While the greatest works of Sienese art have long since been dispersed to museums around the world, these adjoining palaces provide an overview of the city’s major artists, especially those of the 12th through the 16th centuries. What you’ll notice is that while the Renaissance was flourishing in Florence, Siena held to its old ways—these works are rich in Byzantine gold and Eastern styling. Duccio (of the famous “Maestà” in the Museo dell’Opera, is represented by “Madonna and Child with Saints,” in which a placid, otherworldly looking Mary holds a very wise-looking infant Jesus. Simone Martini (painter of Siena’s other great “Maestà,” in the Museo Civico, did the wonderful “Agostino Novello” altarpiece, in which St. Augustine is shown performing all sorts of heroic deeds, such as flying over boulders to save a monk trapped in a ravine. There are some charming landscapes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti (artist of the “Allegory of Good and Bad Government” in the Palazzo Pubblico, including the almost surreal “Castle on the Lake,” an architectural fantasy reminiscent of the 20th-century works of Giorgio di Chirico. His brother Pietro’s “Madonna of the Carmelites,” an altarpiece created for the Carmelite church in Siena, shows the Virgin and Child in a distinctly medieval setting, in a Sienese landscape complete with horsemen and planted hillsides. Domenico Beccafumi’s sketches for his Duomo floor panels are on the first floor.
Via San Pietro 29
Our Rating Hours Sun–Mon 9am–1pm; Tues–Sat 8:15am–7:15pm Phone 0577-286-143 Prices Admission 4€
MapVia San Pietro 29 Siena
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