Perugino 's reputation declined so far that he became the subject of Goldsmith's gibe in The Vicar of Wakefield (1776) that the whole secret of absurd connoisseurship was to praise the work of Perugino (the point is made in Ariadne Fiorentina (1872) Works, 22.489). Michelangelo famously called Perugino 'goffo nell'arte', perhaps meaning 'awkward', or 'crude', or 'boorish', or 'blockhead' (see Works, 22.329 and Ruskin on Perugino), perhaps a term of abuse for a 'tradesman' or 'peasant', who was certainly rich, but neither a courtier like Raphael, nor an 'Artist' challenging convention like Michelangelo. For Lanzi, Storia Pittorica della Italia Inferiore, he was 'aliquanto crudo e aliquanto secco non altramente degli altri di sua età'. However these faults were compensated by 'grazia delle teste... gentilezza delle mosse... leggiadria del colore.'
In England, Reynolds on Perugino follows Vasari in citing Perugino as an unadventurous painter excelled by those who followed him.
Kugler, ed. Eastlake, Handbook of the History of Painting, Part One, The Italian Schools, First Edition, on Perugino suggests that he carried 'to the utmost perfection' the characteristics of the Umbrian school (written as Ambrian school in this edition of Modern Painters I).