Great success for the Perugino exhibition. Over 100,000 visitors

The Perugino exhibition at the National Gallery of Umbria was a great success: more than 100,000 in fact visitors and generally very positive numbers.

A great success for the exhibition on Perugino (Pietro Vannucci; Città della Pieve, c. 1450 - Fontignano, 1523), entitled The Best Master of Italy. Perugino in his time, held from March 4 to June 11 at the National Gallery of Umbria in Perugia to mark the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death, curated by Veruska Picchiarelli and Marco Pierini (our review here). In fact, the exhibition was visited by 102,300 people.

The entire project, created with the aim of restoring to Perugino, an absolute protagonist of the Renaissance, the role of artistic prominence that his era had assigned him, was built by the two curators in scientific partnership with the directors and curators of the world’s major museums, from the Uffizi Galleries in Florence to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen, from the National Gallery in Washington to the National Gallery in London, from the Louvre in Paris to the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin.

These important institutions were involved in its creation from the very beginning and, because of the quality of the exhibition, agreed to the loan of their most precious masterpieces, many of which had been missing from Italy for many years. These included the Galitzin Triptych: Crucifixion with the Virgin, St. John, St. Jerome and St. Mary Magdalene, from the National Gallery in Washington, the Panels from the Altarpiece of the Charterhouse of Pavia, from the National Gallery in London, the Struggle between Love and Chastity (from the Studiolo of Isabella d’Este), from the Louvre in Paris, the Marriage of the Virgin, from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen, to others. A 600-page catalog (Dario Cimorelli publisher) was then produced, containing eight essays delving into the themes Perugino developed in his career, fact sheets on 60 works, and an extensive bibliography.

The review, which has been able to interest the most diverse and composite segments of the public. This is evident from the data on guided tours of the exhibition (1,292), which involved as many as 24,420 people. These included 857 organized groups, thanks to the work done in the area by tour operators, tour guides and cultural associations, which accompanied 14,749 people to the Gallery. Prestigious is also the result concerning fruition by schools. In its four months of opening, the exhibition saw 435 school groups pass through, or 9,671 primary and secondary students mostly from Umbria and neighboring regions.

Excellent feedback also for Perugino’s Bus, the initiative carried out in collaboration with BUSITALIA - Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, which saw a bus decorated with the exhibition’s guiding image, which allowed pupils from 65 Umbrian classes, a total of 1208 pupils and 106 accompanying persons, to reacquaint themselves with the cultural heritage in a completely free way, discovering the best maestro of Italy. Coop Centro Italia and Fondazione Noi - Legacoop Toscana, among the supporters of the review, also contributed to its success, offering 2,128 free tickets for university students of non-humanities subjects, organizing 47 guided tours for schools for a total of 1,175 students and 27 tours for Coop Members for a total of more than 700 participants.

Again, more than 2,000 people took advantage, from March 31 to June 9, of the evening openings, from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., made possible thanks to the patronage of 29 entrepreneurs from Confindustria Umbria - Perugia Section.

Finally, the promotion of the exhibition traveled on new digital media channels. In the 100 days of opening, the National Gallery of Umbria’s social media reached an average coverage of 53,730 for Facebook posts, with an average of 22,607 interactions. As for Instagram, accounts reached 238,000, interactions 24,400, and increased followers to 66,900. The website of the National Gallery of Umbria - - in addition to the exhibition itinerary, kept a number of technical notions, such as ticket prices, opening hours, and other news about group and school visits and more, representing a valuable resource for the viewer. And the data tell how useful it has been: from February to early June, the website saw hits of more than 450 thousand individual visitors, with a total of 911 thousand page views. Much appreciated was the podcast on Perugino’s life and artistic production, hosted by major platforms (Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music Italia, Google Podcasts), and which recorded 5,031 downloads in Italian and 173 in English.

Perugino was also the protagonist of a documentary, with the extraordinary participation of Marco Bocci, produced by Ballandi, directed by Giovanni Piscaglia, and supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Region of Umbria and Arpa Umbria, which recounts Perugino’s life and work starting from his connection with his land, Umbria, and in particular with the luminous landscapes that open up on the shores of Lake Trasimeno that Perugino often immortalized in the background of his paintings. In the three days it was shown in 240 cinemas throughout Italy, the film was seen by more than 10,000 people.

The exhibition, which was held in Perugia, Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2023 city, was the flagship event of the centennial celebrations, coordinated by a National Committee, established by the Ministry of Culture and chaired by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni.

The exhibition was supported by the Perugia Foundation, the Region of Umbria, the Chamber of Commerce of Umbria, the Cassa di Risparmio di Foligno Foundation, the Municipality of Norcia, and the Municipality of Spello; the patronage of Rai - Radiotelevisione Italiana, Confindustria Umbria territorial section of Perugia, the Municipality of Perugia; the support of Coop Centro Italia and Fondazione NOI Legacoop Toscana; media partner is Rai Cultura; technical partners are Busitalia - Gruppo Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and Ikuvium.

“We were hoping,” says Marco Pierini, director of the National Gallery of Umbria, “and perhaps in our hearts we knew it would be a success; but we didn’t think it would be this successful: the numbers are extraordinary, it’s impossible to deny it. But the real exceptional data are the expressions of affection and compliments received: ’numbers’ that cannot be quantified and that we will jealously guard. Undeniable are the fatigue and tiredness: but the return we have had is the engine to start again, already from today, to do even better. It is not a question of expectations, or perhaps it is only partly: it is rather a question of responsibility and gratitude to a territory that has supported us so much, in the most diverse forms and ways. From Art Bonus to sponsorships, from partnerships to the simple purchase of a ticket: each gesture has meant more than just the act itself. Special thanks to the National Committee for the fifth centenary of the death of Pietro Vannucci, chaired by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, which has built a schedule of cultural events to promote and spread, in Italy and abroad, including through digital platforms, knowledge of the figure and work of Perugino.”

Great success for the Perugino exhibition. Over 100,000 visitors
Great success for the Perugino exhibition. Over 100,000 visitors

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