Signorelli, Luca(lo͞o`kä sēnyōrĕl`lē), 1441?–1523, Italian painter of the Umbrian school, who probably studied with Piero della Francesca. He worked in Cortona, where some of his paintings have remained. Subsequently he worked in the Cathedral of Perugia, in Volterra, and at Monte Oliveto before undertaking (1499) the decoration of the Cappella Nuova in the Orvieto Cathedral. There he represented the apocalyptic series of the Story of the Anti-Christ, the End of the World, the Resurrection of the Bodies, Paradise, and the Inferno, as well as figurations from antique poems and the Divine Comedy. The infernal scenes are remarkable for their imaginative evocation of fiends and tortures of Hell. Michelangelo was influenced by his powerful treatment of anatomy and the vivid realism he used for dramatic ends. Signorelli's paintings in the Vatican, where he went in 1508, were later sacrificed to make way for some of Raphael's work. Examples of his work are in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Metropolitan Museum; and the museums of Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Detroit.
Born approximately between 1445 and 1450 in Cortona; died there Oct. 16, 1523. Italian painter.
Signorelli studied under Piero della Francesca and was influenced by Pollaiuolo and Perugino. He worked in Cortona, Florence, Loreto (The Marches), Città di Castello (Umbria), Arezzo, Perugia, Volterra, Rome, and Orvieto. His works include frescoes in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican (1481–83) and The Education of Pan (1488–90; destroyed in 1945). Signorelli also painted frescoes in the cloister of the monastery at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Tuscany (1497), and in the Cappella di San Brizio in the cathedral of Orvieto (1499–1504). These works are noted for their severity, resolute strength, and the heroic nature of their composition. Signorelli emphasized the human form and its movements; his figures were three-dimensional in effect and had sharp outlines that in his late works acquired a certain rigidity.