Art in Siena

“PUER NATUS”: JESUS CHILDHOOD RAPRESENTADED ON THE PRECIOUS ILLUMINATED ANTHEM BOOKS. CATHEDRAL OF SIENA

 PUER NATUS: JESUS CHILDHOOD RAPRESENTADED ON THE PRECIOUS ILLUMINATED ANTHEM BOOKS. CATHEDRAL OF SIENA

(from December, 1st  2012 to January, 27th 2013).

Siena Crypt and  Piccolomini Library will host “Puer Natus”, an unusual exhibition dedicated to the magnificent illuminated parchments inspired by the history of Jesus childhood as the “Annunciation”, the “Nativity”, the” Adoration of the Magi” (Three Wise Men) and the” Introduction of Jesus at the Temple”.

For the first time the anthems of the Piccolomini Library will be open on a paper (page) that differs from that on display at the permanent exhibition, while in the Crypt  Jesus’childhood will be represented through precious anthem books belonging to the end of the thirteenth century and coming from the Archive of  the Museum of the Duomo (the Cathedral).
The visit to the Crypt will be accompanied by listening to Gregorian chants linked to the Liturgy of Christmas.
The anthems will also be virtually browsed (to better admire the valuable features) thanks to touch-screen reproductions.

All inclusive ticket € 8.00 (Puer Natus, Crypt, Piccolomini Library, Cathedral, Baptistery  and Opera Museum). Free entry for residents and children under 11 years.

For information, reservations and guided tours: +39 0577 286300

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ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

400px Lorenzetti ambrogio bad govern. det ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.buongoverno ALLEGORY AND EFFECTS OF THE GOOD AND THE BAD GOVERNMENT. PALAZZO PUBBLICO. SIENA.

Who knows what would the great Ambrogio Lorenzetti have thought if he had miraculously come back to visit us nowadays, even if just for  one day? Surely he would have seen  that we had tried hard not to realize the idea of just and peaceful  society represented  in his fresco cycle “ Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government”.

To see this wonderful  Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s work, dated  1337/1340, you have to come to Siena and visit Palazzo Pubblico in the beautiful  Piazza del Campo (Campo Square). The cycle of frescoes, that had to inspire the city rulers, is located in a rectangular hall known as the” Peace” or the” Council of Nine “ Room; in fact, the work was ordered by the Government of Siena that was , at that time, ruled by 9 residents who remained in office just for a short period to leave the place with nine other people.Observing the Allegory Of Good Government and the benefits that this brings to the city life and the  surrounding countryside, it’s inferred that the common good should inspire all the governors’ actions and that where order and justice are there are peace, employment, welfare, too. The Allegory of Good Government  is on the bottom of the room. On the left of the painting , there is “Justice”,  holding in balance the scales supported by “ Divine Wisdom” which is holding a book. On the scales there are two angels: one, on the left, represents “ Distributive Justice” who gives goods and penalties and the second one, on the right, represents “ Commutative Justice” that governs trade. From balance two strings hang down ,they ‘re-collected by ”Harmony” (Concordia) who has in her lap a plane (symbol of  equality of all citizens). The same strings are taken up by the 24 governors (the old government before the Nine) that deliver the rope to the “City of Siena” represented by an old man dressed in black and white (colors the represent the town of  Siena). The City is protected and inspired by three  winged theological ” Virtues”: Faith”, “Hope” and “Charity” . On the sides of the Old Man the ”Four Cardinal Virtues”: “Justice” (with the sword, the crown and a severed head), “Temperance” (with the hourglass, a symbol of wise use of time), “Prudence” ( represented with a mirror to interpret the past, read the present and tell the future),and “Force”( with the mace and shield). In addition there are two unconventional Virtues : “Peace” (comfortably lying on a pile of weapons and with an olive branch in her hand) and  “Magnanimity” (dispensing crowns and diamonds). The effects of good government can be seen in the city populated by hard-working people, builders, students, artisans, dancers and even a young girl (on horseback ) getting ready for her marriage. In a just society the countryside is essential to the  city and here you can see the beneficial effects , in fact the country , over which the personification of “ Security” flies free, is rich and full of life: farmers who sow and hoe, young hunters among vineyards and olive trees ( and……if you are keen observers……you will see a nice Cinta Senese Pig).

On the left side wall of the room is the Allegory of Bad Government  where sitting on the throne you see the personification of  “Tyranny” , a demonic monster above which three winged “Vices” fly, namely “Greed” (with a long hook to spear riches), “Pride” (with a sword and a yoke) and “Vainglory”(with a mirror to admire her beauty and a dry branch,  symbol  of volubility). At the sides of “Tyranny “there are “Cruelty” ( intent to show a snake to a baby),” Betrayal ” (with a little lamb having a scorpion’s tale), “Fraud” (with wings and clawed feet) ,“Fury”(with boar’s head, human trunk and horse’s body, symbol of beastly wrath), “Division” (with a sow) and the ”War” ( with sword, shield and black robe). Under “Tyranny” , “Justice” lies chained and despised. Obviously the effect of Bad Government are devastating the city and the country where citizens destroy rather than build, places where murders and  injustice reign and all activities are miserable. The countryside is on fire and the armies are marching towards the walls. Grimm “ Terror ” flies in the sky.

This paintings , so far away from us in time but so contemporary in contents, have an incomparable charm…not to be missed!

 

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Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

 Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)sodoma(1) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena) Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (National Art Gallery of Siena)

The Museum was inaugurated inside Buonsignori Brigidi Palace  in 1932 with the  scientific sort of  Cesare Brandi, who published the catalog in 1933.  The original nucleus of the gallery came to the passionate work of two sienese abbots,  Giuseppe Ciaccheri and Luigi de Angelis.They were able to collect  the most significant paintings of the Sienese painters between 1750 and 1810. The National Art Gallery of Siena is one of the most important Italian museums especially for its collection of paintings of  senese fourteenth and fifteenth centuries  The great art of Siena from Duccio to Lorenzetti, Simone Martini to Sassetta, from Francesco di Giorgio to Matteo di Giovanni toward Sodoma and Beccafumi,  find among this museums walls a  chronological development nearly complete, from the thirteenth to the seventeenth century.

The museum begins on the second floor where the paintings are exhibited by the beginnings of Sienese painting until the second half of the fifteenth century: Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti (fourteenth century), Sano di Pietro, Giovanni di Paolo, Sassetta, Matteo Giovanni and Francesco di Giorgio (fifteenth century),  only to name the most famous. The first floor houses the works of the sixteenth century, Sodoma and Beccafumi, the most important exponents of Sienese Mannerism . A recent development shows the collection of works by Sienese artists active between the end of the 500 and the following century (Francesco Vanni, Alessandro Casolari, Rutilio Manetti, Bernardino Mei).

Where: via San Pietro,29 SIENA

Opening times: Monday, Sunday and holidays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m./ from Tuesday to Saturday from 8.15 a.m. to 7.15 p.m.

For information and reservation contact: +39 0577 286143

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FLOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL ( DUOMO) OF SIENA

 FLOOR OF THE CATHEDRAL ( DUOMO) OF SIENA

The complex of the Cathedral of Siena includes a series of monuments of the most significant in the European art scene. The Cathedral there is definitely the centre of interest. Inside we can find many masterpieces of all time, but the work truly exceptional is definitely the floor made with the techniques of graffiti and commesso marmoreo (marble strips) .

 
For most of the year the floor of the Cathedral is almost completely covered with sheets of hardboard to protect it from traffic of worshippers and visitors, but from  August,18th to October,24th  2012, it will be possible to admire in full its surprising beauty.

 
The floor is the result of a complex work begun in the fourteenth century and ended in the nineteenth century.
The cardboards for the 56 inlays were made by famous masters of painting and sculpture as the Sassetta, Domenico di Bartolo, Domenico Beccafumi and the only Umbrian artist Pinturicchio.
The initial technique was that of making graffiti carving with a chisel a slab of white marble and filling the furrows with black stucco (filler), then, the second and more sophisticated technique was that of combining strips of colored marble together like we usually see in a wooden inlays, this technique is called “commesso marmoreo.”

 
In the nave and aisles the images reproduced on the floor are inspired by issues relating to classical and pagan antiquity; the transept and the choir tell the story of the Jewish people and the events of salvation accomplished by Christ constantly evoked but never represented in the floor, but present on the Altar towards which the religious and artistic itinerary converges.

 
For info and tickets: www.operaduomo.siena.it

Tel 0039-0577-286300

 
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Chigi – Saracini Palace Tour ( SIENA)

 Chigi   Saracini Palace Tour ( SIENA)

Palazzo Chigi, one of the most beautiful historic buildings of Siena, temple of art, and base of the prestigious Academy Chigiana instituted in 1932, reopens to the public.
The Palace was built in the middle of the twelfth century by the powerful Ghibelline Marescotti family and was, before the Public Palace, seat of the Council of the Republic of Siena.
The last owner was the Count Guido Chigi and thanks to him, in the Palace it was established the Chigiana Academy, an international center for advanced musical studies.
The fame of Chigiana spread throughout major cities in the world and started to attract important musicians.


Many events are still  connected to this site, as the summer courses of specialization, or the winter season of concerts called “Micat in vertice” and others special Music Festivals.

 

 Palazzo Chigi opens its doors again to all who wish to admire the splendid halls of the Academy and part of his important art collection. Among the many masterpieces you can see works of Beccafumi, Sodoma, Botticelli and many other great masters.

Guided tours, lasting one hour, will be held on Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m., 12 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m until November, 3rd, 2012.

For more information and reservations please call the Chigiana Palace (+39) 0577-286300 (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.to 5 p.m.).
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The paths of the water at the Santa Maria della Scala

58406126387905618 rlDEATss c The paths of the water at the Santa Maria della Scala

Source: brunelleschi.imss.fi.it via Hotel Siena on Pinterest

From this year, every Saturday morning at 10.30 am it will be possible to make a special visit at Santa Maria della Scala Museum of Siena

It is a tour that will show you some great places and environments related to water, primary asset at all times, inside the ancient hospital complex.

Considering the difficulty of finding such a city, like Siena, that does not have any major river that run here it is already a matter of interest to join the initiative.

The tour will be illustrated by the Guides Association Diana which has always worked for the city of Siena. You will visit the places and monumental remains of tanks, wells hidden (like the well known as the ‘Rotone’) and wash normally not open to the public.

Booking required within Thursday before the visit by telephone from 9.30 to 17.30 the following numbers 0577 / 534511-0577 / 534501-0577 / 534502-0577 / 534504-0577 / 534505 -0577/534507

The cost is 4 euros per person.

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Culture Week 2012 Siena

settimana della cultura imagelarge 150x300 Culture Week 2012 Siena

Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex
14-15/20-21-22 April 2012 from 10.30 to 18.30
FREE ADMISSION TO THE MUSEUM
(Ticket office closes at 17.30)

April 14, 2012 17 hours
Lalut – Center for Research and Theatrical Production
ENCOUNTERS WITH THEATRICAL TOUR
THE RELICS OF BYZANTIUM TREASURES AND OTHER SECRETS OF THE HOSPITAL OF SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA

April 20, 2012 17 hours
Lalut – Center for Research and Theatrical Production
ENCOUNTERS WITH THEATRICAL TOUR
THE WATER WAY TO SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA

GUIDED TOUR INFO:
Free admission by reservation tel. 0577 292615/14 (Monday / Friday 9.30 – 12.30)

The day of the visit, even if there is availability, you can book the ticket by going to the Santa Maria della Scala by 16 hours.

If you run out the availability of the first visit (max 30 people) you can book for a second visit at 18.30. This visit will be with a minimum of 10 participants.

The meeting point is at the ticket office in Piazza Duomo of Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex.

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FAI-Fondo Ambiente Italiano

fai1 FAI Fondo Ambiente Italiano

“La Repubblica tutela il paesaggio e il patrimonio storico e artistico della Nazione” art. 9 Costituzione Italiana

Hotel Siena Borgo Grondaie want to promote this event:

Fai’s daily activity is to protect and promote a unique heritage that belongs to each of us.
For this reason they organize special events in order to:
-take care of the wonderful places that are entrusted
-take care of Italian landscape at risk and threatened
-organize awareness-raising activities for all citizens

On 24th and 25th March 3 historic buildings will be open to public

PALAZZO DEL RETTORATO DELL’UNIVERSITÀ DEGLI STUDI DI SIENA E CHIESA DI SAN VIGILIO
Indirizzo: Via Banchi di Sotto, 55, 53100 Siena (SI)
Orario: Sabato 24, ore 11.00 – 17.30; Domenica 25, ore 10.30 – 17.30

PALAZZO SERGARDI
indirizzo: Via Montanini, 118, 53100 Siena (SI)
Orario: Sabato 24, ore14.30 – 17.30; Domenica 25, ore 10.30 – 17.30

PALAZZO VENTURI GALLERANI
Indirizzo: Via della Cerchia, 5, 53100 Siena (SI)
Orario: Sabato 24, ore14.30 – 17.30; Domenica 25, ore 10.30 – 17.30

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Hidden Place of Siena: the Bottini

A masterpiece of medieval hydraulic engineering in Siena

 Hidden Place of Siena: the Bottini

 

Perhaps not everyone knows that Siena is formed by two equally beautiful cities, one above and one under ground as the Emperor Charles V said when he visited our town.

That ‘over’ one is the jewel that all of us know and admire with its magnificent square, the Campo, a shaped shell, divided into nine segments in memory of the Government of the Nine in which Siena reached a peak cultural and political, famous worldwide for the Palio and surrounded by important historical buildings that give the feeling of being almost in the room of an exclusive private home … but at open sky. Very romantic especially when it is illuminated by the moon.

The city ‘underground’ is formed by the ‘Bottini’, a gallery, an underground waterwork dug just below ground, the works of which lasted for many years, which at the beginning was used to supply the public water sources and fountains and later also the private wells and tanks distributed throughout the city through the collection of rainwater infiltration and veins in the surrounding hills. The water was very important not only for personal needs but also to tame the fires which in that period were very frequent and for irrigation of private gardens and orchards.

The Bottini were held by two municipal employees who subsequently, when the water became for private use under payment, should sign the consumption and report the amount payable to Gabella. Very interesting is to see the system through which was’ calculated ‘the amount of water consumed.

Today you can visit the Bottini of Fonte Gaia and Fonte Nuova of Vallerozzi contacting the association La Diana which takes care of its maintenance.

Visiting the Bottini remind that you have to get all lined up behind your guide because the width is enough just for one person. Don’t forget to wear proper clothing as boots (sometimes the water level can be a little ‘high’) and a sweater because there is a lot of humidity underground. Bring with you also a flashlight with a replacement battery because there is no type of artificial lighting and a bottle of water because the journey takes minimum one hour. Of course you must not be claustrophobic because there are no windows or emergency exits.

While you walk along the Bottini you are not able to notice the different levels reached in some parts of the trail but your guide will tell you every time under which ‘streeet’, ‘historic building’ or ‘shop’ you are.

To complete the visit of Bottini we suggest you a tour of the water sources, fontains, wells and tanks located in the city ‘above’ and which are samples of architecture masterpieces. In fact during the Medieval Age the ‘decorum’ concept was very strong and it was reflected also in these elements considered nowadays just urban design.

The Water Sources:

– Fontebranda: the most complex source composed of three levels: in the first level ran the drinking water, in the second level the water for animals and in the third level the one used to wash clothes.
– Fontenuova of Vallerozzi: here there is a path of the Bottini
– Fonte del Casato: very suggestive for the steep staircase in front that certainly made a little bit heard for the local people the transportation of the water inside their houses
– Fonte Gaia: in the Campo : another route open to the Bottini
– Fonte di Ovile: outside the medieval walls
– Fonte di Pescaia: even this outside the walls

The Fountains:

– Fountain of Pispini
– Fountain of Ranocchie
– Fontino of San Francesco
– Fontana located in via delle Vergini (at the bottom of the alley called Vicolo della Viola)
– Fountain of Fortezza Medicea

The ‘Fontanine’: each contrada has its own small fountain where every year there is the the baptism of new borns as membership.

The Wells: some of them are in the courtyards of private buildings and therefore do not have a proper name. If you find the main entrance gate open you can enter to look at them.

– Banchi di Sotto, 69: currently there is a front gate
– Banchi di Sotto, 81: once entered you have to pass another door in front of you
– Via San Martino, 51
– Vicolo delle Carrozze
– Via Montanini, 92
– Via delle Terme, 17
– Piazzetta Luigi Bonelli, 1
– Pozzo at Santa Maria della Scala
– Pozzo at Palazzo Chigi Saracini
– Pozzo at Palazzo Patrizi located in Via di Città
– Pozzo at Palazzo Placidi in Pantaneto, 7
– Pozzo at Piazza Jacopo della Quercia
– Pozzo of San Marco
– Pozzo at the Saint Catherine’s Sanctuary
– Pozzo at Palazzo delle Papesse (Museum of Contemporary Art)

The Tanks:

– Via Calzoleria
– Vicolo degli Orefici
– Vicolo dei Percennesi
– Via dei Lombardi

If you are not able to visit the Bottini don’t worry. You can get an idea going to the cinema this Fall to see the movie Quantum of Solace – 007.

Last months Siena has turned into a kind of open sky movie set of 007. Some frames had to be set in the Bottini by ‘script’. It was not possible but the Town Hall of Siena gave the Production the possibility to make a visit of the Bottini so that they would be able to reproduce them in their studios. We are sure that Hollywood will not disappoint your and our expectations and that you will have a realistic perception of what the Bottini are.

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Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum

Open from Monday to Saturday three times a day at the following fixed hours:
9.30 a.m. – 10.30 a.m. – 11.30 a.m

There are some hidden gems in Siena which escape the mass tourism because they are less publicized. One of these is represented by the Tavolette di Biccherna preserved in the Archivio di Stato of the city. They are wooden boards painted with tempera or oil which served as covers of records belonging to the office of Biccherna which from the beginning of the Comune until the SEC. XVIII was the judiciary responsible for the administration of public revenues. These records were kept by the Camarlingo -the treasurer head office- who was a friar and the most important officials, the Provveditori (supervisors)

 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum
Fraiar Ugo, Camarlingo, frair of san galgano, made by Giulio di Pietro in 1258. This is the oldest Biccherna.
 
The arms of the four Provveditori; made by Diotisalve di Speme in 1263
The first wooden boards are simple and have no intention of being masterpieces. Subsequently, however, the paintings become more elaborate and rich and are commissioned to famous authors as Giovanni di Paolo, Sano di Pietro, Lorenzo di Pietro called il Vecchietta.
 

The layout of the boards remains, however, unchanged: at the top there is the painting and at the bottom the inscription bearing the date, the names of the main components of Biccherna, the arms of their families.

By the mid-fifteenth century, then, the covers of records were no longer painted but real paintings were commissioned to hang on the walls of the office when the Camarlingo and the Provveditori left definitively their assignment.
The subjects of the scenes represent leading events of the town, religious themes, episodes of contemporary politics.
Many of them have Our Lady as common subject. This is not so strange for us. The history of Siena is full of events which show the particular devotion of the Sienese to Our Lady.
See for example how nice is the follow board which represents Our Lady in the act of protecting Siena by earthquakes; made by Francesco di Giorgio Martini in 1467:
 
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum
Or this other which represents The union of the classes and the offering of the keys of the city to the Madonna delle Grazie; made perhaps by Andrea di Niccolò in 1483. This board is important also because testifies the original location of the Maestà made by Duccio di Buoninsegna in 1311 in the Cathedral, that is to say, in the altar. Nowadays you can see this masterpiece at the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana.
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum
As the Biccherna also another important financial judiciary of Siena called Gabella adopted the custom of painting the covers of some records. The Gabella was responsible for the outcome of the charges and was directed by a Camarlingo –a treasurer- and officers named Esecutori –executors.
One of the most popular boards is that made by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1344 which represents the Buon Governo – Good Government:
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum
The most value works are those performed during the fifteenth century by painters such as
Sano di Pietro: Siena protected by Our Lady while the Camarlingo washes his hands, made in 1541
Benvenuto di Giovanni: The finances of the town in peace and in war made in 1468
 
Guidoccio Cozzarelli: Our Lady leads the Republic of Siena in calm waters; made in 1487
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna MuseumDuring the war of Siena (1555-1559), both the Biccherna and Gabella wanted to recall the most salient episodes of the conflict:
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna MuseumThe Sienese demolish the fortress of the Spanish; made by Giovanni di Giorgio in 1552
 

 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum

The siege of Montalcino; made by Giovanni di Giorgio in 1553

 
The surrender of Montalcino; made by Giovanni di Giorgio in 1559
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna MuseumAfter the final annexation of Siena to the duchy of Florence (1559) many subjects were dedicated to the story of the Medici, to which the Sienese territory was granted in fief.
 
 Hidden places in Siena: Tavolette di Biccherna Museum
The Sienese pay tribute to Cardinal Ferdinando de Medici elected Grand Duke of Tuscany; made by Anonymous in 1588
 
 
Here you find also some wooden boards which belong to other institutions and judiciaries of Siena among which the Ospedale Santa Maria della Scala and the Opera Metropolitana.
 
The Museum is located in Via Banchi di Sopra # 52 and it is open from Monday to Saturday at 9.30 – 10.30 and 11.30
 
Free entrance.

There is no tour guide but there are some panels also in English which explain what you see.

Before to leave the Museum do not forget to stop at their balcony from where you will enjoy an amazing view onto the main square Il Campo.

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