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
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