Building work through the ages – the Italian renaissance

‘Practical Completion’

Perugino's striking essay in single-point perspective depicting the moment of 'Practical Completion' of the works.

Long thought to represent a well-known biblical scene, this work is now confirmed to be part of a fifteenth century chronicle illustrating the moment of ‘Practical Completion’ of a significant public work. The contractors’ representatives on the left are handing over the keys of the finished building; the client is so overwhelmed with gratitude at reaching this stage after such a protracted period – completion is 258 years late – that he has spontaneously fallen to his knees.
It is interesting to note that members of the architectural team – who have been driven mad by the contractual wrangling and delays – can be seen wearing green shirts (the uniform of the harmless-insane) behind the principal figures: they dance in blissful insanity.
Sir Doric Port-Cochere:  the practice retained fine-art critic

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