebsters Award.
    Continued success,

    • Thank you, Jennifer! I appreciate the nomination and congratulate you on your nomination as well! I enjoy reading your blog and wish you only the best 🙂

  3. I’ve seen his work in Italy.

    • Wow, that must have been a sight to behold, Paul! I’m still planning on going to Rome and Florence with my wife next summer and am very anxious to see the Renaissance Masterpieces up close. It’s one thing to read about them in a textbook and view slides of their paintings – quite another to stand in the Sistine Chapel, peer upwards and soak in the immense endeavor of the creative spirit. I’d have to say Leonardo and Michelangelo are my two favorites, but you have to admire the artistry and grace of Raphael and the bas-relief sculptural ingenuity of Donatello (who was way ahead of his time, considering he was a sculptor of the Early Renaissance).

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