Posts Tagged ‘Siena Art’

The Cathedral of Siena: from 6 April the “Cathedral sky” will be open to visitors

sottotetto duomo The Cathedral of Siena: from 6 April the “Cathedral sky” will be open to visitors

It took months of work but on  April the 6th the Cathedral of Siena opens its attics that were never opened to the public.
With an experienced guide you walk  spiral staircases almost hidden from visitors’ view and  in small groups you are taken over the vaulted stars of the right aisle. From there it begins a journey where view range from inside to outside the cathedral. You can visit Ulisse De Matteis windows with the representation of the Apostles and the gallery where you can admire the view on the main altar. From the left aisle  visitors can admire a breathtaking view of the Basilica of San Domenico, the Medici Fortress and the entire cupola of St. John the Baptist.
Much more is to discover if you decide to  participate in an event of historical and emotional impact like no other, organized by Opera – Civita Group
For information  www.operaduomo.siena.it

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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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CITTA’ AROMATICA 2012 – SIENA (FROM AUGUST,28TH TO AUGUST, 31ST)

 CITTA’ AROMATICA 2012   SIENA (FROM AUGUST,28TH TO AUGUST, 31ST)

 

Siena, the wonderful city of Palio, celebrates the twelfth edition of “CITTA’ AROMATICA”, a festival that started in 2001 to mix artists from Siena with others of international level in a sort of colorful show of different artistic expressions, in particular music and dance.
From Tuesday, August 28th  until the” grand finale” on Friday, August 31st , different shows will take place in the suggestive location of Piazza San Francesco and Piazza del Campo.

 

Admission is free.

 
Below is the detailed program:
TUESDAY, Aug. 28th  / PIAZZA SAN FRANCESCO AT 9:15 p.m.
“IL TEATRO DEGLI ORRORI ” (ITALIAN ROCK)

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 29TH  / PIAZZA SAN FRANCESCO AT 9:15 p.m.
EVENING DEDICATED TO DANCE WITH THE ” FRANCESCA SELVA ‘S AND MOTUS’ COMPANIES”

THURSDAY, Aug. 30TH  / PIAZZA SAN FRANCESCO AT 21:15
ROCK NEWS (NEW ROCK IN THE CITY ) WITH:
“BLACK RAIN THEORY”
“BLUES MACHINE”
“LOKOMOTIV”
SPECIAL GUEST “MAURO PAGANI” (ARTISTIC DIRECTOR)

FRIDAY, Aug. 31ST  / PIAZZA DEL CAMPO AT 9:30 p.m.
GRAND FINALE with “PATTI SMITH”

 

For more information contact Hotel Borgo Grondaie
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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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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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