Thursday, December 21, 2023

A Rainy Day in Siena


A rainy day in Siena meant I had to look for some indoor activities. After a morning visit to the city’s beautiful Duomo, I chose a couple of museums for the afternoon.

My ticket to the Duomo included entrance to the Museo Opera della Metropolitana. This museum houses art and architectural features that had been part of the Duomo over the past 800 years, but are no longer on display in the church. Many of these pieces were originally intended for the planned transept extension, in whose foot print the museum now sits. Construction on the extension was started in 1323, but it ended in 1348 during the Black Death, and never restarted. Paintings from the nave and chapels and statues that used to adorn the facade, fill the building. The highlight of the collection is a large stained glass rose window.

Stained Glass Window by Duccio di Buoninsegna

Christ advances to Pilate by Luca Giordano

Saint Cosme in the Fiery Furnace by Raffaello Vanni

San Bernardino preaching in the Piazza del Campo by Sano di Pietro

A short walk (250m) along via del Capitano and via san Pietro brought me to another local treasure, the Pinacoteca Nazionale. -The National Art Gallery of Siena. This museum is dedicated to the works of Sienese artists from the 13th century through the 18th century. It started as a private collection, but today it run by the Italian Ministry of Culture. When you visit, start on the 2nd floor, which houses the oldest works pieces, As you work you way thorough the galleries and down stairs, you will travel chronologically along Siena’s artistic history.

Interior courtyard

Coronation of the Madonna by Bartolo di Fredi

Painted Cross with Grievers by Taddeo di Bartolo

A wall of Madonnas with child

Annuciation by Francesco di Giorgio Martini

Aeneas escapes from Troy by Girolamo Genga

Cherubs holding a Coat of Arms by il Beccafumi

Morra Players by Pittore Caravaggesco

Portrait of Niccolo Buonsignori by Unknown (19th cent.)

On special exhibit was the painted crucifix by Ambrosia Lorenzetti. The cross was created in 1330 for the Convent of San Nicola Carmine in Siena.Over the centuries it had suffered much damage, but it has been completely restored, and it display celebrates its return to the collection.

Painted Cross by Ambrogio Lorenzetti

A rainy day in Siena meant that, on walk back to my hotel, the streets were less crowded than usual. The empty and rain soaked streets offered a beauty that visitors to Siena often don’t get to see.


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