Federico Faruffini - inv. 4750
The painting shows the interior of the Audience Chamber of the Sala del Cambio on the ground floor of Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia. In the mid fifteenth century it was the headquarters of the Corporation of Moneychangers, the bankers of the period.
The great desk and tribune, carved by Domenico del Tasso at the end of the fifteenth century, are in the foreground, while, on the left, part of the fresco by Perugino portraying The Eternal Father Between Angels with Sibyls and Prophets can be glimpsed on the wall.
This painting, and a similar one in the Civic Museum of Pavia, were preparatory studies for a larger work (location unknown) entitled The Sala del Cambio with Figures of Old Characters.
The Pavia sketch is signed and dated 1869, so this work can be dated to the same year.
Federico Faruffini, who trained at the Pavia Art Academy, was a great experimenter of different techniques, among which engraving and photography. His artistic production fits into the research carried out by Italian artists from the middle of the nineteenth century that led to a new kind of history painting and from romanticism to realism.
This painting, previously in the Simonetti collection in Rome and then in the Cora collection in Rapallo, came to the Poldi Pezzoli Museum in 2003.