Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

First Advisor

Dr. Fredrika Jacobs


Pietro Perugino's oeuvre is characterized by the reappearance of figures and motifs replicated through the reuse of cartoons. Perugino's deliberate self-plagiarism, despite being rooted in quattrocento compositional methods, exhibits an exploitation of the reproductive nature of the cartoon. While this practice allowed him to develop an efficient design process, the results of this imitation endowed Perugino's work with a formulaic quality, as was first noted by Giorgio Vasari in his Lives of the Most Eminent Painters, Sculptors and Architects (1568). Significantly, in the sixteenth century, theorists revised the concept of imitation to incorporate not only the notion of replication, but emulation as well. An examination of Perugino's reproductive practices alongside this revised view of imitation elucidates the nature of Vasari's criticism, ultimately revealing why the critic placed him among artists of the quattrocento, rather than that of the cinquecento.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008