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 9780271090870

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Renaissance Siena

Habent sua fata libelli

SIXTEENTH CENTURY ESSAYS & STUDIES SERIES GENERAL EDITOR Raymond A. Mentzer University of Iowa EDITORIAL BOARD OF SIXTEENTH CENTURY ESSAYS & STUDIES ELAINE BEILIN Framingham State College MIRIAM U. CHRISMAN University of Massachusetts, Emerita BARBARA B. DIEFENDORF Boston University PAULA FINDLEN Stanford University SCOTT H. HENDRIX Princeton Theological Seminary JANE CAMPBELL HUTCHISON University of Wisconsin–Madison RALPH KEEN University of Iowa ROBERT M. KINGDON University of Wisconsin, Emeritus MARY B. MCKINLEY University of Virginia

HELEN NADER University of Arizona CHARLES G. NAUERT University of Missouri, Emeritus THEODORE K. RABB Princeton University MAX REINHART University of Georgia SHERYL E. REISS Cornell University JOHN D. ROTH Goshen College ROBERT V. SCHNUCKER Truman State University, Emeritus NICHOLAS TERPSTRA University of Toronto MARGO TODD University of Pennsylvania

MERRY WIESNER-HANKS University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Art

in

ontext

Edited by A. Lawrence Jenkens

Sixteenth Century Essays & Studies 71 Truman State University Press

Copyright © 2005 Truman State University Press, Kirksville, Missouri USA All rights reserved tsup.truman.edu Cover art: Pinturicchio, Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, 1505–8. Fresco, Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Scala/ Art Resource, NY. Cover design: Shaun Hoffiditz Type: Bembo™, The Monotype Corporation Printed by: McNaughton & Gunn Inc., Saline, Michigan USA

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Renaissance Siena : art in context / edited by A. Lawrence Jenkens. p. cm. — (Sixteenth century essays and studies ; v. 71) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 1-931112-42-8 (hardback : alk. paper) — ISBN 1-931112-43-6 (pbk. : alk. paper) — ISBN 978-1-935503-68-2 (e-book) 1. Art, Renaissance—Italy—Siena. 2. Art, Italian—Italy—Siena—15th century. 3. Art, Italian—Italy—Siena—16th century. I. Jenkens, A. Lawrence, 1959– II. Sixteenth century essays & studies ; v. 71. N6921.S6R36 2005 709'.45'5809024—dc22 2004024690

No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any format by any means without written permission from the publisher.

∞ The paper in this publication meets or exceeds the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48–1992.

For Catherine and Emmie

Contents

FIGURES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ix ABBREVIATIONS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xiii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . xv

A. Lawrence Jenkens INTRODUCTION Renaissance Siena, the State of Research . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Judith Steinhoff REALITY AND IDEALITY IN SIENESE RENAISSANCE CITYSCAPES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Matthias Quast PALACE FAÇADES IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE SIENA Continuity and Change in the Aspect of the City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Mauro Mussolin THE REBUILDING OF SIENA’S CHURCH OF SANTO SPIRITO LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

IN THE

Benjamin David NARRATIVE IN CONTEXT The Cassoni of Francesco di Giorgio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109

Fabrizio J. D. Nevola AMBROGIO SPANNOCCHI’S “BELLA CASA” Creating Site and Setting in Quattrocento Sienese Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

Stratton D. Green A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY SIENESE FABULA The Dynastic and Patriotic Significance of the Piccolomini Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155

Susan E.Wegner THE RISE OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA AS AN INTERCESSOR FOR THE SIENESE . . . . . . . . . . 173 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195 CONTRIBUTORS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201 INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203

Figures

Judith Steinhoff REALITY AND IDEALITY IN SIENESE RENAISSANCE CITYSCAPES Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. Fig. 9. Fig. 10. Fig. 11. Fig. 12. Fig. 13. Fig. 14.

Guido da Siena, Entry into Jerusalem, mid-thirteenth century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Osservanza Master, Saint Anthony the Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold, ca. 1435 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 Il Libro dei Censi, ca. 1400 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of the Good Government: Effects of the Good Government in the City, 1338–39 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25 Bartolo di Fredi, Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1385–88 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Siena, Il Memoriale delle Offese, 1224 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Bartolo di Fredi, Ciardelli Altarpiece, 1382 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33 Bartolo di Fredi, John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel (detail of fig. 7).. . . . . . . . . . . .34 The Palazzo Pubblico and the Duomo (detail of fig. 3). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Saint Ansanus (detail of fig. 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Saint Crescentius (detail of fig. 3) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Domenico di Niccolo,The Virgin and the Podesta, 1414(?) or 1426–28(?). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Sano di Pietro, San Bernardino with Siena, 1445 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Sano di Pietro, Siena (detail of fig. 14) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Matthias Quast PALACE FAÇADES IN LATE MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE SIENA Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. Fig. 9. Fig. 10. Fig. 11. Fig. 12. Fig. 13. Fig. 14. Fig. 15. Fig. 16. Fig. 17.

Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50 Three-light windows, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena (detail of fig. 1) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .51 Palazzo Rossi, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55 Palazzo Petroni, formerly the Palazzo Capitano di Giustizia, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .58 Late quattrocento palace between Via dei Servi and Via delle Cantine, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .60 Palazzetto at Via di San Pietro, 57, at Porta all’Arco, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .61 Palazzo Piccolomini, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .62 Palazzo di Caterina Piccolomini, called “delle Papesse,” Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .64 Palazzo del Vecchio, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65 Palazzo Urgurgieri, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67 Casa Calusi Giannini, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .69 Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .70 Palazzo Borghesi, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72 Palazzo del Taia, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .74 Detail of doorway, Palazzo del Magnifico, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .75 Partial representation of the Sodoma decoration, Palazzo Chigi al Casato, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76 Palazzo Celsi Pollini, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77

x

FIGURES

Mauro Mussolin THE REBUILDING OF SIENA’S CHURCH OF SANTO SPIRITO IN THE LATE FIFTEENTH CENTURY Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. Fig. 9. Fig. 10. Fig. 11. Fig. 12. Fig. 13. Fig. 14.

Exterior of presbytery, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86 Plan of Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .89 Façade, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 Monumental doorframe, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .92 View of cloister from above, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93 Façade prior to nineteenth-century restorations, San Francesco, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 Façade, San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95 Exterior view of west aisle wall with walled-in arches and traces of medieval wall, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 View of interior vaulting towards the entrance, Santo Spirito, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96 Exterior view of dome, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .97 View of interior towards the presbytery, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .98 Section and plan with site of original church shown in gray, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . .99 View of interior pilasters, Santo Spirito, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100 Proposed sequence of interventions on the church, Santo Spirito, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .101

Benjamin David NARRATIVE IN CONTEXT Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7. Fig. 8. Fig. 9.

Francesco di Giorgio,Triumph of Chastity, mid-1460s. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111 Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, Goddess of Chaste Love, ca. 1469–75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115 Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, Cassoni of the Two Triumphs, ca. 1469–75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .117 Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, Detail of The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas, ca. 1469–75. . . . . .124 Neroccio de’ Landi,The Visit of Cleopatra to Antony, ca. 1475. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .126 Michele Ciampanti, Detail of Antiochus and Stratonice, ca.1470–75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .130 Liberale da Verona,The Chess Players, ca. 1475 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .131 Neroccio de’ Landi, Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1490 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .134 Francesco di Giorgio,The Story of Paris, ca. 1469–75 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .135

Fabrizio J. D. Nevola AMBROGIO SPANNOCCHI’S “BELLA CASA” Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4.

Map showing the site created for the Palazzo Spannocchi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .145 Pazzini-Carli e Figli, Palazzo Spannocchi, 1755 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .150 View from the north, Palazzo Spannocchi, Siena . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .153 Detail of a doorframe in the andito, Palazzo Spannocchi, Siena. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .154

Stratton D. Green A FIFTEENTH-CENTURY SIENESE FABULA Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6.

Interior view of the Piccolomini Library, with frescoes by Pinturicchio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .156 Floor plan, Cattedrale di Santa Maria (Duomo), ca, 1658 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .158 Pinturicchio, Coronation of Pius III, ca. 1503 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .159 Pinturicchio,The Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, ca. 1505–8 . . . . . . . . . . . . .161 Pinturicchio,The Canonization of Saint Catherine, ca. 1505–8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .165 Pinturicchio,The Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona, ca. 1505–8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .169

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

FIGURES

xi

Susan E.Wegner THE RISE OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA AS AN INTERCESSOR FOR THE SIENESE Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. Fig. 6. Fig. 7.

Bernardino Fungai, Stigmatization of Saint Catherine, 1495 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176 Anonymous,The Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena, 1498 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177 Il Sodoma, Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tuldo, 1526 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180 Pietro Orioli,The Sienese Offer the Keys of the City to the Virgin, 1483 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Guidoccio Cozzarelli,The Return of the Noveschi, 1488 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185 Anonymous,The Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena, 1456 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186 Domenico Beccafumi, Ceremony of the Keys in Siena, ca. 1527 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

Abbreviations

ASF

Archivio di Stato, Florence

ASS

Archivio di Stato, Siena

CG

Concistoro Generale

Spannocchi

Archivio Privato Sergardi-Biringucci-Spannocchi

xiii

Acknowledgments

This project has been a long time in the making. It began as a session at the 86th annual conference of the College Art Association (CAA) in 1998 and has, in several different incarnations, inched towards publication ever since. My greatest debt of gratitude goes, therefore, to the contributors to this volume: they have been very patient and ever cheerful about the revisions, updates, and delays we have encountered and overcome together. This collection found its home as a part of the Sixteenth Century Studies and Essays series in the fall of 2004, and I am deeply grateful to Raymond Mentzer, the series’s general editor, for his enthusiastic support for our project. The essays in this book have been improved by the constructive comments of several anonymous readers, and I am very grateful to all of them. Sheryl Reiss was gracious enough to shed her anonymity as a reader, and her careful and thoughtful reading of the manuscript proved invaluable to me and the contributors to this volume. I would also like to extend my heartfelt thanks to the editors and staff at the Truman State University Press; I am especially grateful for the patience with which they guided me, an untried editor, through the complex process of bringing a book of collected essays to fruition. There are many institutions that assisted the individual contributors to this volume and they are acknowledged in each essay; however, I would like to thank those who offered me invaluable assistance as the book’s editor, especially the staff at the Earl K. Long library at the University of New Orleans and most particularly its interlibrary loan department, as well as Michael Rocke, Fiorella Superbi, and their assistants at the Biblioteca Berenson at Villa I Tatti (the Harvard University Center for Renaissance Studies) in Florence. I am also grateful to Pamela Edwardes, formerly of Ashgate Press, who first saw the value in this project and suggested collecting together those now long-ago CAA papers in a single volume. I would like, finally, to thank my family for their support through all the ups and downs of this project. My wife, Catherine, has been unfailing in her support—both moral and actual—and Emmie, who has never known her dad without the “Siena volume” on his desk, always puts the vicissitudes of a scholar’s toils in wonderful perspective. I dedicate this volume to both of them. A. Lawrence Jenkens December 2004 New Orleans

A. Lawrence Jenkens

Introduction Renaissance Siena, the State of Research

D

Did Siena have a renaissance? As recently as 1994 a historian of late medieval Siena wrote about the city in the fifteenth century, “All sectors of Sienese life reflected this economic lethargy, including urban planning. Again, no changes or noteworthy additions to the architectural fabric of the city are to be found.… The urban restructuring that characterized numerous other contemporary Italian cities had no significant impact upon Siena.”1 Although Duccio Balestracci is here referring to urban planning in particular, his remarks reflect a broad consensus that has governed historical attitudes towards the Sienese Renaissance at least until the last twenty years or so. Indeed, many scholars assert that Siena had no true renaissance, even when they speak of Renaissance Siena, and this is especially true when they equate that period with the artistic and architectural styles that developed in fifteenth-century Florence. This volume will argue on behalf of a renaissance in Siena, first by restating the definition of a renaissance, and then by looking at specific works of art or architectural commissions and understanding them, not only as pale reflections of Florentine ideas and styles, but also within the political, social, economic, and cultural context of Siena itself. The following essays will address this latter task, which is often more daunting than one might suppose. This introduction will consider what it means to talk about the Renaissance in Siena. And if indeed Siena had a renaissance, as it seems it did, then it becomes important to construct a framework for the issues that define the work of scholars interested in that city in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. What follows, then, is not so much an exhaustive review of the literature on Renaissance Siena, but a consideration of the state of research in this area of Italian fifteenth- and sixteenth-century studies. It is important, too, to situate the book within the field since in many ways it both reflects current scholarly trends and points the way to the future. Interest in Siena during the Renaissance, a period most often defined as stretching from about 1400 to the city’s incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany in 1555, has blossomed in recent years. This seems to be part of a more 1

Duccio Balestracci, “From Development to Crisis: Changing Urban Structures in Siena between the Thirteenth and Fifteenth Centuries,” in The “Other Tuscany”: Essays in the History of Lucca, Pisa, and Siena during the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Centuries, ed. Thomas W. Blomquist and Maureen F. Mazzaoui (Kalamazoo: Medieval Institute Publications, Western Michigan University, 1994), 199–213.

2

A. LAWRENCE JENKENS

general trend in Italian Renaissance studies to look beyond the center (Florence in the fifteenth century and Rome and Venice in the sixteenth) to the periphery: the smaller cities and towns that fill the map of Italy between its principal cities. The notion of periphery is, however, more than geographical; it extends to the arena of ideas and art. Thus the cultural production of cities like Siena has been judged by the degree to which it successfully emulated the models produced at the center. The more it differed from that model, the less value it had. As a consequence, the cultural production of peripheral cities has often been passed over or, at best, treated summarily in the context of Renaissance studies. The study of Siena in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries has been further discouraged by the great attention focused on the city’s late medieval period. The last decades of the thirteenth century and the first half of the next century represent Siena’s golden age.2 Under the government of the Nove (1287–1355), the city enjoyed unprecedented political stability and economic prosperity, and its merchant bankers were players on not just a regional but also an international stage.3 As Siena flourished, its government worked to refashion the city’s fabric and thus its identity. Siena’s cathedral was given a magnificent new façade, and the city fathers dreamed of expanding the building to make it one of the largest churches in Italy—the shell of the Duomo Nuovo and its unfinished façade still stand adjacent to the cathedral. At the same time, the seat of government, the Palazzo Pubblico, rose quickly on the Piazza del Campo, Siena’s central square. Its three-light Gothic windows provided the legislated model for the windows in all the palaces facing the piazza in an attempt to create a harmonious whole at the heart of the city’s political life.4 Extraordinary achievements in the figural arts also define the Sienese Gothic period.5 When Duccio di Buoninsegna’s monumental altarpiece for the Duomo— his superb Maestà—was finished in 1311, it was taken to the cathedral in a public procession.6 The Virgin and Child enthroned reaffirmed Siena’s special relationship with the Mother of God, and her role as the city’s queen and protector was reiterated in the political sphere by Simone Martini’s frescoed Maestà in the council chamber in the Palazzo Pubblico. The inscription on Martini’s work represents the Virgin’s own exhortation to the members of the government to rule her city wisely in her place. The benefits of wise governance, as well as the dangers of a bad regime, are most famously represented in Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoed allegory

2 William M. Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune: Siena Under the Nine, 1287–1355 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981). 3 William M. Bowsky, The Finance of the Commune of Siena, 1287–1355 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970). 4 Franklin Toker, “Gothic Architecture by Remote Control: An Illustrated Building Contract of 1340,” Art Bulletin 67 (1985): 67–95. 5 The Gothic in Siena and in Italy generally is more difficult to define stylistically than it is in the north of Europe. Indeed, the term has come to suggest as much a period of time—the late Middle Ages—as any coherent visual style. There are, however, some common stylistic characteristics among the works of art and buildings of late medieval Siena, that might, in general, be thought of as a Sienese Gothic style. 6 Diana Norman, “‘A Noble Panel’: Duccio’s Maestà,” in Siena, Florence, and Padua: Art, Society, and Religion 1280–1400, ed. Diana Norman (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995), 2:55–82.

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RENAISSANCE SIENA, THE STATE OF RESEARCH

of Good and Bad Government in the chamber of the Nove, the nerve center, as it were, of the city’s government. Indeed, Lorenzetti’s paintings have come to represent a visual summa of the philosophy of Italian republicanism in the latter part of the Middle Ages.7 The cultural greatness of Siena in the first half of the fourteenth century and the city’s failure to produce works of art in the Florentine mode in the following century have resulted in the idea that the city and its patrons were conservative, holding onto the visible vestiges of the past as if in so doing they could in some way recreate the stability and prosperity of a bygone time.8 For example, in Judith Hook’s popular history of Siena—still the layperson’s best introduction to the city’s history and culture—she confronts the “conservatism of Sienese art in the Renaissance,” giving voice to the traditional concern over the “conscious rejection of the Florentine manner” by Sienese artists who instead seemed willing to embrace the Gothic: It was inevitable that Sienese artists and, for that matter, Sienese patrons, should be responsive to and influenced by, not only their Florentine and Umbrian contemporaries, but also their own great artists whose works they had always before their eyes.… It was clearly difficult for the Sienese artist to escape from traditional styles and indeed doubtful that he ever wanted to. Largely because the Sienese did think with their eyes they eschewed the radical, which the Florentines positively welcomed. It was this which gave to Sienese culture a sense of continuity, of a single development pursued by the whole community, and it was for this reason that Sienese humanism remained a largely academic exercise, whereas in Florence it found practical application in painting, sculpture, and architecture.9

Stated within its traditional parameters, then, the problem in Siena during the Renaissance is of a culture mired in its own past and therefore only partially receptive to contemporary ideas, be they in the visual arts or elsewhere. And while one might debate the reasons for this situation, the end result has always been clear. A flower of the late Middle Ages, Siena’s bloom faded in the fifteenth century, and its root stock was never again strong enough to compete with the Renaissance as it blossomed, first in Florence and then in Rome. The foundation of this argument is the preferential status given by art historians to Florentine culture from the beginning of the fifteenth century. The earliest historians of Italian art, and especially Giorgio Vasari, who came from central Italy, suggest that the city enjoyed a sort of cultural hegemony. The city’s predominance in fifteenth-century Italy was in many ways made implicit by Jacob Burckhardt, the great nineteenth-century historian and father of Italian Renaissance studies.10 Yet 7 Nicolai Rubenstein, “Political Ideas in Sienese Art: The Frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Taddeo di Bartolo in the Palazzo Pubblico,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 21 (1958): 179–207. See also Quentin Skinner, “Ambrogio Lorenzetti: The Artist as Political Philosopher,” Proceedings of the British Academy 72 (1986): 1–56. 8 Deborah L. Kawsky, “The Survival, Revival, and Reappraisal of Artistic Tradition: Civic Art and Civic Identity in Quattrocento Siena,” 2 vols. (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1995). 9 Judith Hook, Siena, a City and It’s History (London: H. Hamilton, 1979), 171. 10 Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, trans. S. G. C. Middlemore, rev. and ed. Irene Gordon (New York: New American Library, ca. 1960). Burckhardt’s seminal role in the formulation of Italian Renaissance studies has never been questioned, although his impact on its subsequent XXX

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this was not so clearly the case in the 1400s. Florence enjoyed a position of economic prominence in Italy in the late medieval period, but politically it was only one of many players on the Italian peninsula and not always the most important. Florentine artistic output in the fifteenth century was impressive and influential, but it is unlikely that artists who worked elsewhere—Gentile da Fabriano or Antonio Pisanello in North Italy and Vecchietta and Jacopo della Quercia in Siena, to name but a few—believed that their style was out of date or that they were reflecting a more perfect mode of expression that was developing in Florence. It seems to be historical hindsight that identifies the work of artists like Donatello and Masaccio as the true path to the High Renaissance (Vasari’s “modern manner,” including the work of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo), a grand tradition that would dominate western art until the end of the nineteenth century. Using this standard to judge the art of Siena—or any other Italian city—one finds what appears to be a pale reflection of modernity, an art that stubbornly resisted contemporary trends to bury itself in a past more glorious than its present could hope to be. By understanding that artists in Siena during the Renaissance were part of a dynamic dialogue that was shaped by the needs and circumstances of the time, then the art of Siena’s golden age and of the Florentine Renaissance become but possible styles to draw upon rather than an absolute standard by which to judge later works.11 If the term “renaissance,” literally the rebirth of classical civilization, was originally associated strongly, if not exclusively, with a post-medieval Florentine culture, in more recent times it has become a catchall phrase to describe the whole of Italy and much of the rest of Europe during the period between the Middle Ages and the modern era. The word now denotes a broad chronological period across a wide geographical area, but often means little more than that.12 What, then, does it mean to talk about a renaissance in Siena? The answer is difficult, and disagreement is likely among scholars who work on Renaissance Siena. In order to place the essays in this volume in context, the fifteenth and much of the sixteenth centuries in Siena can be described as experiencing a renaissance in the sense that the city, like so many others in Italy, underwent important cultural changes fueled, at least in part, by a revival of classical learning.13 The patterns of change are not exactly like those that took place in Florence, although the reception of a Florentine style certainly influenced the Sienese artists during the Renaissance. Perhaps, then, this 11

development, and on the related discipline of the history of Italian art has been the subject of interesting debate. See, for example, Michael Ann Holly, Panofsky and the Foundations of Art History (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984), esp. 21–68; Felix Gilbert, History: Politics or Culture? Reflections on Ranke and Burckhardt (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990); John Hinde, “Jacob Burckhardt and Art History: Two New Interpretations,” Storia di storiografia 26 (1994): 119–23; and Riccardo Fubini, “Considerazioni su Burckhardt: Il libro sul Rinascimento in Italia,” Archivio storico italiano 158 (2000): 85–118. 11 For a further discussion of archaism in the Italian Renaissance, see Alexander Nagel, Michelangelo and the Reform of Art (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 83–113. 12 In recent times many scholars of the Renaissance, and especially those who work outside Italy and outside the field of art history, have begun to use the term “early modern” instead, a change in nomenclature that presumably frees them from the baggage that accompanies ingrained ideas about what the Renaissance is. 13 See, for example, Hook, Siena, 149.

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period in Siena was shaped not so much by whether its artists understood and could reproduce the “better” mode of Florentine art, but rather by when Sienese artists became attracted to Florentine art and why their work did not look exactly like that model.

THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF RENAISSANCE SIENA Historians have long been interested in Siena, although their attention has focused traditionally on the late medieval rather than the Renaissance period. This interest has yielded many important studies that elucidate the city’s social and political structure, its institutions of government, and its economic underpinnings.14 The issues of what Siena looked like, how it grew, and how its public buildings were decorated during the Gothic period have also received important attention: Millard Meiss’s Painting in Florence and Siena After the Black Death and Nicolai Rubinstein’s “Political Ideas in Sienese Art” for example, are landmark studies in the relationship among the arts, the affairs of state, and the social contexts of both.15 The history of Renaissance Siena has recently begun to receive more attention, both from Italian and international scholars. Their problem, at least at first, was to overcome the longstanding sense that the city’s history after the fourteenth century was one of decline and thus less interesting than its golden age. Ferdinand Schevill phrased this prejudice most eloquently in the short chapter on the “Twilight of Siena” in his 1909 Siena, the Story of a Mediaeval Commune: The mediaeval commune, the history of which I set out to trace, perished with the spread of the new civilization bearing the name of the Renaissance. In a formal sense, indeed, the republic of Siena lived far into the new period, but it led a maimed existence, at the mercy of circumstance, and without that splendid vigor which distinguished it in those strictly mediaeval centuries…. It was precisely because the town in its creative period exhibited an irrepressible activity and developed an attractive and original civilization that we of another age are content to follow its fortunes and to linger over its works. For the same reason the Age of the Renaissance, a period of unarrested decline, has but a weak claim on our interest. Still, whoever has followed with sympathy the rise and culmination of this original and perplexing people will not rest until he has given himself the melancholy satisfaction of viewing also the end.16

14

Certainly the work of William M. Bowsky stands out among the English language literature on Siena in the late medieval period. See above, notes 2 and 3. Even though it is now out of date, it is still worth turning to Bowsky’s introduction to the 1964 edition of Ferdinand Schevill’s Siena, the History of a Mediaeval Commune (New York: Harper & Row, 1964), which offers a succinct and still illuminating appraisal of the state of the research on this period. 15 Millard Meiss, Painting in Florence and Siena After the Black Death: The Arts, Religion, and Society in the Mid-Fourteenth Century (New York: Harper & Row, 1964); and Rubenstein, “Political Ideas in Sienese Arts,” 179–207. For Siena’s built appearance in the late Middle Ages, see Duccio Balestracci and Gabriella Piccini, Siena nel trecento: Assetto urbano e strutture edilizie (Florence: Clusf, 1977). 16 Ferdinand Schevill, Siena: The Story of a Mediaeval Commune (New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1909), 387.

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Like Hook, Schevill (writing as recently as 1979, although with less sympathy) sees the quattrocento in Siena through the filter of the “Age of the Renaissance,” that is, Florence, and in comparison it simply has not commanded the historian’s attention. This situation has changed over the last two decades, and the history of Renaissance Siena has enjoyed more thorough and more thoughtful attention. The shadow of Schevill’s judgment—but one example of a point of view more generally held—is a long one. Mario Ascheri addressed it in his introduction to the Italian translation of the catalogue of the Metropolitan Museum’s Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500. “A shadow hangs over Siena,” he wrote, “and one made darker by a comparison with contemporary and preeminent Florence. The comparison could not have been more deceptive: Siena appeared (and still today seems) always to be behind, always in crisis.” For Ascheri, however, the study of the quattrocento is further plagued by a sense of knowing the ending; when the city fell in 1555, it was a victim not only of international politics and the jockeying for power on the Italian peninsula between the King of France and the Holy Roman Emperor but also of its own internal strife. Indeed, the theme of civil discord marks most of the history of Renaissance Siena, and a number of its prominent citizens from the late trecento through the Renaissance (from Saints Catherine and Bernardino to Pope Pius II and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini) all noted it and exhorted the city to seek political harmony. Thus the fifteenth century had become, again as Ascheri notes, “the incunabulum of the final crisis after the splendors of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.”17 The problem, then, for contemporary historians—and the same is certainly true for art historians—is to see the Renaissance in Siena for itself and not as either an echo of its own past or a harbinger of the disastrous end of the Republic and thus of Sienese culture. The fundamental concern of recent historians, then, has been to understand the political culture of Siena during the fifteenth century. That period is marked by factional discord within the city, strife that is manifested in the shifting balance of power among the monti, the traditional political parties—not parties in the modern sense of the word, but rather political factions into which one was born and between which one rarely moved18—throughout the century and especially in its last two decades. Not surprisingly, the literature reflects this interest; a review of what has been published over the last twenty years or so highlights an intense attempt to understand the phenomenon of government by monti and the instability it brought. It also points to a fundamental problem in the historiography of Renaissance Siena. A student of the Renaissance approaching a Sienese topic must be struck immediately by the paucity of published work on the city in this period, especially 17

Mario Ascheri, “Siena nel quattrocento: Una riconsiderazione,” in La pittura senese nel Rinascimento: 1420–1500, exhibit catalogue (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1989), xxv–xxvii. (Unless otherwise noted, all translations are the author’s.) 18 Christine Shaw has defined the Sienese monti as “a type of institutionalized political faction but one without leaders or a formal structure. They had no special meeting places, no ceremonies to express or reinforce internal bonds between members, nor did they have flags or other symbols to display.” Shaw, L’ascensa al potere di Pandolfo Petrucci il Magnifico, signore di Siena (1487–1498) (Siena: il Leccio, 2001), 10.

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compared to the literature on Renaissance Florence.19 This is particularly true for subjects outside the political realm, and in this sense the same is true of the late medieval period. The reason for this lies in part in the relative newness of the field, but it can also be explained by the documents that are available for the interested historian. Florence certainly holds a privileged position in the field of early Renaissance studies, but it has also proved a fertile field for scholars from many disciplines because of the rich source material that survives in the city’s various archives. The Florentines left behind not just political and institutional records but also, in their ricordanze and zibaldoni, evidence of their business doings, their religious activities, and their neighborhood and family relationships. Documents from governmental bodies, convents, and confraternities abound, as do personal letters and journals, private ledgers, and other materials that allow both an understanding of political and institutional structures and a glimpse at the everyday lives of at least a segment of the city’s population. These materials have given rise to the extraordinary studies of the social and culture history of the city. The same is not true in Siena. The deliberations and correspondence of political bodies and the account books of institutions survive, as do a fair number of notarial notebooks. The result, however, is a rather official, legalistic picture of Siena, in both the late medieval and Renaissance periods. There are deliberations of various councils and instructions to embassies; transcripts of some judicial proceedings; and records of sales, transactions, petitions, taxes, and testaments. Many of the works of Sienese humanists and chroniclers have also survived.20 It is the more intimate documents that are missing; there are very few letters or diaries or even personal account books to illuminate the daily activities or concerns of individuals or families.21 One may wonder whether the Sienese wrote letters to one another. In fact they did, but perhaps they were not overly concerned with preserving them.22 In any case, there are many aspects of life in Renaissance Siena that are very difficult to penetrate or are simply elusive. Thus the literature on the Renaissance in Siena is largely concerned with the turbulent political situation in the city and tends to focus on moments of crisis: the 19 The ongoing project to publish all the documents related to every church in Siena, the Kirchen von Siena sponsored by the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florence, has become and will continue to be a tremendous resource for scholars interested especially in religion and the church in Siena. 20 There are a number of chroniclers who deal with the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and some of them are in print. One of the more important documentary projects of the last decade is the editing of Sigismondo Tizio’s history of the city from its origins to the 1520s. Thus far three volumes have been finished; see Sigismondo Tizio, Historiae Senenses, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Recentiores (RIS) 6, 10, 12 (Rome: Istituto storico italiano per l’età moderna e contemporanea, 1992–). The completed project will offer scholars everywhere easy access to this very significant source. The official records have survived in many instances almost intact, and they are well inventoried and easily available to scholars at the Archivio di Stato and other archives in the city. 21 This issue has struck every student of Siena. Ascheri also takes note of this problem in “Siena nel quattrocento,” (xix–xx). 22 Tantalizing fragments of correspondence survive. A nice example comes in a manuscript preserved in the Biblioteca Angelica in Rome with letters from Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini to his young nephew, Silvio, and between Silvio and his brother Agostino. See Rossella Bianchi, “Cultura umanistica intorno ai Piccolomini fra Quattro e Cinquecento. Antonio da San Severino e altri,” in Umanesimo a Siena: Letteratura, arti figurative, musica, ed. Elisabetta Cioni and Daniela Fausti (Siena: Grafiche Bruno, 1994), 29–88.

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tyranny of the Visconti Dukes of Milan at the very beginning of the fifteenth century; the conspiracy of 1456; the political demands of Pope Pius II, perhaps Siena’s most famous son in the quattrocento; and especially the chaos of the monti that began in 1480 and ended, at least temporarily, with the rise of Pandolfo Petrucci and his heirs, who governed Siena until 1525.23 There is also considerable interest in the demise of the Republic at the end of the War of Siena in 1555, although until recently that event was treated largely as if it were detached from the rest of the city’s history.24 It appears, however, that the bulk of recently published materials focuses on events in the second half of the fifteenth century, beginning with Antonio di Checco Petrucci’s conspiracy in 1456, which led to a reformulation of the division of power among the three monti—the Nove, the Popolari, and the Riformatori—who had governed the city in relative harmony since the Visconti were expelled in 1403. The vast majority of this literature is in the form of articles that most often deal with a rather specific issue or moment. Nonetheless, at least a broad picture of the political situation in the latter part of the quattrocento and the early cinquecento has begun to emerge, and it is worth summarizing here. Most historians of the Renaissance in Siena seem to accept that beginning in the fifteenth century the traditional organs of government, the two councils—the Concistoro, or Senate, and the larger Consiglio Generale—had been deprived of much of their statutory authority and that real power came to be focused in the hands of the Balìa.25 Originally an extraordinary committee formed to deal with punishing rebellious citizens, the Balìa is usually thought to have become a permanent institution in the 1450s and then to have developed into the central and quasi-absolute power in Siena. Command of the Balìa was thus tantamount to control of the city despite the fact that the traditional institutions of government survived well into the sixteenth century. The political crisis that came to a head in the 1480s and ’90s has, therefore, been defined as a continuous struggle between political factions to dominate a more or less permanent Balìa. Going further, Ascheri has suggested that as these fundamental institutions of government were changing, so were the boundaries that defined social status and political class.26 He argues that the breakdown of the political system at the end of the fifteenth century was due in large part to the growing number of families from all the monti who considered themselves to be members of a redefined nobility. According to his hypothesis, the trend towards an enlargement of the aristocratic class contributed both to a disintegration of the traditional monti and to an

23 The exception is Samuel K. Cohn Jr., Death and Property in Siena, 1205–1800 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1988). 24 Ann Katherine Isaacs, “Introduzione,” in La caduta della Repubblica di Siena, ed. Ettore Pellegrini (Siena: Nuova Immagine Editrice, 1991), 11–13. 25 See Christine Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation in Siena, 1480–1498 (I),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 103 (1996): 1; and David L. Hicks, “The Rise of Pandolfo Petrucci” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 1959), 2–3, 24–26. 26 Mario Ascheri, Siena del Rinascimento: Istituzioni e sistema politico (Siena: il Leccio, 1985), 44–56; and Mario Ascheri and Petra Pertici, “La situazione politica senese del secondo quattrocento (1456– 1479),” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico: Politica, economia, cultura, arte (Florence: Pacini Editore, 1996), 3:996.

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increasingly rigid line between social classes—a distinction still made, though more or less on the basis of political affiliation—that favored an oligarchic form of government over republicanism. For Ascheri, then, these changes in the city’s social structure made Petrucci’s rise to power as “tyrant” of Siena all but inevitable. A. K. Isaacs, writing about the period from 1480 to 1487, and Christine Shaw, dealing more generally with the last two decades of the quattrocento, have each recently suggested a somewhat different and more fluid scenario. For both scholars this period was one of experimentation. Isaacs argues that in the 1480s the demise of republicanism was by no means a certain thing; indeed she suggests that the Sienese themselves would not have made a distinction in their political travails between republicanism and seigneurial government but rather between the Balìa and the councils, that is between a system that sought to restrict power to a few families and one predicated on a much more expansive view of who should participate in the political debate. The 1480s marked a period when these systems existed side by side, and the turmoil of these years was a symptom of the process of experimentation that included both of them.27 Shaw’s analysis of the last twenty years of the quattrocento, which demonstrates that the Balìe were not institutionalized until the 1480s and were even then restricted in their powers, leads her to a similar conclusion: “[t]he 1480s and 1490s were characterized by repeated attempts to define and settle the balance of power, not just between the monti, but also between the Balìa and the Concistoro and the Consiglio del Popolo, between the political elite and the popolo.”28 The period that encompasses both Pandolfo Petrucci’s ascent to power in 1497 and his rule, which lasted until he died in 1512, is as difficult to understand as the turbulent years that preceded it. By the end of the fifteenth century, the Balìe did indeed control the city. David Hicks has characterized the Balìa elected in November 1497 as Petrucci’s and its appointment as a confirmation of his role as the city’s “first citizen.”29 Yet although Petrucci may well have been the driving force behind the Balìa, its position was by no means entirely secure; the Consiglio del Popolo had several times rejected the proposal for the new Balìa before barely passing it with the required majority on 21 November.30 Elected for a five-year term, the Balìa then set out to reform the reggimento by reducing the number of individuals— many of them members of the old Monte dei Riformatori now incorporated into the gentiluomini—eligible to serve on the Consiglio del Popolo in the future. The

27

A. K. Isaacs, “Cardinali e ‘Spalagrembi’: Sulla vita politica a Siena fra il 1480 e il 1487,” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico, 3:1013–16. 28 Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (I),” 1. 29 David L. Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy and the Rise of Pandolfo Petrucci, 1487–97,” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico, 3:1051. 30 Christine Shaw cites a report from Cesare Guasti to Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, dated 22 November 1497 in which Guasti explains what happened when a proposal was approved, “che non si facesse più Baylìa, per modo che Pandolfo et li altri amici dela Excellentia Vostra che voleno el governo in questo modo dubitavano de essere necessitati ad venire ad termini de farla cum le arme, com già haveva scripto a la Excellentia Vostra che sequiria non potendosi fare piacevolmente. Nondimeno si è maturata la cosa, et cum ingenio et dextreza senza et minacie d’arme.” Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation in Siena, 1480–1498 (II),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 104 (1997): 302.

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full impact of this reform is still debated, but there seems to be no question that it narrowed the reggimento and by default Petrucci’s ascendancy over it.31 If Siena’s problems lay largely in its history of factional fighting, to cast Petrucci as a moderate compromise between extremist elements—the Monte dei Nove, which advocated the exclusion of all monti but their own from the reggimento, and the Monte del Popolo, which had sought broader representation in the government—is not entirely accurate, nor does it do justice to Petrucci’s own ambition. The failed plot to overthrow Petrucci in September 1498, spearheaded by his father-in-law, Niccolò Borghesi, indicates that there was some apprehension concerning Petrucci’s growing power. In his article on this aborted coup, Giuseppe Chironi suggests that Borghesi, far from being a radical Novesco, sought to protect the existing order from Petrucci’s seigneurial ambition for the benefit of the city’s elite families.32 Although the conspiracy involved mostly members of the Nove, it also included Andrea Piccolomini and Girolamo Tolomei, “among the most important members respectively of the Monte del Popolo and of the gentiluomini,” and its rallying cry was “Viva il presente reggimento e fuora chi occupa il bene comune.”33 Petrucci’s authority was threatened more seriously when, on 28 January 1503 and at the insistence of Cesare Borgia, he was sent out of Siena and into exile. Authority remained in the hands of the Balìa, and Andrea Piccolomini, Leonardo Bellanti, and Angelo Palmieri emerged as pivotal figures in the regime. On 30 January, with Andrea Piccolomini as prior for the day, the Balìa officially declared Petrucci an exile but decreed that neither his family nor his property were to be prejudiced by this.34 In the end, Petrucci was allowed to return to Siena, this time at the insistence of Louis XII of France, who was eager to exclude Siena from Cesare Borgia’s growing sphere of influence.35 As a result of Shaw’s prodigious research, much has been learned about the events of 1498 and 1503. However, this research also points to a fundamental lacuna in the understanding of these and other important moments in the history of Renaissance Siena. Little is known, for example, about the obviously key figure 31 For this reform and its consequences, see Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II),” 302, 304. David Hicks calls this reform the legalization of the oligarchic government in Siena. It is not clear, however, how much this action may really have changed the composition of the reggimento nor how absolutely closed the ranks of government indeed were. David Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy and the Rise of Pandolfo Petruccio, 1487–1497,” in La toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico, 3:1051. 32 Borghesi himself seems to address the charge that he was a radical intent on power for the Nove alone in the “memoriale delle accuse” he leveled at his son-in-law, “Lo amico [Pandolfo] ha facto dire che io volevo mutare questo reggimento con far uno monte o ristregnarlo con le forze de’Venitiani, et di poi far cacciare lui come protectore dei popolari et poi cacciare molti del popolo; contra questo lui ben sapeva la fede data a misser Iacomo et misser Andrea del Papa [Piccolomini] et Agnolo Palmieri, adunque è calunnia e falsità.” Giuseppe Chironi, “Nascita della Signoria e resistenza oligarchiche a Siena: L’opposizione di Niccolò Borghesi a Pandolfo Petrucci (1498–1500),” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico, 3:1178. 33 Indeed Tizio claimed that it was Andrea’s defection from the ranks of the pro-Venetian group in Siena that caused the conspiracy to fail. See Tizio, Historiae Senenses, RIS, ed. Pertici, vol. 10, fol. 442; and Chironi, “Nascità della Signoria,” 3:1177. 34 For this episode in Pandolfo’s reign, see Maurzio Gattoni da Camogli, Pandolfo Petrucci e la politica estera della Repubblica di Siena (1487–1512) (Siena: Edizioni Cantagalli, 1997), 117–24. 35 Shaw, Pandolfo Petrucci, 132.

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of Andrea Piccolomini or any of the others who stood with or against Pandolfo Petrucci during his rise to power and his rule over Siena, or about their interests in supporting or opposing him. There is, in other words, something of a vacuum around the major figures and events, and thus much about them remains largely in the realm of political facts, whose interpretation is not yet nuanced by the wider context in which they occurred. Much progress has certainly been made in the last two decades, and much more is known about the city’s political infrastructure throughout the Renaissance period. That said, the facts are obviously crucial, and the situation at present serves mostly to show how much work there is yet to be done. A myriad of publications in the last several years demonstrates that work on the history of Renaissance Siena continues at a rapid pace. Much of this work is still based exclusively on archival sources; many articles have brought single documents to light in order to illuminate the broader issues of interest to the individual scholar, although these issues often remain, almost by necessity, ill defined.36 There seems to be little overarching purpose in Sienese research. This, too, must be the result of publishing research in articles rather than books where longer and more synthetic studies could present broader goals and a more nuanced view of the subject matter. Thus Shaw’s study of the ascendancy of Pandolfo Petrucci hopes to find a relevance not only “in the history of Siena but also in the history of Italy as one of the last examples of a citizen who sought to make himself signore of a republic.” In The Politics of Exile in Renaissance Italy, her detailed study of Sienese exiles in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, she also sheds light on what was a pan-peninsular political remedy in this period.37 In the same sense, but on a grander scale and with something of a methodological agenda, Samuel Cohn’s Death and Property in Siena, 1205–1800—one of the few social histories of Siena in any period—also tackles a broader subject matter, attempting to “afford glimpses of family life, of individual beliefs and actions about property and about the soul.”38 Finally, Maurizio Gattoni da Camogli’s study of Petrucci’s foreign policy also places the actions of the individual man and his government into the larger context of Italian affairs at the time and reveals that Petrucci and Siena, like other small states, were as much the pawns of larger interests as they were the masters of their own destiny.39 In her introduction to a collection of essays on the fall of the Sienese Republic—likely the most-studied moment in the history of Siena after the Middle Ages—Isaacs offers what is perhaps the truest and most fundamental definition of the Sienese historian’s task and purpose, regardless of the period he or she chooses.

36

The recent and useful publication of the third volume in the series entitled Siena e il suo territorio nel Rinascimento—and, perhaps to underscore the international background of its contributors, subtitled in English Renaissance Siena and Its Territory—is a very good example of this trend in publishing on Siena. The individual articles have far-reaching titles, although most focus on particular instances that relate to a broader problem without doing more than broaching that relationship. Mario Ascheri, ed. Siena e il suo territorio nel Rinascimento (Siena: Il Leccio, 2000). 37 Christine Shaw, The Politics of Exile in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 3. See also Shaw, Pandolfo Petrucci, 1–4. 38 Cohn, Death and Property in Siena, 1. 39 See Gattoni da Camogli, Pandolfo Petrucci.

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Referring to the War of Siena and the city’s subsequent incorporation into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, she writes: This dramatic event has been the subject of a long tradition of scholarly inquiry. Nonetheless, the War of Siena has not, as a historical topic, been exhausted. This is true because an understanding of the war requires the study of unpublished archival sources scattered across much of Europe (as well as those also preserved in private archives), but it also true, and more importantly perhaps, because it has been interpreted in either a celebratory or ideological light. This latter circumstance has made it difficult to investigate the manner in which the war and its issues were understood in the sixteenth century and even more problematic to probe the deeper motivations of those who were involved in it.40

THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF ART IN RENAISSANCE SIENA A series of large shows—one mounted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in the winter of 1988/89 and the others in Siena in 1990 and 1993—dedicated to the arts in Renaissance Siena are symptomatic of a strong and sustained renascence of interest that blossomed about fifteen years ago. Mounted in honor of Sir John Pope-Hennessy on his seventy-fifth birthday, the New York exhibition, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500, enjoyed real success among the museum-going public and brought a large body of works by Sienese artists back to the attention of Renaissance art historians.41 A mammoth exhibition dedicated to Domenico Beccafumi and his times followed shortly thereafter in Siena. The 1993 show was dedicated to Francesco di Giorgio as painter, sculptor, and architect.42 Although each exhibition had its own agenda, as a group they served to focus attention not just on the leading artists of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, but also on Siena’s cultural milieu during this period. These shows put Siena back on the map of Renaissance Italy; one might also expect that they are responsible for the recent flurry of research into the arts and culture of the city among specialists.43 Interestingly, however, it seems that while these exhibitions have certainly attracted attention to Siena and the city’s rich cultural production during the Renaissance, they have not come to serve as the foundations for current research on Sienese art. The reasons for this are largely logistical and methodological;

40

Isaacs, “Introduzione,” 11. Keith Christiansen, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500, exhibit catalogue (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988). 42 See Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exhibit catalogue (Milan: Electa, 1990); Luciano Bellosi, ed., Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena 1450–1500, exhibit catalogue (Milan: Electa, 1993); and the exhibition’s companion volume, Francesco Paolo Fiore and Manfredo Tafuri, eds., Francesco di Giorgio architetto (Milan: Electa, 1993). 43 Sienese art continues to attract attention both in publications and museums; see, for example, Timothy Hyman, Sienese Painting: The Art of a City Republic, 1278–1477 (New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003); Diana Norman, Painting in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003); and Alessandro Tomei, ed., Le Biccherne di Siena: Arte e finanza all’alba dell’economia moderna, exhibit catalogue (Rome: Retablo, 2002). 41

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Francesco di Giorgio, for example, remains a figure of immense interest at the end of the quattrocento, but his activity in Siena is very hard to document. His impact on the development of the arts and architecture in his native city is also hard to assess, although this issue is especially important in the area of architectural activity in Siena at the turn of the century.44 Beccafumi’s eccentric genius continues to attract some scholarly attention, but that interest has focused largely on his relationship to artistic trends that developed outside of Siena (in Rome and Florence) in the early cinquecento. As with Francesco di Giorgio, it is still difficult to assess Beccafumi’s place within the development of Sienese painting, although recent work has attempted just that.45 The case of the New York exhibition is more curious. The catalogue’s introductory essays—Carl Strehlke’s “Art and Culture in Renaissance Siena” in particular— posed clearly and concisely many of the contextual questions of interest in this volume, and the entries on the individual works of art on display provided a wealth of information relevant to issues beyond attributions and stylistic debts.46 However, there seems to have been little additional interest in the decade after the show in the painters of the Sienese quattrocento, many of whom, like Sassetta, Vecchietta, Matteo di Giovanni, Neroccio, and Signorelli, were superb masters of their art.47 In its approach to the material, the New York show and its catalogue highlighted many of the issues—public and private patronage, the fashioning of civic and personal identities, and workshop practices, to name but a few examples—that are coming to define Sienese Renaissance studies. Yet it also underscored some continuing problems that face scholars interested in Sienese Renaissance art. Perhaps most striking was its underlying approach to the material covered; the artists were treated monographically, which was perhaps unavoidable in the context of a museum exhibition, but in almost every case the most important issues seem to have been the individual painter’s relationship to the great artistic traditions of the trecento in Siena as well as the degree to which he was able and willing to assimilate the modern style of Florence.48 In his introductory essay to the catalogue, Keith Christiansen defined the problem of Sienese painting in the quattrocento as the conflict between the new 44 For a very recent assessment of Francesco di Giorgio’s influence on Sienese buildings in the late quattrocento, see Matthias Quast, “Il linguaggio di Francesco di Giorgio nell’ambito dell’architettura dei palazzo senesi,” in Francesco di Giorgio alla corte di Federico da Montefeltro, ed. Francesco Paolo Fiore (Florence: Olschki, 2004), 401–31. Fabrizio Nevola also addressed this issue in a paper he gave at the annual meeting of the College Art Association in Seattle in February 2004. 45 See Piero Torriti, Tutta Siena contrada per contrada (Florence: Bonechi, 1998). 46 That this information has proved useful to subsequent research is evident in this volume as elsewhere. See, for example, Benjamin David’s essay in this volume. 47 There are certainly exceptions to this lack of interest. See, for example, Diane Vatne, “Andrea di Niccolò: Sienese Painter of the Renaissance,” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1989). See also, Machtelt Israëls, Sassetta’s Madonna della Neve: An Image of Patronage (Leiden: Primavera Pers, 2003). Israëls attempts to contextualize rather than analyze Sassetta’s earliest documented altarpiece. There has also been consistent interest in Signorelli’s work, although less on his Sienese paintings. 48 In his first book-length study, John Pope-Hennessy attempted to describe the non-Gothic and non-Renaissance style of the artist in much the same way that the curators of the New York show would treat many of the artists of the quattrocento. Pope-Hennessy, Giovanni di Paolo, 1403–1483 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1937).

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style of Florence and the cultural conservatism fostered by the glories of the past, and the fine line the best artists of Siena walked between these two. He suggested, for example, that it “cannot have been easy growing up nursing artistic ambitions in Siena in the first quarter of the fifteenth century. Look where one might, the monuments of a past glorious age were everywhere in evidence,” and later that “the miracle of fifteenth-century Sienese painting is that artists were able to turn this rich heritage to account.” And then, when discussing Sassetta’s career, he remarked, “[his] work demonstrates that it was possible for an artist to be both modern and Sienese.” “Sienese resistance to Renaissance style” was not definitely overcome until Pius II (Sienese by birth and affection) came to the papal throne in 1458, thus initiating a “wave of humanistic patronage” that was more sympathetic to the developments in contemporary Florentine art and swept up Sienese artists of the second half of the quattrocento. Christiansen thus assumes that Sienese art is still to be judged by Florentine standards. Before 1460, it is delightful, appealing, and non-Gothic but not yet Renaissance; after 1460, it is finally in line with the Renaissance, although perhaps more formally than intellectually.49 In an unintended irony that characterizes and often hinders much of Sienese studies, the New York exhibition defined itself as about Renaissance Siena while its catalogue suggested, in fact, that although something happened in Siena in the fifteenth century, it was not strictly the Renaissance. Much of the scholarship on Sienese culture during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries has been hampered by the lack of any profound sense of a localized historical context in which to understand artists, patrons, and the works produced by and for them. It has already been noted that this situation has begun to change, although the majority of (even recent) work has focused more on politics and political institutions than on social and cultural topics.50 Historians are only beginning to define the cultural dialogue within Renaissance Siena and between that city and the rest of Italy, including Florence. This provides the unique opportunity to see works of art and architecture play a more central role in shaping inquiries into Renaissance Siena, and to view them not just as reflections of social, political, and economic forces in a well-defined historical matrix, but also as participants in the interactions among all factors that lie at the root of any culture. In this way, it is possible to begin to tackle the issues both of “conservatism” in the arts during the quattrocento and of the simultaneous embracing of a classicizing visual vocabulary.51 The dynamic emerging in the current work on Renaissance Siena is therefore one that requires collaboration between historians and art historians; indeed, the work of one seems almost impossible without the other. To take one example 49 Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 4–5, 7, 19, 30. Although Sienese artists were great narrative painters—for Berenson they were “among the most pleasing and winning Illustrators that we Europeans ever have had”—in Christiansen’s view, they likely failed to subscribe to or even understand the intellectual view of narrative painting (istoria) that was defined by Alberti and was the foundation of Florentine Renaissance art. 50 Among the important examples of scholarly work that is taking Sienese studies in a social and cultural direction is that of H. W. van Os, including his Sienese Altarpieces 1215–1460: Form, Content, Function, 2 vols. (Groningen: Bouma’s Boekhuis, 1990). 51 Nagel, Michelangelo and the Reform of Art, 83–90; and Kawsky, “Survival, Revival, and Reappraisal of Artistic Tradition.”

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tackled in Matthias Quast’s essay in this volume, one cannot really understand the surprising diversity in styles among fifteenth-century palace façades in Siena without also knowing something about the families who had them built. It is necessary to know about their economic and social status, their political affiliations and activities, and their ties to those who held the balance of power in the city. At the same time, these buildings themselves are important documents that point to the differences separating families who might otherwise appear to share common backgrounds and interests. The diverse façade types are still there to be seen; the issue is what and how to learn from them. The same is true of the issue of workshop collaboration, a phenomenon that has often been seen as particularly Sienese but is likely not, a point Benjamin David elucidates in his contribution to this volume.52 The relationship between works of art and architecture and the culture that produced them is always complex; in a field still working to define itself, though, the balance between what one can observe and what one might say about it is a delicate one.

RENAISSANCE SIENA: ART IN CONTEXT— THE PARTS AND THE WHOLE The essays presented in this volume discuss an array of topics in the history of Renaissance art, architecture, and urbanism in Siena, all of them considered in their specifically Sienese context. They encompass issues that concern a broader understanding of the city and its socio-political and cultural dynamics, and they also make thoughtful use of recent work being done in other areas of Sienese Renaissance studies. Perhaps, then, the most striking feature of these articles as a whole is their insistence on the “Siena-ness” of the situations, problems, and solutions they examine. By framing questions and looking for answers in a local context, these essays take an important step towards a more nuanced understanding of the Sienese Renaissance; their larger relevance comes not in the specific and important issues they illuminate but in the definition they give to the emerging field of inquiry they are helping to shape. This collection of articles also underscores the close relationship between the study of Sienese Renaissance art and the trends that have been observed in the historical work now being done on the same period. The fifteenth century was one of crisis as the city struggled, particularly during the second half of the century, to find some sort of internal stability and at the same time to respond to the rapidly changing challenges from external forces beyond its control. Many of the issues that have come to be most interesting to art historians are related to these political developments, and thus problems like the fashioning of a civic identity in the visual arts are front and center. In her essay, Judith Steinhoff discusses early Renaissance examples of publicly commissioned images of Siena; she relates them to similar representations of cities elsewhere in Italy and then elucidates how the Sienese thought it best 52 See Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 27–30. For such partnerships and collaborations in Florence, see Ronald Lightbown, Michelozzo and Donatello, 2 vols. (London: H. Miller, 1980).

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to represent their city and why. Steinhoff ’s work points to another fundamental element that underlies all the contributions in this volume: many of the issues of Renaissance studies in Siena parallel those in other urban centers in Italy. These similarities, which offer valuable comparative material, emphasize the vitality of Sienese society in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Far from being a culture bogged down in a desire to revive a golden age and consequently mired in its own traditions, Siena and its people lived and moved in the contemporary world and looked, with some uncertainty perhaps, towards the future rather than the past. Each article in this book reveals the dynamic dialogue between the arts and contemporary society. The glories of the Gothic period and the innovations of Florentine artists also have a part in this dialogue but neither shaped nor dominated it. With Lucca, Siena is unique in Renaissance Italy in that it clung stubbornly to the tenets of its republican form of government. Although political factions and some individuals attempted by a variety of means to subvert and control the organs of government, it was only at the end of the quattrocento that Pandolfo Petrucci managed to establish real control over the city’s government; his attempt to create a ruling dynasty, however, outlasted him only briefly. This collision of the public and private spheres in Siena and the art that resulted offer some fascinating insights into the political dynamic of the time; Susan Wegner’s essay explores one such incident. In asserting his own authority over the affairs of state, Petrucci attempted to dislodge the Virgin as Siena’s preeminent protector and to replace her with Mary Magdalen, a figure more closely associated with his own fortunes. Wegner suggests that one symptom of civic resistance to Petrucci’s ambition can be found in an increasing number of images of Catherine of Siena, who had been canonized by Pius II in 1461. During the Renaissance, public symbols were often co-opted by private individuals with their own political ambitions in mind. The Medici certainly conflated civic and familial symbols as they rose to prominence in quattrocento Florence—the rustication of the façade of the Palazzo Medici in imitation of the Palazzo Vecchio and the placing of Donatello’s bronze David in the courtyard of their palace are well-known examples—and Pius II did the same thing in his project to build a palace and loggia in the Piccolomini quarter of the city.53 Petrucci’s attempt to replace the Virgin with the Magdalen is interesting and perhaps not surprising; the resistance he met and the alternative that resulted is uniquely Sienese and crucial to understanding Petrucci’s relationship to the city he controlled. As the century progressed, the emerging elite, that is, individuals (and sometimes families) with political pretensions and powerful ambitions, became increasingly concerned with constructing identities. Pius II’s architectural projects in Siena and in Pienza offer an excellent example of private building in the service of political

53

John Paoletti, “Fraternal Piety and Family Power: The Artistic Patronage of Cosimo and Lorenzo de’ Medici,” in Cosimo “il Vecchio” de’ Medici, 1389–1464: Essays in Commemoration of the 600th Anniversary of Cosimo de’ Medici’s Birth, ed. Francis Ames-Lewis (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), 195– 219. For the Piccolomini Loggia, see A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Pius II and His Loggia in Siena,” in Pratum Romanum: Richard Krautheimer zum 100. Geburtstag, ed. Renate Colella, Meredith Gill, A. Lawrence Jenkens, and Petra Lamers (Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert, 1997), 198–214.

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ambition.54 Because it was never completed, Pius II’s project for a family palace and a loggia around a large piazza that included the family’s parish church—a scheme that has much in common with the one Brunelleschi may have proposed to Cosimo the Elder in Florence in the 1430s—has been largely ignored until recently, and the related project in Pienza has become, not a monument to a Sienese family’s political ambition, but rather an exemplar of rationalized, Renaissance urban planning.55 Indeed, Pienza is both, but the context determines what can be learned from it and the questions to ask. Fabrizio J. D. Nevola’s case study of the siting of the Palazzo Spannocchi offers another striking example of the importance of monumental palace architecture to an individual’s self-representation. The history of Ambrogio Spannocchi’s acquisition of a centrally located site for his palace offers a detailed look at the factors that motivated one wealthy patron’s decision about where to build his house, which he intended as a visible symbol of his financial success and social standing. Spannocchi had close ties to Pius II and the Piccolomini, and he was able to play on that relationship in the design and decoration of his palace. The forces that came together to facilitate Spannocchi’s building project illuminate the mutual dependence of public and private interests in late quattrocento Siena. There are parallels elsewhere; Lorenzo the Magnificent, for example, allowed for public assistance to private building projects he thought would add to the magnificence of Florence. The dynamic between Spannocchi or the Piccolomini and Siena, however, illustrates both similar concerns about the beautification of the city and at the same time some discomfort with such bold individual statement. The dynamic interplay between the public and private spheres also plays out in other ways. Stratton Green’s study of the frescoed scenes from the life of Pius II in the Piccolomini Library suggests an interpretation of several of these wellknown images that expands our understanding of their meaning. By looking at them from the point of view of the local audience, Green is able to identify issues of local concern, including the canonization of Saint Catherine, that must have dictated the choices made in a pictorial cycle that also glorifies the accomplishments of a pope and underscores his relationship to the library’s patron, Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini. Mauro Mussolin approaches the issues raised by the collision of public and private interests from yet another perspective in his analysis of the successes and failures of the observant Dominican community at Santo Spirito in Siena. Here he follows the spiritual and architectural vicissitudes of an institution that found itself both manipulating and falling victim to a series of events that were ultimately beyond its control. As they balanced the institution’s disparate needs and responsibilities, the friars at Santo Spirito also struggled to

54 For Pius’s architectural program in Siena and Pienza, see A. Lawrence Jenkens, “The Palazzo Piccolomini in Siena: Pius II’s Architectural Patronage and Its Afterlife,” (PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1995). On Pienza, see Charles R. Mack, Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987); and Nicholas Adams, “The Acquisition of Pienza, 1459– 1464,” Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians 44 (1985): 99–110. 55 Isabelle Hyman, “Notes and Speculations on S. Lorenzo, Palazzo Medici, and an Urban Project by Brunelleschi,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 34 (1975): 106–8.

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express their own spiritual values in the church and convent buildings they were reconstructing. Matthias Quast addresses another of the many facets of the relationship between public and private in the diversity of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century façade designs. His discussion of these different types of building fronts suggests that something more than self-promotion and may indeed indicate an expression of political partisanship encoded in architectural imagery. As he points out, however, the current state of research leaves such speculation in the realm of hypothesis. Enough is not yet known about the individuals and the families who built these palaces to be able to explain the striking stylistic differences among them. What one can say about some of the projects—such as the Spannocchi and Piccolomini palaces discussed above—suggests that Quast’s call for further research in this area would yield productive results. Several of the essays in this collection address another issue of fundamental importance in coming to terms with the Renaissance in Siena. Benjamin David and Stratton Green, in particular, touch on the relationship among the arts, the antique, and humanism—a defining theme of the Renaissance itself. These essays make it clear that the Sienese elite had a lively interest in the culture of the ancients. It is also evident that the visual manifestations of this interest were not mediated solely through Florentine interpretations of classical art. Indeed the classicizing style in palace architecture that came into vogue at the end of the quattrocento, as Quast points out, has no precedent in Florence. As mentioned above, there is growing interest in Sienese humanism—and especially the work of its major exponents such as Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (Pope Pius II) and Agostino Patrizi—and the Studio, the city’s university patronized by Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini. There is much left to do, however, and there are certainly fruitful links to be found between intellectuals in Siena and other Italian cities, connections that were reinforced by political and military alliances. These relationships play out, too, in artistic taste and patterns of patronage. Nevola mentions Spannocchi’s close ties to Naples, where he may have first encountered the Florentine architect he chose to design his palace. The Piccolomini also had an important presence in Naples, but their patronage reflects an even greater range of influences, from Florence to Naples and Rome. The material offered in this volume reminds that Siena had an active—and indeed interactive—part in the contemporary culture of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, and hints at fascinating possibilities for future research. Quast’s visual analysis of façades and David’s provocative suggestions about the relationship between the development of narrative on cassoni panels and workshop practice in fifteenth-century Siena point, finally, to a unique opportunity for a true partnership between the traditional disciplines of Renaissance studies. The singularity of this opportunity comes not from cooperation between historical disciplines but rather from the fact that new questions are being asked just as new visual observations are being made and fresh research is being undertaken. The work of the historian is not simply a useful tool for the art historian and vice versa; instead they are mutually dependent, and because the written and visual documents are relatively sparse, the fullest picture of Renaissance Siena cannot come into focus without a mutual understanding of both. Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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 It is worth remarking, before concluding, on the fact that none of the contributions in this volume deal directly with sculpture or sculptors. This is perhaps surprising given the rich tradition of sculptural work in Siena from the early quattrocento through the first part of the next century; Vecchietta, Jacopo della Quercia, Urbano da Cortona, Antonio Federighi, Francesco di Giorgio, Giovanni di Stefano (Sassetta’s son), and Lorenzo Marrina were all active figures who left behind important bodies of work. Certainly Renaissance sculpture in Siena has not been ignored.56 Artists with international reputations like Quercia have been the subject of monographs, and Francesco di Giorgio’s sculptural work was recently examined in some detail in the broader context of his work in the Siena exhibition in 1993.57 The non-Sienese, and most often Florentine, sculptors who either came to Siena or sent work there—Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, and the young Michelangelo, for instance—have also received some attention, but their Sienese work is generally treated in the context of their larger oeuvre or for its impact on local style.58 The lack of a chapter here on Sienese sculpture indicates several things, not the least of which is the wealth of extraordinary topics that remain to be tackled in the field of Sienese art during the Renaissance. Antonio Federighi is a case in point. His output in the areas of sculpture and architecture was prodigious, and still today so many of the public monuments that catch the eye in Siena are at least in part his responsibility. These include four of the imposing figures and one of the elaborately carved benches on the Loggia della Mercanzia that stands at the Croce del Travaglio, the city’s center; the upper story of the cappella in the Piazza del Campo; Pius II’s Loggia del Papa; the heavily rusticated façade of the Palazzo delle Papesse on the Via di Città; and many of the objects in the city’s cathedral, where Federighi also served for a time as capo maestro, or foreman, of the works.59 Not 56

See Carlo Del Bravo, Scultura senese del quattrocento (Florence: Edizioni Edam, 1970). Most recently, see Robert Munman, Sienese Renaissance Tomb Monuments (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 1993), a work largely concerned with the definition of a Sienese style in Renaissance tombs and with the absence of large numbers of monumental tombs in the city. 57 For Quercia, see most recently James Beck, Jacopo della Quercia (New York: Columbia University Press, 1991). For Francesco di Giorgio’s activity as a sculptor in Siena, see Fiore and Tafuri, Francesco di Giorgio architetto. 58 Ghiberti’s baptismal font in Siena has been studied by John Paoletti in “The Siena Baptismal Font” (PhD diss., Yale University, 1967). Donatello’s work in Siena and his sojourn there have been widely mentioned. Michelangelo’s work for the Piccolomini altar, executed after 1504, has received surprisingly little attention in the vast bibliography on the artist. See Bonsanti’s entry on the figure of Saint Paul on the Piccolomini altar in the Siena cathedral in La giovinezza di Michelangelo, ed. Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt (Milan: Skira, 1999), 308–11; and most recently, A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Michelangelo, the Piccolomini and Cardinal Francesco’s Chapel in Siena Cathedral,” Burlington Magazine 144 (2002): 752–54. 59 The literature on Federighi is scarce. His sculpture was the subject of an unpublished dissertation by Elinor Richter, “The Sculpture of Antonio Federighi,” 2 vols. (PhD diss., Columbia University, 1984). For his work at the Mercanzia, see Sabine Hansen, La Loggia della Mercanzia in Siena (Sinalunga: Arti Grafiche Viti-Riccucci, 1992). For Pius’s loggia, see Jenkens, “Pius II and His Loggia in Siena,” 198–214. Federighi’s work as an architect is also little noted; the most expansive treatment of the subject is the now dated article by August Schmarsow, “Antonio Federighi de’ Tolomei, ein sienesischer Bildhauer des Quattrocento,” Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft 12 (1889): 277–99. See also Bruno XXX

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only was he prolific, but his work is also fascinating, especially after about 1460 when his style becomes confident, boldly plastic, and rigorously classical. That he had a firsthand knowledge of a vast number of ancient models seems indisputable. His works, however, are more than catalogues of classical motifs; they are studied adaptations of the antique for contemporary ends, and thus participate in the taste for such work that was prevalent throughout much of Italy. Perhaps the fact that Federighi is often categorized as a student of Quercia’s and a Sienese follower of Donatello has discouraged scholars from taking a closer look. A closer examination of this artist and his work, especially within its Sienese context, should yield some fascinating results. The history of Renaissance Siena—its political turmoil, its diplomatic efforts, its internal social hierarchies, and its cultural production—is as yet largely an untold story. Furthermore, it is evident that Renaissance Siena is most often viewed in the light of developments and accomplishments achieved elsewhere. The essays in this volume, despite and perhaps also because of their disparate subjects, are on the leading edge of a new and exciting direction in the study of fifteenthand sixteenth-century Siena. Each of the contributions explores an aspect of the cultural dynamics of the city within a specifically Sienese context. The sense of Renaissance Siena that emerges here so clearly is of a city—as a whole but also as a sum of its constituent parts, that is, of its institutions and individual citizens—that was focused on meeting the challenges it faced while at the same time formulating strategies for its future. The political, economic, and social issues that were its reality were both homegrown and the result of external forces it was less able to shape, and the city’s cultural output in the Renaissance period was a tangible result of this fluid and dynamic situation. The assumptions and conclusions of earlier scholarship about the art and architecture of Renaissance Siena are less easy to sustain in this context, and the argument that Siena was artisticly conservative and that its artists were unable to fully absorb the innovations of the “modern” Florentine style becomes less a conclusion and instead another building block in a cultural construct. To accept that artistic style, or at least some elements of it in Renaissance Siena, was tied to images from a more glorious past, it must be acknowledged that this conservatism had a contemporary relevance beyond nostalgia for better times. Each of the essays in this volume takes Siena’s independence and vitality as a cultural center during the Renaissance as its starting point. The conclusions they reach, applying a variety of tools to analyze different kinds of monuments created in divergent circumstances, illuminate specific problems in the history of Sienese art and architecture. Perhaps more importantly, the articles as a whole also begin to shape a new understanding of just what Sienese culture was in the Renaissance and to define the questions scholars will continue to ask for some time. The ground is just now being plowed, and although the tools used to cultivate it have been tested in other fields, what will finally be reaped remains largely up to art historians.

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Mantura, “Contributo ad Antonio Federighi,” Commentari 19 (1968): 98–110; and A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Pius II’s Nephews and the Politics of Architecture at the End of the Fifteenth Century in Siena,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 69–114.

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Reality and Ideality in Sienese Renaissance Cityscapes

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During the early Renaissance a new pictorial genre emerged: the contemporaneous cityscape. While the depiction of cities had a long history throughout Europe, the forms and function of city imagery began to change significantly in Italy beginning in the fourteenth century, just as the Italian city-states themselves experienced rapid expansion and development. During the medieval period, the large majority of city representations were of Jerusalem or Rome—the actual sites of the religious events that were the primary subjects of most images in which cities appeared. The method of depicting the cities was highly schematic and based on Saint Augustine’s notion of the ideal city as a symbol of the church and its eternal counterpart in paradise (fig. 1). In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a new approach was introduced. The depiction of contemporary towns increased To view this image, please refer to the dramatically, and even ancient or print version of this book. biblical events seem to take place, not in their historical setting, but in or near a local, contemporary city. Some of these cities

Fig. 1. Guido da Siena, Entry into Jerusalem, mid-thirteenth century. Tempera and gold on panel, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena (8). Photo courtesy of Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici per le Provincie di Siena e Grosseto.

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are generic, with generalized contemporary structures (fig. 2). In other cases, specific cities can be recognized by quite detailed representations of well-known religious or civic buildings (fig. 3). Individual maps and autonomous city views from this period have received considerable scholarly attention. Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegory of the Good Government, for example, must be one of the most intensely scrutinized of all Sienese images. While the precise sources and exact meaning of all of the fresco’s elements remain a subject of debate, it has long been recognized that the well-governed city is Siena (fig. 4). The inclusion of Siena’s cathedral is one of the most obvious means used to make that identification. In fact, though rarely noted, the view of the cathedral as seen from the south reflects a highly specific vantage point— namely that of the Nove as they looked out from the upper story of the Palazzo Pubblico.1 A considerable amount of discussion has also been focused on the series of newly captured towns painted by Simone Martini in the Sala del Mappamundo of the Palazzo Pubblico, which clearly carried explicit political meanings.2 Despite the overtly political import of the cityscape in these early fourteenthcentury images, the possible meanings of contemporary city views or recognizable buildings in other pictorial contexts have largely been reduced to the expression of a general, increasing concern with visual realism and naturalistic detail.3 Even when a more site-related meaning has been suggested, as in the case of the substitution of Siena for Jerusalem in Bartolo di Fredi’s Adoration of the Magi for the Altar of the Three Kings in Siena’s cathedral, no discussion has been given to the details of the city’s representation, or to the meaning those details might convey (fig. 5).4 This paper focuses on Sienese Renaissance cityscapes while arguing for rethinking an entire category of images. Specifically, research suggests that the rise of the cityscape as a popular pictorial theme beginning in the early fourteenth century is related to the emergence of the Italian city-states and to the intense energies focused on the crafting of civic identity. Although specific political and economic issues changed over time, certain themes remained prominent throughout the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Such issues as the assertion of governmental 1 As Cesare Brandi first pointed out, the portion of the fresco with the cathedral was repainted toward the end of the trecento, possibly by Andrea Vanni, as proposed by Bellosi. See Cesare Brandi, “Chiarimenti sul Buon Governo di Ambrogio Lorenzetti,” Bollettino d’arte 40 (1955): 119–23. However, the repainting remains within the original incised liners and probably follows Ambrogio’s design quite closely. See Enrico Castelnuovo, Ambrogio Lorenzetti: Il Buon Governo (Milan: Electa, 1995), 394 and illustrations on 150ff. 2 For the most recent discussion and an intriguing new theory as to the nature of these elusive scenes, see Thomas de Wesselow, “The Decoration of the Western Wall of the Sala del Mappamundo in Siena’s Palazzo Pubblico,” in Art, Politics, and Civic Religion in Central Italy, 1261–1352, ed. Joanna Cannon and Beth Williamson (Aldershot, UK: Ashgate, 2000), 19–70, esp. 34–37. 3 Jürgen Schulz, “Jacopo de’ Barbari’s View of Venice: Map Making, City Views, and Moralized Geography Before the Year 1500,” Art Bulletin 50 (1978): 425–74. An exception is H. W. van Os, who suggested that the depiction of Siena’s cathedral in Bartolo di Fredi’s scene of John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel for an altarpiece in Montalcino may be intended to draw a parallel between Saint John the hermit and the local saint and ascetic, Filippo Ciardelli. Van Os, Sienese Altarpieces 1215–1460 (Groningen: Bouma’s Boekhuis, 1990), 1:135. 4 See Gaudenz Freuler, Bartolo di Fredi Cini (Zurich: Desertina Verlag, 1994), 295–96, figs. 260, 267. The Three Kings altarpiece is dated by documents to 1389 and has been convincingly associated with the Pinacoteca painting (see Freuler, Bartolo di Fredi, 284, 476).

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 2. Osservanza Master, Saint Anthony the Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold, ca. 1435. Tempera and gold on panel. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert Lehman Collection 1975 (1975.1.27).

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. Il Libro dei Censi, ca. 1400. Frontispiece, Sala di Conferenza, Archivio di Stato, Siena. Photo by author with permission of Archivio di Stato, Siena.

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Fig. 4. Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Allegory of the Good Government: Effects of the Good Government in the City, 1338–39. Fresco, Sala della Pace, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Photo courtesy of Comune di Siena.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 5. Bartolo di Fredi, Adoration of the Magi, ca. 1385–88. Tempera and gold on panel, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena (104). Photo courtesy of Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici per le Provincie di Siena e Grosseto.

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authority, the expansion and control of territory, and the preservation of civic unity clearly and intentionally inform the pictorial representation of recognizable contemporary cities. This paper contends that the particular way in which a contemporary city is depicted in a given work carries meanings specific to that city and to the patron of the work. In the discussion that follows, close reading of the choice of buildings, the vantage point from which they are represented, and the relationship between significant buildings within a cityscape all contribute to the understanding of the meaning of individual images, as well as illuminating the relationship between politics and art at the time. The iconography of architecture itself, both of specific buildings and of certain building types, has long been a lively field of investigation. One aspect that is most relevant to the present context is the study of copies of important buildings from the Holy Land in medieval European cities wishing symbolically to augment their own prestige through connection with the sacred sites.5 Studies of fifteenthcentury maps and autonomous city views, such as the famous view of Florence known as La Catena, have revealed a similarly deliberate combination of descriptive and topographic accuracy with more abstracting tendencies for didactic and symbolic purposes. In 1978, Jürgen Schulz very usefully distinguished those with didactic purposes and symbolic contents from those whose aim was practical use and accuracy. Even earlier, in 1954, Pierre Lavedan delineated three different visual formulae for city views (the panoramic, the vertical, and the oblique). More importantly, he noted varying degrees of realism, with some cityscapes mixing elements from several cities or combining actual and specific buildings with fantastical or generic ones.6 Another body of material relevant for artistic historical interpretation of city imagery is the written descriptions of individual cities that survive from the eighth through the seventeenth centuries. Production of these texts, many of which are encomiastic, experienced a sudden upsurge in the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.7 Bonvicino da Milano’s Meraviglie di Milano of 1288 is perhaps the first full statement of urban awareness, praising everything from the site to the religiosity of the citizens.8 Dino Compagni’s description of Florence around 1310 focuses particularly on her crafts and beautiful buildings. The Sienese chronicler Agnolo di 5

See, for example, Richard Krautheimer, “Introduction to an ‘Iconography of Medieval Architecture,’” in Studies in Early Christian, Medieval, and Renaissance Art (New York: New York University Press, 1969), 115–49; and Robert G. Ousterhout, “Santo Stefano e Gerusalemme,” in Stefaniana: Contributi per la storia del complesso di S. Stefano in Bologna, ed. Gina Fasoli (Bologna: Presso la Deputazione de la Storia Patria, 1985), 131–67. 6 Schulz, “Jacopo de’ Barbari’s View of Venice,” 425–74; and Pierre Lavedan, Représentation des villes dans l’art du Moyen Age (Paris: Vanoest, 1954), esp. 35–38, 42–49. On views of individual cities, see L. D. Ettlinger, “A Fifteenth-century View of Florence,” Burlington Magazine 95 (1952): 160–67; André Chastel, “Un épisode de la symbolique urbaine au XVe siècle: Florence et Rome, cités de Dieu,” in Urbanisme et architecture: Etudes en l’honneur di P. Lavédan (Paris: H. Laurens, 1954), esp. 77–78; and Federico Zeri, “La percezione visiva dell’Italia e degli Italiani nella storia della pittura,” in Storia d’Italia (Turin: Einaudi, 1972), esp. 53–56. 7 Lavedan, Représentation des villes; and J. K. Hyde, “Medieval Descriptions of Cities,” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library 48 (1966): 308–40. 8 See Lionello Puppi, “L’ambiente, il paesaggio e il territorio,” in Storia dell’arte Italiana, 4:66 (Turin: Einaudi, 1980).

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Tura added to his historical account of the completion of the paving of Siena’s Piazza del Campo in 1346 that “it was considered the most beautiful square with the most beautiful and abundant fountain and the most handsome and noble houses and workshops around it of any square in Italy.”9 Historians have linked the proliferation of these texts with the expansion of the cities themselves and the accompanying rise in civic spirit.Yet the rapid rise of the cities and their expansion into the surrounding countryside engendered often intense civil strife rather than unmitigated civic loyalty and unity.10 Such tensions emerge as a clear subtext in these prideful tracts. In many fourteenth-century texts, writers lavish praise on the beautiful appearance of their cities and particularly on the tall towers that ensure the city’s visibility from a great distance.11 Yet the appreciation these writers have for their city’s appearance is transparently far more than a simple visual or aesthetic matter. Appearance is explicitly linked with prestige in a Sienese document of 1316 that asserts that “it is a matter of honor for each city that its rulers and officials should occupy beautiful and honorable buildings, both for the sake of the Comune itself and because strangers often go to visit them on business.”12 The written preoccupation with a city’s appearance coincides with a significant change in the number, conception, and descriptive specificity of cities represented in paintings. Yet art historians have largely overlooked the possible relationships between such representations and political events of the time, and between the ideas about the city expressed in the texts and autonomous visual depictions of cities. Broader trends such as increased interest in the secular world and attentiveness to naturalistic detail undoubtedly contributed to the emergence of the cityscape as a new pictorial motif, as well as to its enhanced visual realism in comparison to earlier medieval representations of cities. Paralleling the rise of vernacular devotional literature, the depiction of familiar surroundings must also have served to make the images more vivid and personal for the viewer, thereby enhancing their devotional appeal. However, increased visual descriptiveness cannot have been the only motivation for early Italian cityscapes. The expression of civic ideology and particular political agendas in contemporaneous urban panegyrics and autonomous city views suggests that the representation of a specific city or its most well-known buildings may have carried similar meanings into a wide variety of pictorial contexts. 9 Agnolo di Tura, Cronaca Senese, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores (RIS), ed. Lodovico Muratori, (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1936), 15.6.2, facs. 282, p. 500. Translated in Daniel Waley, The Italian CityRepublics (London: Longman, 1988), 109. 10 Nicolai Rubenstein, “The Beginnings of Political Thought in Florence,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 5 (1942): 198–227; and David Friedman, Florentine New Towns: Urban Design in the late Middle Ages (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1988), esp. 40–43, 46–49, 200–223. 11 On Pavia, see Opicino di Canistris(?), Liber de laudibus civitatis ticinensis, RIS, ed. Lodovico Muratori, (Bologna: Zanichelli, 1936), 11.1:20, 36; and Chiara Frugoni, Una lontana città (Turin: Einaudi, 1983), 85–86. On Florence, see Matteo Villani, Cronica di Matteo Villani, ed. Franc G. Dragomanni (Florence, 1846), 1:14. On Rome, see Sercambi, Novelle, in Giovanni Cherubini, Signori, Contadini, Borghesi: Ricerche sulla societa italiana del basso medioevo (Florence: La Nuova Italia, 1974), 15–16. On Milan, see Bonvicino da Milano, Meraviglie di Milano (cited in Puppi, “L’ambiente,” 66). 12 Gaetano Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena: Onorato Porri, 1854–1856), 1: 180 doc. 30.

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Only Chiara Frugoni has addressed the meaning of the new types of city views, suggesting that they express an opposition between city and countryside.13 In Frugoni’s view, this opposition derived from the Italian medieval notion of cities as morally and culturally superior to areas not dominated by human civilization. A preference for populated centers, or at least urbanized landscapes, is expressed in various forms as early as the thirteenth century. For instance, in his Sonnets of the Months, Folgore da San Gimignano several times refers to landscape views made beautiful by evidence of civilization.14 A not dissimilar outlook was still expressed in the fifteenth century by Leon Battista Alberti when he articulated a hierarchy of buildings within the city and defined the purpose of a city as encouraging virtue in its inhabitants.15 Leonardo Bruni also idealized the city and considered its hegemony over the countryside to be both desirable and beneficial. Emphasizing the more explicitly political implications of the fifteenth-century theorists, Lionello Puppi reinterpreted the traditional hierarchy of urban and rural spheres as a reflection of an ongoing struggle for economic and political power.16 Both the idealizing of the city in Italian culture and the general concern of the city-states to assert urban economic and political hegemony do seem to have informed the representations of cityscapes, especially the more generalized depictions of urban centers marking the horizon of a scene set outside the city’s sturdy, fortified walls. At the same time, such general explanations do not fully account for the representation of specific cities nor for the ways those cities were portrayed.

SIENA AS A CASE STUDY Urban views appear in paintings from centers throughout Italy beginning in the fourteenth century. However, Sienese cityscapes make an especially interesting case study for several reasons. While part of a widespread increase in urban building activity that occurred in Italy from the late thirteenth century, Siena’s civic building program was unique in the extensiveness and coherence of its symbolism. Since the founding of the city on three ranges of hills, the number three was an important symbol for Siena’s political organization and administration. The city was divided into three districts, or terzi, and the numbers of the chief magistracy were always multiples of three. The town hall (begun ca. 1297) was located at the site where the boundaries of the three districts converged, and the building itself was designed in three units to visually express the balance among the three major branches of government (see Quast, fig. 1). (The podestà, or head of government, had his quarters in the left-hand wing; the ruling council of the Nove had its chambers on the right; and the financial offices of the Biccherna occupied the 13

Frugoni, Una lontana città, 9. Folgore mentions urbanized landscapes in June, August, and December. June: “a little mountain covered with the loveliest little trees, with 30 villas, and 12 towers, not far from a little town.” For an English translation of the sonnets, see R. Aldington, A Wreath for San Gemignano (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1945), 23. 15 Carroll W. Westfall, In This Most Perfect Paradise (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1974), 60–62. 16 Puppi, “L’ambiente,” 67–69. 14

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center, with the general council chamber above.) An early depiction of Siena in a thirteenth-century manuscript itemizing the wrongs done to Siena by other municipalities also reflects this emphasis on the symbolism of the number three, defining the city by three gates, as well as by the Duomo and numerous towers (fig. 6).17 In addition to symbolizing the tripartite structure of the city’s government, the Palazzo Pubblico was also designed to make a statement about the relationship between the city’s civic and religious authorities. The cathedral had been situated at the highest point of the city since the tenth century, whereas the Palazzo Pubblico sat along the lowest side of the Piazza del Campo, in a valley.18 To correct the visual and symbolic imbalance between the two poles of power created by this low position, the Palazzo Pubblico was given the tallest bell tower of any Italian town hall of the period. The height of the Torre della Mangia was also designed to surpass that of any private tower rising from the palaces of powerful nobles. Indeed, the height of towers was such a potent manifestation of power that many of the Tuscan communes regulated and even dismantled the towers of menacing nobles.19 From its completion, the Torre della Mangia became both a point of visual focus for the entire city and a powerful symbol of communal authority. The symbolically important (if not always actual) balance of power between Siena’s civic and religious authorities and thus the unity of the city is often carefully maintained in official images. Yet even in these cases, the decision to portray civil and ecclesiastical harmony reflects a specific agenda. One other central feature of Siena’s urban life that influenced both its architecture and its painted cityscapes was its dedication to the Virgin. All Italian cities had their patron saints; however, since their miraculous defeat of Florence at Montaperti in 1260, Siena’s relationship to the Virgin contributed to an especially strong bond between religious and civic life and a close, if not wholly harmonious, relationship between religious and civil authorities. The official in charge of the cathedral project was a government employee, and the government also undertook responsibility for numerous other religious and charitable organizations.20 The hubristic and, in any case, technically unfeasible early fourteenth-century project to rebuild the cathedral to be the largest in Tuscany was probably motivated equally by a desire to honor the Virgin and by civic pride. Thus, the physical fabric of Siena’s major institutions was endowed with a symbolic significance that, not surprisingly, can be seen in the representations of those buildings. The Palazzo Pubblico and the cathedral were the central sites of Siena’s civicreligious cult, which was formulated and vigorously developed during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. While the buildings themselves retained much of their fourteenth-century form and associated symbolism into the following century, fifteenth-century Sienese civic-religious imagery both drew on those early traditions and transformed them to address the Comune’s changing needs. Examination 17

ASS, Memoriale delle offese, Podesta ms.1, fol. 11. Titus Burckhardt, Siena: Città della Vergine (Milan: SE Studio Editoriale, 1977), 48. 19 Friedman, Florentine New Towns, 215. 20 Duccio Balestracci and Gabriella Piccinni, Siena nel trecento: Assetto urbano e strutture edilizie (Florence: Clusf, 1977), 106–7. 18

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Fig. 6. Siena, Il Memoriale delle Offese, 1224. Manuscript. Photo by author with permission of Archivio di Stato, Siena. Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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of Sienese cityscapes reveals a parallel process of integrating the traditional with the new in the depiction of the city over the course of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.21 The four examples discussed below represent not only different types of images and uses of cityscapes, but also different moments during that particularly dynamic period for Siena’s civic-religious culture. BARTOLO DI FREDI’S CIARDELLI ALTARPIECE The most elusive type of cityscape, used ostensibly as a detail of setting in the background of a religious image, occurs in a late fourteenth-century painting by Bartolo di Fredi (fig. 7). Gaudenz Freuler has suggested that the inclusion of Siena’s Duomo in di Fredi’s Ciardelli Altarpiece for the church of San Francesco in Montalcino helped to set the scene of John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel in the region of Montalcino (fig. 8). This, along with other iconographic features, established a typological relationship between the life of John the Baptist and the local Beato Filippino Ciardelli, to whom the altarpiece was dedicated. Although Ciardelli’s cult had been established in Montalcino since 1362, the altarpiece was not painted until 1382. Freuler pointed to the significance of the latter date for the inclusion of Siena, noting that only one year earlier the Sienese had reestablished their hegemony over Montalcino.22 In fact, the Sienese had claimed Montalcino as part of their territory since at least the twelfth century, but were challenged several times, both by Florence and by the Montalcinese themselves. It therefore seems hard to understand why the Montalcinese patron, Cristoforo Costanti, would identify positively with Siena to the extent of celebrating its domination in this painting. Furthermore, the city’s political authority would more likely have been referenced by its Palazzo Pubblico than by its cathedral. Examination of the chronicles suggests that the depiction of Siena by means of its Duomo encapsulates much of the history of relations between Montalcino and Siena and their relatively happy resolution in 1360–61. The first decisive event in Sienese-Montalcinese relations occurred in 1260 when Montalcino, seeking to liberate itself from Sienese rule, involved Florence and the entire Guelf League. Observing the carnage of the famous defeat at Montaperti, the Montalcinese shrewdly paraded into Siena, penitential and begging for mercy. The spectacle is said to have taken place in the “major piazza” of Siena, which at that time must have been the Piazza del Duomo. The Sienese spared the traitors—meaning Montalcino was only looted and pillaged rather than being completely razed—and the Montalcinese were allowed to rebuild in exchange for their promise of eternal loyalty. They seem to have kept their promise, at least for about a century, and may well have prospered under Siena, as the Sienese historian, Bargagli-Petrucci, claimed.23 In 1359–60, the Montalcinese got involved in Sienese factionalism and refused the government’s order to desist until suppressed by military action. This act of 21 See Susan Wegner’s contribution to this volume for a similar argument about civic imagery in Siena but in a very different context. 22 Freuler, Bartolo di Fredi, 166–87. 23 Fabio Bargagli-Petrucci, Pienza, Montalcino e la Val d’Orcia Senese (Bergamo: Istituto Italiano d’arti grafiche, 1911), 146.

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Renaissance Siena: Art in Context Fig. 7. Bartolo di Fredi, Ciardelli Altarpiece, 1382. Tempera and gold on panel, including center and side panels, Museo Civico, Montalcino. Photo courtesy of Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici per le Provincie di Siena e Grosseto.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 8. Bartolo di Fredi, John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel. Detail of Ciardelli Altarpiece (fig. 7).

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revolt had a strangely beneficial result. As part of the new peace pact, the Montalcinese were granted Sienese citizenship, presumably with all the rights and benefits that entailed. While one might be reasonably suspicious of the chronicler Neri di Donato’s claim that the Montalcinese greeted the Sienese officials who came to govern them with olive branches and cries of praise for the Comune, Bartolo’s painting for Cristoforo Costanti suggests that the resolution of 1360–61 was indeed viewed as positive by the Montalcinese people.24 The choice of the Duomo instead of the Palazzo Pubblico to represent the city may be related to the religious context of the image. It also tactfully avoids the suggestion of dominance by a distant power that the Torre della Mangia could connote. More positively, the Duomo may also refer to the events of 1260, when the Montalcinese pleaded for and received mercy in unlikely circumstances, thus initiating a period that culminated in the acquisition of Sienese citizenship in 1360 apparently celebrated here. IL LIBRO DEI CENSI The Libro dei Censi, a complete itemization of the various tributes owed to Siena from all its subject lords and communities at the time, was compiled at the cusp of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The contents of this manuscript partially reiterate those of the earlier Memoriale delle Offese and the Caleffo dell’Assunta, assembled in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, respectively. This third volume was apparently created because, by the feast of the Assumption in 1400, many of the traditional tributes had not been paid, and a listing of everything owed to Siena was requested by the provveditori, or officers, of the Biccherna as a first step in remedying this situation.25 The frontispiece incorporates a view of late trecento Siena in a particularly complex iconographic framework (fig. 3). The cityscape is placed prominently at the top of the page, while at the bottom is a depiction of the she-wolf suckling the twins Romulus and Remus. The latter was a well-established illustration of the story of the brothers, the first of whom was said by Roman myth to have founded the city of Rome. Sienese civic mythology held that Remus’s sons, Ascio and Senio, had founded Siena; thus, Siena had ties to ancient Rome reaching back to its very origins. For the Sienese, the image of the she-wolf and twins referred directly to Siena’s claim to be a second Rome.26 The rendering of the city is highly detailed and includes the dome of the cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico with its distinctive bell tower as well as several other buildings (including the white stone tower of the Palazzo Tolomei?) and two city gates (fig. 9). The Palazzo Pubblico is represented as if seen from the north and is placed beside but slightly in front of the cathedral. Topographical accuracy, however, has clearly been ceded to some more symbolic purpose, since the cathedral is 24

Neri di Donato, Cronaca senese, RIS, ed. Muratori (Bologna, 1936), 15:6.2:592, facs. 282. Diana Norman, Siena and the Virgin (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1999), 4. 26 On the Sienese foundation myth, see G. Rondoni, Tradizioni popolani e leggende di un comune mediovale e del suo contado (Florence, 1886; repr. Bologna: Forni, 1968), 13–14. A slightly different version of the founding myth is given in G. Gigli, Diario Sanese, 2nd ed. (Siena: G. Landi e N. Alessandri, 1854), 2:197–209. 25

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 9. The Palazzo Pubblico and the Duomo. Detail of Il Libro dei Censi (fig. 3).

presented as if seen from the south—the view one would have if one were looking at it from the Palazzo Pubblico. The bell towers of the cathedral and town hall are drawn to reach the same height. While this equality of height corresponds to the way they were actually constructed—a desire to assert symbolically the sharing of authority between these two powers—their height is not always the same in representations. The choice to make them equal in this image is meaningful. This configuration visually stresses a basic harmony—or at least a balance in power—between the two institutions, since each is seen as if by the other and claims an approximately equal share of the pictorial space. Given that this cityscape appears in the context of a civic document, it is not surprising that the seat of civic government is given slight precedence over the center of Sienese religious authority by positioning it in the foreground, thus making it the primary subject of the image. There is another component to the image that adds a further dimension to the iconography of the cityscape and to the significance of the page as a whole. Two creatures, a viper swallowing a human figure and a double-headed eagle, hover menacingly over the town and just beside the cathedral. The former is the emblem of Giangaleazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, and the latter of the Holy Roman Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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Emperor, a symbol of the city’s Ghibelline alliance. These two images serve as a reminder that in 1400 Siena was not an independent state but had come under Visconti domination. Traditionally a Guelf city, Siena had allied itself with the papacy in its longstanding territorial struggle with the Holy Roman Emperor. In 1388, however, in a desperate attempt to hold off the Florentines, Siena had sought the protection of the Duke of Milan, a Ghibelline. Subsequently, and with the help of the Sienese Ghibelline faction, Visconti swept down on the city, bringing it under his control in 1399, just a year before this manuscript was made. Thus the very notion that the two institutions represented here and whose close interaction is so proudly asserted, were actually the city’s government was only partly a reality and partly an ideal at the time the image was crafted. There are additional civic images below the representation of the cityscape and in the borders on the sides of the page. Just beneath the city the balzana and the arms of the popolo, representing both the upper and lower classes in Sienese society, are rendered against a gold background and to either side of the large initial “S,” for Siena, that starts the text. The city’s four patron saints are depicted within the borders; they are represented in truncated form and set against patches of gold amidst the exuberant and stylized foliage. The bishop-saint Savinus and a less precisely identified young warrior saint with a sword (probably Victor) occupy the two bottom corners of the page flanking the she-wolf, to which they direct their attention. Saints Ansanus and Crescentius are depicted about halfway up the side margins. Saint Ansanus can be identified by his banner with a balzana topped by a thin cross, a clear reminder of his role in both Sienese civic and religious life (fig. 10). The iconography of Saint Crescentius here, however, indicates that he had a special importance among the patron saints (fig. 11). Along with his sword, Crescentius holds a banner with a rampant lion against a red field, the emblem of the lesser guilds in Siena. This is not the saint’s usual attribute, and in the context of a document made under Visconti domination, this apparently small detail has extraordinary resonance. Most obvious is its representation of Crescentius as champion of the masses, who had gained a greater role in Sienese government after toppling the Nove in 1355. Yet while seeming to celebrate a major segment of the Sienese population, this image also recalls past popular insurgencies against repressive regimes. Thus the imagery on this page, which complements a text itemizing the rights and claims of Siena over its own subjects, has as its subtext the city’s own struggle against foreign subjugation. To offset the potential humiliation of the probably mandatory inclusion of the Visconti viper and its implication of outside domination, Sienese civic pride is amply represented in a lavish display of civic, religious, and mythical references. In counterpoint to the city’s actual subjugation, Siena’s strength is proudly proclaimed through the representations of its architectural symbolism, its mythic links to ancient Rome, the emblemata of its broad-based governing body, and last, but not least, its patron saint defenders. Indeed, the large and prominently placed Roman she-wolf may well have had two meanings. Not only does it reaffirm Siena’s claim of ties to ancient Rome, but it also recalls the city’s longtime alliance with contemporary Rome and the Guelf party of the papacy.

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To view these images, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 11. Saint Crescentius. Detail of Il Libro dei Censi (fig. 3). Fig. 10. Saint Ansanus. Detail of Il Libro dei Censi (fig. 3).

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DOMENICO DI NICCOLO’S THE VIRGIN AND THE PODESTÀ In the early fifteenth century, in the intarsia representation of Siena attributed to Domenico di Niccolo (called Niccolo dei Cori), visual realism is employed to validate the well-established claim of the Sienese government that it derived its political authority from and was also governed by the Virgin herself (fig. 12). Once thought to have been part of a wooden residenza for the large Sala del Consiglio in the Palazzo Pubblico, commissioned in 1426 and completed in 1430, the panel, as Keith Christiansen recently pointed out, can no longer be linked with a clear provenance and function. However, a door seems to be the most likely context for the panel, probably located in the same part of the palace where Niccolo is known to have executed choir stalls and a set of doors in the Cappella dei Signori.27 The panel depicts the city presented to the podestà by the Virgin, who counsels him to govern it wisely. These same well-known themes of the Virgin’s protection and exhortation to good government are present in Simone’s Maestà in the Sala del Concistoro, although there the city is not explicitly depicted.28 Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s frescoes also address the topic of good government, and Taddeo di Bartolo’s work in the anticoncistoro continues the theme of the Sienese government’s justness in depictions of ancient Roman models, held by legend to have been Siena’s actual ancestors.29 Thus, Niccolo’s intarsia participated in a program carried out in different ways throughout the council chambers of the Sienese town hall. The intarsia presents the Palazzo Pubblico prominently; it is seen frontally and in the exact center of the composition. Reasonable topographical accuracy operates in the description of the gate—probably that of Camollia—through which one would enter the city from the north. Several other buildings are also recognizable because of distinguishing features and their topographical relationship to the Palazzo Pubblico. In the right rear is the campanile of the Church of the Servi, identified by the precise number of windows on each story. The Church of San Martino is also represented, just to the left of the Torre della Mangia. The Duomo is included in the scene but is depicted in a conspicuously less descriptive manner than the other buildings. While placed in the right foreground—its correct relationship to the Palazzo Pubblico if seen from the north— the cathedral is significantly smaller than the seat of civic authority. Its dome is so small as to require searching out, and its campanile follows in only a very general way the shape of its model. This deliberate lapse in realism redirects our attention to the visual rhetoric of the image. The individual buildings identified are not merely intended to describe Siena, but pointedly contribute to a programmatic purpose. Each is a 27

Keith Christiansen, “Mattia di Nanni’s intarsia bench for the Palazzo Pubblico, Siena,” Burlington Magazine 139 (1997): 374, 376; and Milanesi, Documenti, 2:141–42, 239. 28 For the most recent discussion, see Alessandro Bagnoli, La Maestà di Simone Martini (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1999), 85–87. For a summary of the literature, see Andrew Martindale, Simone Martini (Oxford: Phaidon, 1988), cat. 35. For a subsequent discussion of the program of this room, see Marcia A. Kupfer, “The Lost Wheel Map of Ambrogio Lorenzetti,” Art Bulletin 78 (1996): 301–9. 29 See Christiansen, “Mattia di Nanni’s intarsia bench,” 372 n. 15.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 12. Domenico di Niccolo,The Virgin and the Podesta, 1414(?) or 1426–28(?). Intarsia, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Photo courtesy of Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici per le Provincie di Siena e Grosseto.

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landmark in its terzo, or district, of San Martino, Camollia, or Città.30 The scene also includes a return to the symbolic number of three city gates as in the very earliest representations of Siena. Thus, the theme of the Virgin’s protection and guidance of Siena, and the rendering of the city itself both invoke early elements of Siena’s civic identity. Making reference to the city’s glorious past to reinforce its present authority was a strategy in which fifteenth-century Sienese culture specialized. Drawing on this well-established iconography, Niccolo’s cityscape both articulates the well-known fact that the Palazzo Pubblico marked the site where all three of Siena’s districts converged and, even more importantly, symbolically asserts that the government represents all of Sienese society. That the Palazzo Pubblico should be stressed in a cityscape made for that building and in an image whose subject is good government is no surprise. However, the decision to address the topic of government so explicitly, rather than through allegory or illustrations of good works, for example, is unique in the decorative program of this part of the palace. In addition, the unabashedly blunt aggrandizement of the Palazzo Pubblico over the Duomo would have been against local tradition in the fourteenth century and remains uncommon even in fifteenth-century representations. Such a brash departure from pictorial and political protocol suggests a particular motive. The history of Siena during the fifteenth century might be described as a series of conflicts generated by both internal factionalism and external threat, interrupted only briefly by periods of relative peace and stability. The ouster of the Milanese dukes in 1403 and the signing of a treaty with Florence in 1404 ushered in a period of relative calm. Yet by 1409 Siena experienced new tensions due to the territorialist ambitions of Ladislas of Hungary. In 1413, the Balìa, or emergency council, was created and convened twice in order to strengthen the city’s defenses against Ladislas and to preserve order within. While peace was reestablished in 1414, both internal political factionalism and conflict with Florence surfaced again by the late 1420s.31 Although this intarsia cannot be dated exactly, it is known that Niccolo was commissioned to do the door to the Sala del Concistoro in 1414 and two other doors connecting the chapel with the Sala di Balìa between 1426 and 1428.32 The commission of 1414 occurred just as a serious threat to the stability of the Sienese government and, indeed, to Siena’s sovereignty was averted. The second project was carried out in the midst of another conflict that awakened fears of new threats to Siena’s independence.33 The way in which this cityscape rather aggressively asserts both the divine authority and the justness of the government might have been motivated by the troubled social and political climates of either of these periods. 30

Lando Bortolotti, Le città nella storia d’Italia: Siena (Rome: Laterza, 1983), 48. Deborah L. Kawsky, “The Survival, Revival, and Reappraisal of Artistic Tradition: Civic Art and Civic Identity in Quattrocento Siena,” 2 vols. (PhD diss., Princeton University, 1995). 32 Milanesi, Documenti, 2:141–42 doc. 105, 239–40. 33 Kawsky, “Survival, Revival, and Reappraisal,” 46–48; and T. Terzani, “Siena dalla morte di Gian Galeazzo Visconti alla morte de Ladislao d’Angio Durazzo,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 62 (1960): 3– 84, esp. 25–28. 31

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SANO DI PIETRO, SAN BERNARDINO WITH SIENA A depiction of Siena in the context of a votive image that appears to be merely descriptive in fact similarly illustrates political issues as well as the inventive ways Sienese artists manipulated depictions of the city to express them. In a fresco by Sano di Pietro, San Bernardino holds the city of Siena instead of his usual attribute, a tablet with the monogram of Jesus Christ (fig. 13). The monogram hovers to the left of the saint like a vision, and three mitres, symbols of the ecclesiastical honors he refused, float near his feet.34 The fresco was commissioned for the Office of the Biccherna of the Palazzo Pubblico on 23 December 1450, just seven months after the saint’s canonization on 25 May.35 It flanks a Coronation of the Virgin that Sano had painted in 1445 and is opposite a fresco of Saint Catherine of Siena, probably painted about the same time.36 Like Saint Catherine, Bernardino was both a local hero in Siena and an important figure throughout Italy, and the Sienese had added him to their pantheon of local saints even before his canonization. Here the prestige of these two heroes is underscored by their proximity to the city’s greatest patron, the Virgin herself. Rather than representing San Bernardino generally as a protector and patron saint of Siena, the image, through its treatment of the cityscape, refers to specific aspects of Bernardino’s contribution to Siena, particularly to its government. Undoubtedly, Siena’s rulers sought to capitalize on Bernardino’s fame to enhance their own glory when they acted to facilitate proceedings for his canonization. However, Bernardino’s involvement in both the religious and civic life of his hometown afforded the government more immediate, tangible benefits. In 1425, and again in 1427, Bernardino, responding to repeated invitations from the communal authorities, preached the famous sermons in which he urged the renunciation of the partisan politics that were eroding civic unity and posing a threat to the government’s stability. Indeed, Bernardino might be said to have served as a diplomat both within and outside Siena, becoming involved in local politics even to the extent of championing specific statutory reforms. In gratitude to Bernardino for supporting the regime at a time when its authority was being challenged, the government elevated his emblem, the Nome di Gesù, to the status of a city symbol by placing it on the facade of the Palazzo Pubblico. The new, mutually supportive relationship between church and state mediated by Bernardino is celebrated in the unusual configuration of the cityscape the saint holds in Sano’s painting (fig. 14). In fact, it is really only a representation of two buildings, the Palazzo Pubblico and the Duomo. Conventionally, and consistent with the fresco’s location, the Palazzo Pubblico is presented frontally and in the foreground, with the cathedral behind it. Reflecting the traditional symbolism of the buildings themselves, the Torre della Mangia and the campanile of the Duomo reach the same height. A new significance, however, is introduced by aligning the 34

In 1427, Pope Martin V wanted to make Bernardino bishop of Siena, but Bernardino refused to accept this prestigious and powerful position. See Burckhardt, Siena: Città della Vergine, 11–14; and Cesare Brandi, Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena: Vicende costruttive e decorazione (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1983), 162–63. 35 The payment for the work is published by Brandi, Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, 162–63 doc. 351. 36 Brandi, Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, 162.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 13. Sano di Pietro, San Bernardino with Siena, ca. 1445. Fresco, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Photo courtesy of Soprintendenza per i Beni Artistici e Storici per le Provincie di Siena e Grosseto.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 14. Siena. Detail of San Bernardino with Siena (fig. 13).

cupola of the cathedral with the high central element of the Palazzo Pubblico, resulting in a reading of the Palazzo Pubblico as domed or one with the church. The attention to realistic detail surpasses anything seen before and includes the filigree crockets of the cathedral facade seen from the back. Yet the symbolic statement could not be clearer—San Bernardino offers a Siena in which the civic and religious forces are unified and is therefore in harmony and at peace. Bernardino’s ability to unify civic and religious groups is expressed in a more discursive way in Sano’s images of Bernardino preaching which, Freuler has argued, may have been commissioned to help convince the papal committee that Bernardino was worthy of sainthood.37 The specific form of Bernardino’s contribution to Siena and its intentional embodiment in this particular cityscape are all the more apparent when compared with another votive image by the same artist at the entrance to the same room of the Palazzo Pubblico. In Sano’s fresco of Beato Pietro Alessandrino, the saint is shown holding a more traditional, visually balanced representation of Siena in an image that honors his association with the defeat of a factionalist coup and the reclamation of Siena’s independence from the Milanese. 37

Gaudenz Freuler, “Sienese Quattrocento Painting in the Service of Spiritual Propaganda,” in Italian Altarpieces, ed. Eve Borsook (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994), 81–99.

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 The proliferation and new descriptive realism of cityscapes throughout Italy in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries may generally be related to the preoccupation with the creation and reinforcement of civic identity in this period. Certainly, in Sienese art, cityscapes are most abundant at times of particular difficulties for the Comune. Like the actual buildings, the representations must have elicited a strong sense of civic pride in the Sienese viewer.Yet the treatment of the individual cityscapes examined here reveals an even more precise function. The choice of buildings and their placement in relation to one another were calculated not only to foster a positive identification with the city in a general sense, but also to address timely political issues. Moreover, the instances considered here reflect a widespread phenomenon. Thus, it is clear that neither the subject nor the treatment of Sienese Renaissance cityscapes was merely part of a relentless historical process of developing naturalism, but had an important symbolic purpose, namely, to help promote the particular agendas of the patron.

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Palace Façades in Late Medieval and Renaissance Siena Continuity and Change in the Aspect of the City

T

The appearance of the Italian city underwent a fundamental change in the late Middle Ages and the Renaissance. There was, in the medieval period, no clear distinction between public and private space as these areas are defined in modern times. Streets were obstructed by countless temporary or permanent projecting structures constructed by house and shop owners in order to expand their property beyond the buildings’ stone walls and into public space.1 From the later Middle Ages, however, city governments tried to regulate private building expansion in order to improve circulation on the streets and to create orderly and pleasant public spaces.2 This process, drawn out over some two hundred years, also gave rise to the modern concept of the building façade as an unobstructed, architectonically articulated stone front.3 City officials were aware of the impact of street façades on the appearance of their towns, and individual patrons used them as a means and opportunity for self-representation. The purpose of this chapter is to reconstruct the emergence of the monumental palace façade in Siena on the basis of the appearance of these street fronts. It will 1

An abbreviated version of this paper was presented at the giornata di studio on L’architettura nel Rinascimento a Siena, which I organized at the Bibliotheca Hetziana (Max-Planck-Institut), Rome, on 17 March 2000. Research was facilitated by a Bibliotheca Hertziana fellowship. I am grateful to Directors Christoph L. Frommel and Elisabeth Kieven for their support. I thank A. Lawrence Jenkens for his criticism and patient work as editor and Frosty Loechel for having corrected the English in the first version of my text. 1 See David Friedman, “Palaces and the Street in Late-medieval and Renaissance Italy,” in Urban Landscapes: International Perspectives, ed. J. W. R. Whitehand and P. J. Larkham (London: Routledge, 1992), 69–113; Klaus Tragbar, “Die sporti en mittelalterlichen Wohnbauten der Toskana,” in Bericht über die 40: Tagung für Ausgrabungswissenschaft und Bauforschung (Bonn: Habelt, 2000), 143–51; and Gino Chierici, “La casa senese al tempo di Dante,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 28 (1921): 343–80. 2 See William M. Bowsky, A Medieval Italian Commune: Siena Under the Nine, 1287–1355 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981), esp. 294–96; Wolfgang Braunfels, Mitteralterliche Stadtbaukunst in der Toskana (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1953), 86–130 and docs. 1, 2, 6, 8–13; Duccio Balestracci and Gabriella Piccinni, Siena nel trecento: Assetto urbano e strutture edilizie (Florence: Clusf, 1977), 45–46, 91– 93; Petra Pertici, La città magnificata: Interventi edilizi a Siena nel Rinascimento (Siena: il Leccio, 1995); Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Siena nel Rinascimento sistemi urbanisticie strutture istituzionali (1400 ca.– 1520),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 43–64; and Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “‘Per Ornato della Città:’ Siena’s Strada Romana and Fifteenth-century Urban Renewal,” Art Bulletin 82 (2000): 26–50. 3 Friedman, “Palaces and the Street,” 93–99.

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not explore Sienese palace design in its social and political context, simply because in most cases the basic facts about the buildings’ patrons or their sociopolitical background are still unknown. A systematic analysis of the façades facing Siena’s most important streets—the Via Francigena, the city’s major north–south artery which was also known as the Strada Romana, and its southwest branch, the Vie di Città and Stalloreggi, as well as the Piazza del Campo and some secondary streets4— allows one, however, to identify the formal and material components of Sienese late medieval and Renaissance palace façades and then to construct a basic typological system for them. It is possible to chart changes in palace façade design and the impact they had on the appearance of the city. The components of the façade used to analyze and categorize Sienese palaces include the building material used, the form and material of any architectural articulation such as string courses, the type of window and door openings as well as their framing, and the form and function of the wrought iron elements still in situ on many of these façades. The earliest palaces with street fronts characteristic of a façade in any modern sense appear in the second half of the thirteenth century. A significant number of palaces built or remodeled in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries seem, furthermore, to adhere to the façade type established by the Palazzo Pubblico; this paper will also look at the role of that building—the city’s principal public structure— and its main façade in shaping a Sienese palace style. Two new façade types emerged in Siena in the second half of the quattrocento, both of which coexisted with the still vital trecentesque type. One can be described as a reworked version of early Renaissance Florentine palace fronts and the other one as a classicizing or all’antica type. The latter will come to dominate Sienese palace architecture beginning in the sixteenth century. The material gathered here is thus intended to create a foundation for future studies of individual Sienese façades as scholars begin to interpret them in their specific social, political, and cultural contexts.

MONUMENTAL DOMESTIC ARCHITECTURE IN MEDIEVAL SIENA Siena’s urban fabric was, for the most part, set by 1355, the year that marked both the end of the government of the Nove (1287–1355) and the end of the city’s most prosperous period. A fourth circuit of walls, begun in 1326, now encompassed not only the built-up areas on the hills but also the valleys situated between them, green areas that are still being used as gardens today.5 The street network, the layout of which is closely related to the terrain itself, was fully developed by then and survives intact today. Later interventions were limited to straightening and enlarging streets. The main thoroughfares were lined by contiguous buildings, although the appearance of these streets in the mid-fourteenth century was quite different than it is 4 The Via Francigena or Romana from north to south is today’s Via Camollia–Via dei Montanini– Banchi di Sopra–Banchi di Sotto–Via di Pantaneto–Via Roma; secondary streets examined: Via dei Pellegrini–Via dei Fusari–Via del Capitano–Via di San Pietro; Casato di Sotto–Casato di Sopra;Via del Porrione–Via di San Martino–Via dei Pagliaresi. 5 Balestracci and Piccinni, Siena nel Trecento, 17–39.

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today. The upper floors of most buildings were hidden by a screen of projecting structures—balconies and cantilevered additions to the upper floors called ballatoi. The medieval brick and limestone façades with their arched openings, which today line the streets of Siena, have been stripped of these projecting constructions. The slender, rounded-arch openings visible on the upper stories gave access to the ballatoi, which were braced from below by wooden beams projecting from holes in the wall and supported by stone corbels just below them. The ballatoi were covered by small, pitched roofs (tettoie) supported in much the same way as the structure itself, although they also had horizontal beams above that were held in place by stone or iron hooks. The tettoie were protected by drip moldings. This particular combination of holes, corbels, hooks, and drip moldings allows for the reconstruction of these projecting structures. One should note, too, that until the late thirteenth century any projecting architectural element like a stone corbel or drip molding had a structural function and was not meant to give any sense of ornamental relief to the façade. The very slow process of dismantling ballatoi began in Siena in the late thirteenth century, and the Comune, the city government, took an increasingly active role in enforcing the regulations that this required.6 The tettoie over ground-floor shop doorways as well as those above upper-story windows were not included, as they protected these openings from both the rain and intense sunlight. Because glass was too expensive and finestre impannate (treated linen stretched over wooden frames) were not yet used, windows could only be closed with wooden shutters and curtainlike awnings (tende).7 Yet both these protective elements blocked the openings and obstructed the view, and windows were thus left open much of the time.Tettoie provided them some extra protection. As ballatoi disappeared and exterior walls were left fully visible, it became increasingly desirable to have architecturally articulated street fronts. Palaces built ex novo like the Palazzo Tolomei and the Palazzo del Rettore (the residence of the rector of the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala) have façades that are both partially unobstructed and partly articulated.8 The former, rebuilt in the 1270s, seems to be the first Sienese palace with decorated string courses and tracery in its window openings. A decade later the outer arch of the bifora, or two-light, windows at the Palazzo del Rettore had been recessed into the façade itself. The Palazzo Tolomei had tettoie above the ground-floor doorways as well as over the bifore on the top floor. Nonetheless the beauty and quality of the carved string courses and window tracery, as well as of the limestone itself, were meant to be appreciated. The façade of the Palazzo Tolomei was thus a forerunner of the modern façade.

6

Chierici, “La casa senese,” 366–68; Pertici, La città magnificata; and Nevola, “Per Ornato della

Città.” 7 Peter Thornton, The Italian Renaissance Interior, 1400–1600 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991), 28–29. See also my articles cited in note 13. 8 See Fabio Gabbrielli, “Stilemi senesi e linguaggi architettonici nella Toscana del Due-Trecento,” in L’architettura civile in Toscana: Il medioevo, ed. Amerigo Restucci, 305–67 (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1995); Giulio Prunai, Guido Pampaloni, and Nello Bemporad, eds., Il Palazzo Tolomei a Siena (Florence: Cassa di Risparmio, 1971); and Enrica Boldrini and Roberto Parenti, eds., Santa Maria della Scala: Archeologia e edilizia sulla piazza dello Spedale (Florence: Edizioni all’Insegna del Giglio, 1991).

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 1. Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Photo by author.

During the period of the Nove, façades that included the innovations introduced in the Palazzo Tolomei and the Palazzo del Rettore seem quickly to have become standard. Soon afterwards, however, the Palazzo Pubblico, built between 1297 and 1326,9 became the model for Sienese façades, and at least some of its architectural features were codified into the city’s statutes. These included the absence of ballatoi and the use of colonnettes to make two- and three-light windows (figs. 1, 2).10 The elimination of projecting constructions and the resulting visibility of the façade encouraged variety in the articulation of the wall and in its architectural elements and led to both a more sophisticated treatment of surfaces and the development of new decorative motifs.11 Openings in the façade were pointed or segmented arches, and the face of the outer arch was recessed into the wall. The moldings around the outer arch were decorated with dentils or small geometric friezes. Ground-floor doorways usually had pointed outer arches that spanned 9

Except for the tower. See Michele Cordaro, “Le vicende costruttive” in Cesare Brandi, ed., Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena:Vicende costruttive e decorazioni (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1983), 33–36. 10 See Braunfels, Mitteralterliche Stadtbaukunst, 86–130, 250 docs. 1–2. 11 See Gabbrielli, “Stilemi senesi.”

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segmented inner arches, a combination called an arco senese or Sienese arch. A building’s upper stories often had bifora or trifora windows, openings characterized by a pointed outer arch encompassing two or three smaller and sometimes lobed inner arches. These inner arches were carried on colonnettes with leaf capitals and impost blocks that corresponded to the string courses at the level of the springing of the window arches. String courses were distinguished by expressive cyma moldings that gave a sense of horizontality to the façade and tied its wall surfaces together visually. These To view this image, please refer to buildings were then capped with the print version of this book. a crenellated crown. The façade itself was often built with limestone (calcare cavernoso) on the ground floor and brick on the stories above as one sees on the Palazzo Pubblico’s campo façade. Furthermore, the bricks of the first floor of the Palazzo Pubblico were polished and then incised with a herFig. 2. Three-light windows, Palazzo Pubblico, Siena. Photo by author. ringbone pattern, and the same is true in several other Sienese palace fronts of the late thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.12 String courses and other architectural elements were made of specially molded bricks or carved from travertine or sometimes even marble. By creating contrasting areas of light gray or white (in the case of marble) and brick red, the choice of the materials also suggests the importance of that color on façades. Trecento façades in Siena were also richly decorated with a variety of wrought iron elements, many of which are still preserved. Because they were anchored into the wall while it was being built, it is not hard to determine whether an iron element is original to the building or was added later by breaking a hole in the fabric of the wall. The use of wrought iron is a duecento tradition, 12

For example, the palaces at Via di Pantaneto, 1–3 (Palazzo Placidi), Via di Camollia, 151–153, and Via di Camollia, 75–77 (only the ground floor can be dated to the trecento).

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and the function and design of these metal elements continued to develop until the early sixteenth century. Changes in the use of wrought iron on Sienese buildings is a fascinating subject that has yet to be carefully studied; nonetheless it offers a useful tool for dating façades.13 Wrought iron elements on building façades served three essential functions. On the ground floor, L-shaped hooks with attached rings (arpioni da cavallo a campanella) were used to hitch horses and pack animals,14 while arpioni da bandiera or portastendardo were made to hold standards and torches.15 The latter were used on several levels of a façade. The hooks and brackets used to attach temporary cloth screens were more important to the appearance of a façade; these textile elements were used both to decorate the building and, more practically, to protect its window openings (fig. 2). As such they were part of a four-part screening system used to close windows. The first included wooden shutters and, very rarely, panes of glass, and the second tende that hung directly in front of the windows on the outside of the building. These tende were fixed on poles supported by small, L-shaped wrought iron hooks (arpioni da tenda) or hung on rings attached to the arpioni da tenda that flanked the window at the level of the impost block. The third screen was attached to long poles or beams laid horizontally in so-called swan-neck iron brackets (arpioni da stanghe or erri a collo di cigno)16 set about halfway up the height of the window. These long poles had several functions: they were used for cloth that was hung over them, for tende that were attached immediately above the impost cornices and then draped over the pole, or for hanging out laundry, vegetables, and even birdcages. The protruding erri exclude the possibility that the building also had projecting constructions such as ballatoi and suggest that its outer wall was conceived as a façade. The fourth element that protected window openings were the tettoie. That the front of the building was privileged over its other external walls becomes clear when one compares the main façade and the lateral faces of freestanding constructions like the Palazzo Pubblico. The campo façade of this building is the only one in which the ground floor is distinguished from those above by its building material, and the treatment of its surfaces is more refined than that of the lateral walls. Indeed, the word facciata first appears, according to David Friedman, in the 1340 building contract for the Palazzo Sansedoni in Siena, just as work on the Palazzo Pubblico was coming to an end.17 In that case the facciata refers to the 13 For the function of wrought iron elements, see Attilio Schiaparelli, La casa fiorentina e i suoi arredi: Nei secoli XIV e XV (Florence: Le Lettere, 1983), 53–61, 130–33; Thornton, Italian Renaissance Interior, 29; and Assunta Maria Adorisio, Per uso e per decoro: l’arte del ferro a Firenze e in Toscana dall’età gotica al XX secolo (Florence: M. C. de Montemayor, 1996), 14–16. See also, Matthias Quast, “Fensterverschlüsse im Sieneser Profanbau zwischen dem 14. und 16. Jahrhundert ind ihre Rolle bei der Entwicklung der Fassadenarchitektur,” Burgen und Schlösser 43 (2002): 141–51; and Matthias Quast, “Gli strati delle facciate senesi medievali e rinascimentali: componenti, funzione, cronologia,” in Le Dimore di Siena: L’arte dell’abitare nei territori dell’antica Repubblica dal Medioevo all’Unità d’Italia, ed. Gabriele Morolli (Florence: Alinea, 2002), 113–20. There is no standardized terminology. 14 Boccaccio, Il Decameron, 7.6.11: “ed egli nella corte smontato d'un suo pallafreno, e quello appiccato ivi ad uno arpione.” 15 In a 1466 document they are called atachatoi di bandiere: Patrizia Turrini, ‘Per honore et utile de la città di Siena’: Il comune e l’edilizia nel quattrodento (Siena: Tipografia senese, 1997), 119. 16 In a 1466 document they are called ferri delle pertiche: Turrini, Per honore, 117. 17 Friedman, “Palaces and the Street,” 94. See also Franklin Toker, “Gothic Architecture by XXXXX

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front of the building facing the Banchi di Sotto; it was built according to the ideal trecento model that included tettoie above the shops on the ground floor. It is difficult to say how many fourteenth-century Sienese palace fronts actually adhered to this ideal façade type because most them were completely altered between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Only a few trecento façades modeled on the Palazzo Pubblico survive even partially intact. The fact that the Ufficiali sopra all’ornato, the municipal office charged with overseeing the beautification of the city, was busy enforcing the demolition of ballatoi throughout the fifteenth century, demonstrates that dismantling these obstructions was a long process.18 During the Renaissance there were still countless buildings whose street fronts could not be described as façades in the modern sense. The Palazzo Pubblico marks an important step towards the realization of the modern façade: its campo front was built using several different and carefully worked materials of different colors, it is articulated by cyma molding string courses and by openings of exquisite and perfectly studied forms, and it is enriched by wrought iron elements (fig. 2). In addition one can still see the traces of tettoie— stone corbels, iron hooks, and a drip molding—on the first and second floors; it is important to note that these small structures would not have been perceived as diminishing the appearance of this ideal trecento façade. The fact, however, that there are no holes for beams to support the pitched roof above the corbels on the first floor seems to indicate that this tettoia was never built.19 This change in the design of the Palazzo Pubblico’s campo face makes it perhaps the first modern façade in Siena in the sense that there was an almost completely unobstructed exterior wall articulated with architectural elements. That the tettoia of the first floor was never built also suggests that the window openings were protected by some other means, possibly by the glass windows for which payments began in 1309.20 The façade of the Palazzo Rossi (now the Palazzo Bichi Ruspoli) on the Banchi di Sopra, next to the Arco dei Rossi, is a particularly interesting example of an early modern Sienese façade. Its splendid street front, rising between two twelfthor thirteenth-century gray limestone towers and with the Rossi coat of arms prominently displayed on the first pointed arch on the ground floor, can probably be dated to the years immediately before the outbreak of the plague in 1348 (fig. 3).21 It has several characteristics typical of palaces built in the first decades of the 18

Remote Control: An Illustrated Building Contract of 1340,” Art Bulletin 67 (1985): 67–95. 18 See Pertici, La cittá magnificata. 19 Gabbrielli, “Stilemi senesi,” 335. 20 Brandi, Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena, 419–28 docs. 111, 175, 204, 312, 316, 398; and Scipione Borghesi and Luciano Banchi, eds., Nuovi documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena; E. Torini, 1898), 395 (29 January 1339), 402 (26 February 1310 and 1321) and doc. 62 (6 September 1434), 195 (restoration of glass windows, 15 October 1506), 202 (3 May 1510). 21 This exceptional Sienese building is not often discussed in the scholarly literature. When its Banchi di Sopra façade is mentioned, it is called medieval and dated either from the middle of the thirteenth to the fifteenth century or 1518–20 on the basis of a purchase contract of 1518. According to Sigismondo Tizio, “Rossi quoque fuere Orlandi, quorum splendidissimum palatium inter duas turres cernitur ad Rubeorum angulum cum insignibus, quod Jacobus Venturius mercator temporibus nostris emit, subinde vero Alexander Bichius, depressa turri angulari et interius decrustata, in ampliores redigens mansiones.” Historiae Senenses, Rerum Italicarum Scriptores Recentiores (RIS) 6, 10, (Rome: Istituto XXXX

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trecento: the pointed-arch doorways on the ground floor that span segmental arches; the pointed-arch bifora windows on the upper floors that were replaced by rectangular openings in the eighteenth century; the crisply defined cyma molding string courses; and the wrought iron arpioni a campanella. The latter recall the same elements on the Palazzo Pubblico; they are, however, slightly thinner and more sharply defined than those on the town hall and are, in fact, closer to those of the Palazzo Sansedoni of 1340. The brick rib vault on the ground floor is a further piece of evidence for dating the Palazzo Rossi to the years before 1348. It is identical to the vaulting of the lower church of San Domenico in Siena, which also dates to the early 1340s.22 It is, however, the treatment of the wall surface and the choice of material that make the Palazzo Rossi unique in trecento Siena. The three-story, four-bay façade is completely rusticated with flat blocks of yellow sandstone.23 The Palazzo Rossi’s rusticated front introduces a Florentine type into Sienese architecture but fuses it with local forms and a new building material. It becomes the prototype for the rusticated façades built in Siena in the late quattrocento. Yet the specific handling of the stone blocks was not repeated in the fifteenth century. The Palazzo Rossi rustication is contructed with small, irregular blocks that have smooth, narrow, recessed edges all the way around them. The channels between each course of blocks are thus created by the two adjacent recessed lips, a technique similar to contemporary Florentine examples such as the mid-fourteenth century Palazzo Davizzi Davanzati or the Palazzo Vai.24 The Palazzo Rossi’s street front was clearly not hidden by projecting structures or even shaded by tettoie. The Rossi façade, with its unobstructed expanse of stone wall, its expensive and carefully worked material, and its well-balanced forms may well, with the Palazzo Pubblico, have been one of the first modern façades in Siena. Yet no response to this innovation in other Sienese palaces is evident until the middle of the fifteenth century. The development of the unobstructed façade 22

storico italiano per l'età moderna e contemporanea, 1992), 1.2.1, 257. However, the “splendid” façade already existed when Bichi bought the palace. He modified the interior and enlarged the building towards the east, erecting a new plastered façade on Via dei Rossi. See Gabriele Borghini, “Architettura e colore dell’edilizia civile a Siena nel secolo XVIII: Il livello e la regola,” Bolletino d’arte 35/36, supplement (1986): 79; Fabio Redi, Edilizia medievale in Toscana (Florence: Edifir, 1989), 135–36; Giovacchino Faluschi, Breve relazione delle cose notabili della città di Siena ampliata e corretta (Siena: Stamperia Mucci, 1815), 151; Piero Torriti, Tutta Siena contrada per contrada (Florence: Bonechi, 1988), 311; Alberto Fiorini, Siena: Immagini, testimonianze e miti nei toponimi della città (Siena: Alsaba, 1991), 142; Touring Club Italiano, Guida d’Italia, Toscana, 5th ed. (Milan: Touring Club Italiano, 1997), 569; ASS, Archivio Bichi Ruspoli, II sez., I serie, n. 2 [n.a. 198; reg. H], fol. 2 and VII sez., n. 325 [n.a. 282; reg. 41], fols. 554–55; and Matthias Quast, “Il palazzo Bichi Ruspoli, già Rossi in via Banchi di Sopra: Indagini per una storia della costruzione tra duecento e settecento,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 156–88. 22 Peter Anselm Riedl and Max Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena (Munich: F. Bruckmann, 1985), 2.1.2, 493–94. 23 The eroded condition of many of the palace’s stone blocks is due to the effects of weather. 24 Staale Sinding-Larsen, “A Tale of Two Cities: Florentine and Roman Visual Context for Fifteenth-century Palaces,” Acta ad Archaeologiam et Artium Historiam Pertinentia, Institutum Romanum Norvegiae 6 (1975): 180; and Anja Eckert, Die Rustika in Florenz: Mittelalterliche Mauerwerks- und Steinbearbeitungstechniken in der Toskana (Braubach: Deutsche Burgenvereinigung, 2000), 67–69, 196–97, cats. 21–22.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. Palazzo Rossi, Siena. Photo by author.

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also coincided with the growing popularity of finestre impannate as a convenient way to cover window openings that was much cheaper than (still rarely used) glass. Based on the appearance of such window coverings in painted cityscapes, it seems that finestre impannate were first introduced in Siena in the first half of the fifteenth century.25 They made tettoie obsolete, although there were still countless obstructed street fronts in Siena throughout the quattrocento. The extravagant Rossi façade is important for yet another reason. By using traditional forms but carving them from a new material, and by introducing a new treatment of the wall surface, the palace broke the trecento convention of the unity of form and material. This would become an increasingly essential characteristic of the façades of the second half of the fifteenth century, when there were no longer any fixed rules about material and form.

RENAISSANCE PALACE FAÇADES IN SIENA Three basic types of façades can be identified in Renaissance Siena. The first reflects the survival of the trecento type discussed above, and the other two represent new designs that appeared in the second half of the fifteenth century. One of them derived from contemporary Florentine palaces, while the elements of the other were rooted in classical architecture. “Florentine” façades were built only in the 1460s, ’70s, and ’80s; the all’antica type first appeared in the 1460s and then came to dominate palace architecture at the beginning of the sixteenth century. These three façade types are all different, yet each is also partially dependent on the others. For example, classicizing details were sometimes incorporated into the late medieval type, and some elements of the innovative fifteenth-century façades reflected Sienese trecento tradition. All these palaces, regardless of type, have identical wrought iron elements on their façades, and these devices can be dated by means of their own stylistic development. In the last third of the fifteenth century, for example, the metal bars

25

The Palazzo Pubblico and perhaps the Palazzo Rossi remain exceptions even in the fifteenth century. Documents for glass windows have been found only for the Palazzo Bichi Buonsignori (1458); see Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 396; and Giovanni Cecchini, “Il Castello delle Quattro Torri e i suoi proprietari,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 55 (1948): 18. The finestre impannate first appear in a fresco by Domenico di Bartolo, dated 1441, in the Pellegrinaio of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala; see Keith Christiansen, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500, exhibit catalogue (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988), 55–56. There are numerous examples of them in frescoes in Tuscany and Umbria—by Benozzo Gozzoli and others—in the second half of the fifteenth century; see Steffi Roettgen, Wandmalerei der Frührenaissance in Italien, 2 vols. (Munich: Hirmer, 1996–97); and Diane Ahl, Benozzo Gozzoli (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996). The first finestre impannate in Tuscany are documented in Pisa in 1317; see José Luis Santoro, “I tessili: complemento aulico nell’architettura rinascimentale,” in L’architettura civile in Toscana: il rinascimento, ed. Amerigo Restucci (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1997), 415. A later example is the drawing of a stage set by Baldassarre Peruzzi in the Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, 268 Ar; see Heinrich Wurm, Baldassare Peruzzi: Architekturzeichnungen (Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth, 1984), 303. Finestre impannate were used throughout the baroque period; see, for instance, the view of the Piazza del Campo by Bernardino Capitelli, dated 1632, in Ettore Pellegrini, Palazzi e vie di Siena nelle opere a stampa dal XVI al XX secolo (Siena: Lombardi, 1986), 16–17, fig. 1. For construction of the finestre impannate, see Schiaparelli, La casa fiorentina, 119–24; Thornton, Italian Renaissance Interior, 28–29; and, for window coverings in general, Quast, “Fensterverschlüsse im Sieneser Profanbau.”

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were twisted into spirals, and animal and vegetable forms became less stylized and more naturalistic and sometimes even expressive. Acanthus leaves on wrought iron appeared at the end of the fifteenth century. Volutes were first used around 1500 and then quickly became the dominate decorative motif in the first decades of the sixteenth century. QUATTROCENTO GOTHIC FAÇADES Most fifteenth-century façades that survive in Siena were built in the quattrocento Gothic style. There are about thirty of them on the city’s main streets, compared to twenty-five all’antica and six “Florentine” façades. These fifteenth-century Gothic buildings copied much from their prototypes but changed some of the details. In the later palaces there was generally no distinction made in materials between the ground floor and the upper stories, and they are usually constructed entirely of brick. Because the horizontal stone bands on the ground floor in which the arpioni a campanella were anchored are aligned exactly with the wall surface, it seems clear, too, that the brick was meant to be exposed and not stuccoed. Like other Sienese Renaissance façades, string courses on the Gothic-style buildings were usually made from dark gray pietra serena (in contrast to the light gray limestone, travertine, or white marble used in the fourteenth century); they also have longer and more elegant channel or cyma moldings. One finds, too, that the capitals of the colonnettes in the bifora windows are often classicizing. One can distinguish three variations within this group of quattrocento Gothic façades. The first is represented by only three surviving façades, all dated to the sixth and seventh decade of the fifteenth century: the Palazzo Bichi Buonsignori, built in the 1450s and renovated twice in the nineteenth century;26 the Palazzo Petroni, reconstructed in 1466 by the Comune as the palace of Capitano di Giustizia on Via di Salicotto (fig. 4);27 and the Palazzo di Biagio di Cecco Binducci, dated to the 1460s, at Via di Pantaneto, 127–129.28 An accurate reconstruction of any of these buildings is difficult because the first was heavily restored and the other façades are in very bad condition. In general, however, they have many of the essential characteristics mentioned above and are further enriched by decorative friezes with pointed arches just below the string courses and by trifora windows with trefoil inner arches. The second variation is a rather simple version of the trecento prototype. It usually has pointed-arch bifora or occasionally trifora windows with medieval and/or all’antica capitals; the latter are also used as console capitals in the large ground floor rooms. Examples of this type include the Palazzo Marsili on the Via di Città, erected in 1459 and restored in 1872/73 by Giuseppe Partini;29 the Palazzo

26 Cecchini, “Il Castello delle Quattro Torri,” 17–24. See also Bernardina Sani, Siena tra purismo e liberty (Milan: Mondadori, 1988), 287. 27 Turrini, Per honore, 115–21. 28 Pertici, La città magnificata, 122, doc. 114. 29 Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti,140–42 doc. 81; M. Cristina Buscioni, Giuseppe Partini: Architetto del purismo senese (Florence: Electa, 1981), 31, 105, 157; Milanesi, Documenti, 2:303–7 doc. 214; Pertici, La città magnificata, 68–69 doc. 5; and Turrini, Per honore, 135–39.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 4. Palazzo del Capitano di Giustizia, formerly Petroni, Siena. Photo by author.

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Cinughi de’ Pazzi on the Banchi di Sopra and built probably before 1473;30 and the Palazzo Bardi on the Casato di Sopra, built in the late fifteenth century.31 The third variant is a modern version of modest trecento façades characterized by simple and rather small openings with segmented or round arches (fig. 5– 6). There are many examples around Siena; they include the façade just inside the Porta all’Arco at Via di San Pietro, 57 (fig. 6);32 the palazzi on Via di Stalloreggi at numbers 11–15, 17–21, and 28–32;33 and the palazzetto between Via dei Servi and Via delle Cantine, not far from Santa Maria dei Servi (fig. 5).34 FLORENTINE FAÇADES While the Gothic façades built in the fifteenth century represent the modernized continuation of a late medieval tradition, each of the only six examples of this second type can be described as a decidedly Sienese adaptation of a Florentine pattern. The first of these façades—Caterina Piccolomini’s palace on the Via di Città, also known as the Palazzo delle Papesse—was built by a member of the Piccolomini family and was then copied immediately by some of that clan’s political allies (fig. 7). Its popularity, however, was limited to the 1460s and ’70s. The Papesse was begun circa 1459–60, but its façade is difficult to analyze because, although we know it was partially destroyed by fire in 1523, it is unknown how severely or to what extent the upper floors were later reconstructed.35 That said, there are two grades of rusticated blocks on the palace’s Via di Città façade, and the contrast between the more roughly worked bugnati of the ground floor and the smooth blocks of the upper levels is similar to that of the first two stories of the Palazzo Medici in Florence. The distribution of the bays across the façade is also not unlike the Palazzo Medici. The Palazzo delle Papesse has three huge, arched openings on the ground floor and six window bays on the upper stories. The Papesse also conforms, in some of its detail, to Sienese tradition: its pointed-arch bifore; the window colonnettes with impost blocks (although without corresponding string courses); and its lateral brick façade with trecentesque bifora windows on the Via del Castoro. The Palazzo Nuovo, begun in 1469 by Giacomo and Andrea TodeschiniPiccolomini, has limestone rustication across two of its façades, emphasizing the 30

The string courses of the neighboring Palazzo Spannocchi, begun in 1473, are on a slightly higher level and overlap the front of the Cinughi de’ Pazzi palace. 31 The dating is based on the stylistic evidence of the wrought iron arpioni a campanella, with small but expressive wolf heads, and erri a collo di cigno, both made of twisted bars, and on the monogram of San Bernardino, dated 1490, on the ground floor. 32 The wrought iron devices are similar to those of the Palazzo Bardi on the Casato di Sopra, dated to the late fifteenth century. 33 It is difficult to date these façades as the wrought iron devices have been removed. The pietra serena cornices with lengthened cyma molding do not allow an exact dating within the fifteenth century. 34 The twisted bars and the tiny volutes of the wrought iron erri a collo di cigno suggest a dating in the decades around 1500. 35 A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Caterina Piccolomini and the Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena,” in Beyond Isabella: Secular Women Patrons of Art in Renaissance Italy, ed. Sheryl E. Reiss and David G. Wilkins (Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2001), 77–92; and Fabio Gabbrielli, “Il palazzo delle Papesse,” in Il palazzo delle libertà (Siena: Palazzo delle papesse, 2003), 172–80. For documentation, see Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 201–2 doc. 124; Milanesi, Documenti, 2:323–24 doc. 226, 2: 348–49 doc. 246; Pertici, La città magnificata, 120 doc. 107; and Turrini, Per honore, 137–39.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 5. Late quattrocento palace between Via dei Servi and Via delle Cantine, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 6. Palazzetto at Via di San Pietro, 57, at Porta all’Arco, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 7. Palazzo di Caterina Piccolomini, called “delle Papesse,” Siena. Photo by Lensini.

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impression that it is an enormous block between the Banchi di Sotto and the Piazza del Campo (fig. 8).36 The rustication is smooth and covers the wall entirely, as it does on the trecento Palazzo Rossi; however, the material, size, and treatment of the blocks are different. The rustication of the Piccolomini palace is much more regular, and, like all rusticated façades in Renaissance Siena, its individual blocks have only two recessed edges around them. The string course that connects the arched doorways on the ground floor is, however, a traditional element, even if this trecento motif is not completed by a molding retracing the outer edge of the arches. The bifora windows of the upper floors derive from the Palazzo Piccolomini in Pienza. The Palazzo del Vecchio on the Banchi di Sopra, 37–43, next to the Palazzo Tolomei, also has smooth limestone rustication (fig. 9).37 This façade was added to an existing Gothic house in 1472.38 Closely imitating the Palazzo Piccolomini, then under construction, the rustication covers the two visible exterior walls of the palace in an attempt to make it look like an imposing square building from the Piazza Tolomei, and to create a counterpart to the Palazzo Tolomei which otherwise overwhelms it. The rustication on the façade facing the Vicolo della Torre, which divides the del Vecchio and Tolomei palaces, was not finished. Like the Palazzi Rossi and Piccolomini, the rustication of the del Vecchio palace extends across the entire wall. The size of the relatively small and irregular blocks recalls the nearby Palazzo Rossi, but their material and treatment are similar to the Piccolomini palace. The rounded arches on the ground floor are linked by a traditional string course, and here one also finds a molding around the outer edge of the arch, an element in keeping with the Gothic practice but missing at the Palazzo Piccolomini. The bifora windows represent another traditional element in that their outer arches are pointed. The inner arches, on the other hand, are round and rest on composite capitals without impost blocks. The Palazzo Spannocchi on the Banchi di Sopra, erected 1473 to 1475, was commissioned from the Florentine architect Giuliano da Maiano by the Sienese banker and Pius II’s treasurer, Ambrogio Spannocchi (see Nevola, fig. 5).39 Like the Palazzo Rossi, the Spannocchi palace is rusticated with smoothly worked blocks of yellow sandstone that extend across the entire façade. This reference to the Rossi palace is not surprising since the Palazzo Spannocchi is close by and on the same side of the Banchi di Sopra. Because the street is slightly curved, a passerby can see 36

See A. Lawrence Jenkens, “The Palazzo Piccolomini in Siena: Pius II’s Architectural Patronage and Its Afterlife,” (PhD diss., Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 1995); and A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Pius II's Nephews and the Politics of Architecture at the End of the Fifteenth Century in Siena,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 69–114. For documentation, see Allegretto Allegretti, Diarj scritti delle cose senesi, RIS, ed. Ludovico Muratori (Bologna, 1733), 23: col. 773; Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 251 doc. 155, 333 doc. 168; Milanesi, Documenti, 2:337–39 doc. 239, 3:77; Pertici, La città magnificata, 118–20 doc. 106; and Turrini, Per honore, 173–77. 37 Francesco Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano: “Grandissimo domestico” (Rome: Officina, 1996), 475–76. 38 Allegretti, Diarj scritti delle cose senesi, RIS 23: col. 774: “a dì 28. di Maggio [1472] Sano d’Angiolo del Vecchio cominciò a far murare il primo filo delle Pietre del suo Palazzo, appresso il Palazzo de’ Tolomei, e fu’ le Pietre bozzate piane.” 39 Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano, 121–22, 243–58; and the article by Fabrizio J. D. Nevola in this book.

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Fig. 8. Palazzo Piccolomini, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 9. Palazzo del Vecchio, Siena. Photo by author.

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both façades at the same time. The regularity of the blocks on the façade of the Palazzo Spannocchi, however, recalls the Palazzo Piccolomini, and the bifora windows repeat those of the Palazzo Medici in Florence. The Palazzo di San Galgano on Via Roma, begun in 1474, is an immediate (and documented) reaction to, but not a copy of, the Palazzo Spannocchi, which was then under construction.40 It uses the same type of rusticated blocks and bifora windows as the Spannocchi palace, but it also has the traditional Sienese elements of impost cornices and slightly pointed outer arches not found on the Palazzo Spannocchi. The sixth example of a Florentine façade type, the Palazzo Benassai—later purchased by the Ugurgieri—on the Casato di Sotto, has a stuccoed front (fig. 10).41 The bifora windows with their round arches and ionic capitals are derived from Florentine examples but mediated by the Palazzo Spannocchi. The suggestion of an aedicula, though, is an addition to the Florentine type. The windows have pilasters in the jambs and on the extrados; they represent the vertical members of an order that flanks the window opening. The pilasters carry small impost capitals which reappear on the ionic capitals of the colonnettes. In this case, however, they do not derive from Gothic impost blocks but represent an all’antica adaption of a mid-quattrocento Florentine element. The Palazzo is also reminiscent of a bifora design in the Codex Magliabecchiano, produced in the circle of Francesco di Giorgio and tentatively dated to the late 1480s.42 This evidence seems to indicate that the Benassai-Ugurgieri palace must date much later than the Palazzo Spannocchi, finished in 1475. Yet the very close relationship between the wrought iron arpioni a campanella, decorated with pomegranates, and the portabandiera on the upper floors of both buildings indicates that they must be more or less contemporary. There is, furthermore, a document dated November 1475 in which Agnolo di Agnolo Benassai, the palace’s owner, is obliged to to build “una faccia honorevole e bella,” (honorable and lovely façade).43 This suggests that the façade might thus have been erected in the second half of the 1470s. Perhaps inspired by the Palazzo Rossi, five of these Sienese façades use the Florentine combination of rustication and bifora windows although modifying it with traditional Sienese elements. Two of them, furthermore, use the façade to suggest a new kind of urban presence. By extending around corners, the façades of the Palazzi Piccolomini and del Vecchio both create the impression not of a twodimensional front but a three-dimensional block. However, because there were only a handful of them, the impact of this type of palace façade on the appearance 40

Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano, 473–75. I am grateful to Trinita Kennedy (Institute of Fine Arts, NYU) for sharing her research of the Palazzo Ugurgieri, which she has identified as originally belonging to the Benassai. See also Pertici, La città magnificata, 42, 134 doc. 133. 42 Florence, Biblioteca Nazionale, codex Magliabechiano II.I.141, fol. 44. See Adolfo Venturi, Storia dell’arte italiana, vol. 7, L’architettura del Quattrocento (Milan: U. Hoepli, 1923) 1:731–33; Paolo Francesco Fiore and Manfredo Tafuri, eds., Francesco di Giorgio architetto (Milan: Electa, 1993), 90, 366–68; and Matthias Quast, “Il linguaggio di Francesco di Giorgio nell’ambito dell’architettura dei palazzo senesi,” in Francesco di Giorgio alla corte di Federico da Montefeltro, ed. Francesco Paolo Fiore (Florence: Olschki, 2004), 409–11. 43 Pertici, La città magnificata, 134. 41

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Fig. 10. Palazzo Benassai-Urgurgieri, Siena. Photo by author.

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of the city was limited. Like the Rossi prototype, they remain splendid exceptions in the spectrum of Sienese façades. ALL’ANTICA FAÇADES If quattrocento Gothic façades created a permanent sense of the medieval in Siena, and the Florentine type did little to change the overall look of the city, the development of a Renaissance all’antica front, which first appears in the 1460s and survives in about twenty-five façades on the main streets of Siena, marks a general transformation of Siena’s appearance.44 This architectural type can be defined by a series of elements, the most obvious of which are the shape and framing of its openings. Windows, for example, are rectangular; in the fifteenth century and then less frequently in the sixteenth, their proportions tended to be square. In two early cases, the Casa Calusi Giannini and the Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini, the windows and doorways also have pediments (figs. 11, 12). Indeed, the portal of the Bandini Piccolomini palace is a complete aedicula. Generally, however, the windows in this type of palace façade have reduced aedicular frames crowned only by a frieze and cornice. Most ground floor portals of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries are rectangular and have the same reduced aedicular frames. Later in the sixteenth century, rusticated, rounded-arch portals become more common. The moldings used in the string courses below the windows are another distinctive feature of the all’antica façade. In the quattrocento, they are usually a simple, projecting cyma molding with dentils below, but in the cinquecento they become richer and much more detailed. String courses are even sometimes substituted by an entablature. Wrought iron elements represent another defining feature of these façades. Like the contemporary Gothic and Florentine street fronts, all’antica façades in the fifteenth century incorporated a full spectrum of wrought iron devices. Here, however, the bars are twisted, and the small animal heads of the arpioni a campanella are much more expressive. In the early cinquecento the earlier variety of wrought iron façade elements was reduced to arpioni a campanella on the ground floor, then generally composed of volutes and portabandiera on the upper floors, often surrounded by acanthus leaves. These portabandiera replace the erri a collo di cigno that had supported the poles used for hanging curtains and laundry. Customs had changed, however, and the erri went out of fashion. By the second and third decades of the sixteenth century, wrought iron elements on façades disappeared altogether.45 All’antica façades were either built of exposed brick or were stuccoed over. There are some limestone buildings, but they were also likely stuccoed or painted. Exposed brick and stuccoed walls appear throughout the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and then stuccoed façades become more common. Early examples of all’antica façades include the aforementioned Casa Calusi Giannini on the Via Camollia, 4 (fig. 11)46 and Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini on 44

Quast, “Il linguaggio di Francesco di Giorgio.” Quast, “Gli strati delle facciate senesi.” 46 See Francesco Paolo Fiore, Storia dell’architettura italiana: Il Quattrocento (Milan: Electa, 1998), XXX 45

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Fig. 11. Casa Calusi Giannini, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 12. Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini, Siena. Photo by author.

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the Via Sallustio Bandini, 25 (fig.12);47 and the Palazzo Borghesi on the Via di Città, 131–137 (fig. 13). The latter is dated after 1464, while the other two may have been begun as early as the very late 1460s.48 Both the Calusi Giannini and Bandini Piccolomini palaces have exposed brick walls. The Casa Calusi Giannini is unusual, and indeed unique, not because the wall is brick but because every other architectural element of the façade is also made of brick: the order, itself an exception in Sienese palace façades, that frames its lower two stories; the flat rustication of the ground floor; and the string courses and window and door frames. On the other hand, the Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini follows the quattrocento convention of carving string courses and window and door frames from gray pietra serena, which makes a beautiful contrast to the red brick. Both façades have pedimented openings; those of the Bandini Piccolomini palace recall the aedicular façades of the Oca oratory at Santa Caterina (about 1469 to 1471) and Santa Maria delle Nevi (1470).49 An interesting question here is the relationship of both façades to palace schemes in the architectural treatises produced, again, in Francesco di Giorgio’s circle, and it is just such an in-depth study that this essay hopes to stimulate.50 Other interesting possibilities that remain to be examined are the close parallels between the architectural details of the Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini and Neapolitan buildings of the 1460s and ’70s—examples such as the Miraballi portal at San Lorenzo Maggiore and the portal of Orso Orsini’s palace in Nola (1470).51 The Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini is also particularly rich in wrought iron elements. The extraordinary arpioni a campanella on the ground floor were made in the form of dolphins. Various hooks on the upper stories of both palace façades were made of twisted bars, and the wrought iron devices can be dated, stylistically, to the 1470s. The choice of material and the wealth of architectural detail and wrought iron elements on the Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini recall the richly decorative quattrocento Gothic façades. Unlike the Bandini Piccolomini and Calusi Giannini palaces, the Palazzo Borghesi has a limestone façade that still has traces of its original thirteenth-century openings and of a bridge that most likely connected the top floor of the building to the tower on the opposite side of the Via di Città (fig. 13). Renovations in the fifteenth century transformed the pointed arches on the ground floor 47

281–82; Elisabeth Heil, Fenster als Gestaltungsmittel an Palastfassaden der italienischen Früh- und Hochrenaissancce (Hildesheim: G. Olms, 1995), 231–32 (as “Casa Ulivi”); and Quast, “Il linguaggio di Francesco di Giorgio,” 420–23. 47 See Bernhard Patzak, Palast und Villa in Toscana: Versuch einer Entwicklungsgeschichte (Leipzig: Klinkhardt & Biermann, 1913), 53–55; Francesco Paolo Fiore, “L’architettura civile di Francesco di Giorgio,” in Fiore and Tafuri, Francesco di Giorgio architetto, 74–125, esp. 74–75; Fiore, Storia dell’architettura, 281; and Heil, Fenster als Gestaltungmittel an Palastfassaden, 261–63. 48 Pertici, La città magnificata, 84–85 doc. 31. 49 Fiore, Storia dell’architettura, 281–82. For Santa Caterina, see Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 60, 88. For Santa Maria delle Nevi, see Allegretti, Diarj scritti delle cose senesi, RIS 23: col. 774; and Milanesi, Documenti, 2:341–43 doc. 241. 50 See Fiore, “L’architettura civile;” and Sonja Müller, Palast- und Villenbau in Siena um 1500: Studien zur Entwicklung der sienesischen Renaissancearchitektur (Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1999), 133. 51 See Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano, 122, 123, 146, 243; and Quast, “Il linguaggio di Francesco di Giorgio.”

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Fig. 13. Palazzo Borghesi, Siena. Photo by author.

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into round ones, and at the same time nearly square windows were inserted into the upper floors. The latter are framed and crowned by a frieze and cornice. The string courses on the first floor are an elongated cyma molding; the one on the floor above is even richer. The façade was probably stuccoed over to hide the traces of medieval construction. There are still numerous wrought iron elements, including the original thirteenth-century arpioni da tenda and the later portabandiera decorated with acanthus leaves. In 1513, the façade was painted using designs by Domenico Beccafumi.52 The Palazzo Borghesi seems to be one of the first in Siena to use a simplified aedicula to frame its windows. This framing for portals and windows became common in the late quattrocento, and examples of it include Andrea TodeschiniPiccolomini’s palace at the eastern corner of the Piazza del Campo;53 Palazzo Venturi at Via dei Pellegrini, 14–24;54 the Palazzo del Taia at Via dei Montanini, 90–94 (fig. 14), the limestone façade of which was finished around 1491;55 the palace at Via di Pantaneto, 70–72; and the Palazzo del Magnifico, also on Via dei Pellegrini and dated 1503 to 1512 (fig. 15).56 The del Taia palace is an early Sienese example of the use of window frames supported on consoles on the ground floor.57 These façades were all plastered except for the palace in Via di Pantaneto, which has an exposed brick wall. The façade of the Palazzo Venturi, which incorporated the gray limestone front of an earlier thirteenth-century building, leaves the limestone exposed and is then stuccoed to imitate that stone.58 The Palazzo del Taia also has a limestone façade, but a recent cleaning makes it difficult to determine if it was originally meant to be plastered over. Where they are original, the string courses on these palaces are richly molded and in some cases, as at the Palazzo del Magnifico, full entablatures replace the simpler string courses. These façades are also embellished with wrought iron elements in the form of volutes decorated with acanthus leaves. Again the Palazzo del Magnifico provides good examples, although its metal fixtures are very unusual because they were cast in bronze. Later examples of all’antica palace façades that date to the second and third decades of the sixteenth century include the Palazzo Chigi at Casato di Sotto, 11– 17, built about 1510 (fig. 16);59 the Palazzo Vescovi at Piano dei Mantellini, 39–41, 52

For the façade frescoes by Domenico Beccafumi, see Giorgio Vasari, Le vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori ed architettori, ed. Gaetano Milanesi (Florence: G. C. Sansoni, 1906), 5:635–36; Erwin Panofsky, Meaning in the Visual Arts (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1955), 226–35; and Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exhibit catalogue (Milan: Electa, 1990), 426–27, cat. 85. 53 Jenkens, “Pius II’s Nephews,” 69–114. 54 See Alessandro Angelini, “Il Beccafumi e la volta dipinta della camera di casa Venturi,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 96 (1989): 371–83; and Alessandro Angelini, “Domenico Beccafumi, 1519–1527,” in Domenico Beccafumi, 126–31. 55 See Patzak, Palast und Villa in Toscana, 52–53 (as “Palazzo della Ciaja”); Heil, Fenster als Gestaltungsmittel an Palastfassaden, 234–35 (as “Palazzo Ciaja”); and Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” 33, 41. 56 See Fiore and Tafuri, Francesco di Giorgio architetto, 326–28; A. Ferrari, R. Valentini, and M. Vivi, “Il Palazzo del Magnifico a Siena,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 92 (1985): 107–53; and Jeannette Stoschek, “Pandolfo Petrucci als Auftraggeber” (Master’s thesis, University of Cologne, 1991). 57 The lateral shop openings, framed by a pietra serena rustication, are inserted later, perhaps in the eighteenth century. 58 A recent restoration of the façade has renewed the stucco without the limestone imitation. 59 See Matthias Quast, “Il palazzo Chigi al Casato,” in Alessandro VII Chigi (1599–1667): Il papa XXXX

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Fig. 14. Palazzo del Taia, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 15. Doorway, Palazzo del Magnifico, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 16. Partial representation of the Sodoma decoration, Palazzo Chigi al Casato, Siena. Codex Chigiana, P. VIII.17, fol. 31r. Reproduced by permission from Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

attributed to Baldassarre Peruzzi (fig. 17);60 and the Palazzo Selvi Cinotti at Via di Città, 120–124.61 The Palazzo Chigi had a façade painted by Sodoma, and its ground floor doorways were framed by flat rustication. The Vescovi and Selvi Cinotti palaces have exposed brick façades with simplified aedicula window frames. The latter has a rounded-arch portal framed by heavily rusticated blocks, and its façade was originally stuccoed. The proportions of the window openings are generally tall and narrow, and wrought iron devices are almost completely absent.

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senese di Roma moderna, ed. Alessandro Angellini, Monika Butzek, and Bernardina Sani (Siena: Maschietto & Musolino, 2000), 435–39. For documentation, see Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Mss. Chigiani, P.VII.11, fols. 129r, and P.VIII.17, fols. 1–4, 6–8, 10–13, 15, 17, 24, 30–47, 182, 183, and Chigi (1618), fols. 18r, 50r–51r. For the chiaroscuri of the façade, see Roberto Bartalini, Le occasioni del Sodoma: Dalla Milano di Leonardo alla Roma di Raffaello (Rome: Donzelli, 1996), 110–14. 60 See Christoph L. Frommel, Der Römische Palastbau der Hochrenaissance (Tübingen: E. Wasmuth, 1973), 1:136–37; and C. Sani and L. Franchina, “Siena—Palazzo Celsi-Pollini,” in Rilievi di fabbriche attribuite a Baldassare Peruzzi, ed. Marisa Forlani Conti, exhibit catalogue (Siena: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali, Soprintendenza per i beni ambientali e architettonici, province di Siena e Grossetto, 1982), 287–95. 61 Luigi Lazzeri, Siena e il suo territorio (Siena: Istituto dei Sordo-Muti, 1862), 229.

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Fig. 17. Palazzo Celsi Pollini, Siena. Photo by author.

The Palazzi Borghesi and Chigi are two of the few documented examples of painted façades dating to the early sixteenth century.62 It is hard to tell how many façades were painted or exactly when or for how long this practice was in vogue. It is clear, however, that stuccoed façades became commonplace in the first half of the sixteenth century, and their only articulation came in the form of often rusticated architectural elements. Wrought iron devices were limited to the tiny hooks just above the windows that were used to hold narrow rods from which awning curtains were hung. This new type of façade, which neutralized the importance of the building material and drastically reduced the wrought iron and textile elements, was, for the first time, essentially architectural. Only one feature seems to have survived here from traditional Sienese façades, and that is the use of string courses to connect windows first found in trecento buildings. It is important to note, finally, that the orders were not used on these façades—the Calusi Giannini palace was an exception, and the monumental order on the Palazzo Francesconi, begun in 1520, was never finished.63 62 See Gunther Thiem and Christel Thiem, Toskanische Fassaden-Dekoration in Sgraffito und Fresko (Munich: Bruckmann, 1964). 63 See Domenico Beccafumi, 314–15; Alberto Cornice, “Indagine per un catalogo dell’opera del Riccio” (Master’s thesis, Università di Studi, Genoa, 1973–1974), 546–50, cat. 148; Frommel, Der XXXX

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 Façades with projecting structures seem, by the sixteenth century, to have disappeared from the main streets and squares of Siena, and thus the architectural appearance of the city was largely shaped by non-obstructed and architecturally articulated façades, some of which were also painted. Siena had by that time finally achieved an urban goal first conceived in the thirteenth century that had, along the way, generated the modern concept of the façade. These three centuries saw the development of three types of façades. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries it was the Gothic type, inspired by the façade of the Palazzo Pubblico, that was standard. Indeed it dominated the appearance of the city until the second half of the fifteenth century, when two new façade types, both of them experimental, emerged. These consisted of a small number of rusticated palace fronts with rounded bifora windows inspired by Florentine architecture and dating to the 1460s and ’70s, and several all’antica façades that were first erected in the 1460s. Thus the last decades of the fifteenth century saw some variety in the essentially medieval appearance of the city. Interestingly the Ufficiali sopra all’ornato did not concern itself with façade designs and seems instead to have worried mostly about the demolition of ballatoi and the regularizing and aligning of streets. By the end of the fifteenth century, however, new façades as well as those newly renovated were built almost exclusively in an all’antica style. The stuccoed front penetrated by rectangular windows framed by a simplified aedicula became the standard design until the nineteenth century. Thus the late medieval ideal of easily passable streets lined with beautiful and up-to-date façades was finally accomplished in the modern period, although the language of these façades was classical rather than Gothic. Previous research on this subject has, moreover, completely overlooked the impact on the façade’s appearance of the temporary cloth screens that were attached to wrought iron fixtures and were in use from the medieval period until the sixteenth century. These elements were an important adjunct to the architecture of the façades and an essential component of the appearance of Sienese streets until the cinquecento. The development of Sienese façades in the late medieval and Renaissance periods can only be fully understood by studying their sociopolitical and cultural context. It should not be surprising that the stable political situation and prosperous economy under the government of the Nove produced a definitive façade design patterned on the Palazzo Pubblico. A similar contextual understanding of the variety of the façade types that appeared in the second half of the fifteenth century and the subsequent success of the all’antica type still awaits more thorough investigation. Questions such studies might pose, however, include how much the limited success of the Florentine type was related to Pius II’s failure permanently to reintegrate the nobility into the political life of the city and how much the greater

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Römische Palastbau, 1:137; and Guilia Ceriani Sebregandi, “Palazzo Francesconi e l’architettura civile di Baldassare Peruzzi a Siena” (PhD thesis, University of Venice, 2003).

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success of all’antica designs really owed to the complicated social and political drama at the end of the fifteenth century. In spite of the impressive number of classicizing façades in Siena, the city’s image remains that of a Gothic town. One might explain this somewhat odd situation by the fact that the all’antica design does not appear in the most significant of the city’s buildings, the Palazzo Pubblico and the Duomo. When these buildings were renovated in the seventeenth century—a third story was added to the side wings of the Palazzo Pubblico, and the cathedral became the center of a newly created piazza64—the city consciously chose to emphasize its Gothic rather than its Renaissance roots.

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For the Palazzo Pubblico, see Brandi, Il Palazzo Pubblico di Siena. For the changes to the area around the cathedral in the seventeenth century, see Monika Butzek, Il Duomo di Siena al tempo di Alessandro VII: Carteggio e disegni (1658–1667) (Munich: Bruckmann, 1996). See also Fabio Gabbrielli, in Fabio Gabrielli, ed., Palazzo Sansedoni (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 2004), 153–92.

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The Rebuilding of the Church of Santo Spirito in the Late Fifteenth Century

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“Go and rebuild my church which, as you see, is entirely in ruins.”1 These words, pronounced by the crucifix of the church of San Damiano in Assisi to Saint Francis himself, gave rise to the hagiographic topos of Franciscan friars as supporters of the church and rebuilders of abandoned and ruined churches. Indeed the renewed interest in church construction that occurred in Siena during the mid-fifteenth century may largely be attributed to the influence of the Franciscans. The following summary of the Franciscans’ fortunes in Siena highlights a series of analogies between it and the other major mendicant order, the Dominicans, in that city during the second half of the fifteenth century, and attempts to explain the origins and history of the observant Dominican community there. This connection also provides an opportunity to assess the architectural debt owed by the church of Santo Spirito to the Osservanza, which was constructed by the Franciscans. During the first decades of the quattrocento, the preaching of the Sienese Franciscan Bernardino degli Albizzeschi—an untiring champion of the observant movement—was well-received everywhere and breathed new life into the city’s lay and religious confraternities.2 The Sienese Comune also encouraged the devotional activities of these groups by all available means, including granting favors, subsidies, and even on occasion interfering with the administration and statutes of

1

I wish to thank those people who have helped me in the course of this research project. First among them are Howard Burns, Francesco Pontarin, and Anna Bedon. I have also been encouraged in my work by Nicholas Adams, Monika Butzek, and Ludwin Paardokooper. For all that is good in the English text, I am grateful for the friendship and scholarly assistance of Fabrizio Nevola, Bruce Edelstein, and Cammy Brothers. Finally, A. Lawrence Jenkens has been an extremely patient editor. My special thanks go to the staff at the Sala Studio of the Archivio di Stato in Siena. I dedicate this essay to Amparo and her unpredictable universe in movement. This article grows out of my previous study (Mauro Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito di Siena e i regolari osservanti di San Domenico,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 104 (1997): 7–193), which provides more extensive citations of original source documents and a more complete bibliography than can be furnished here. The notes below contain references to the principal sources and more recent additions to the literature through the summer of 2000. 1 See Tommaso da Celano, Vita seconda, in Fonti Francescone (Assisi: EMP, 1980). 562. 2 Carlo Delcorno, Bernardino da Siena, Prediche volgari sul Campo di Siena 1427 (Milan: Rusconi, 1989), 1344–80.

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these corporations. In about 1425, Bernardino founded an observant Franciscan community on La Capriola, a hill just outside Siena; it would later be known as the Convent of San Bernardino all’Osservanza. He lived there until shortly before his death in Aquila in 1444. Bernardino’s canonization in 1450 made the Osservanza the first in a series of churches to be dedicated to him, and the church itself became one of the most prominent Sienese sanctuaries.3 In 1448, Giovanni da Capistrano and Giacomo della Marca, two other Franciscan saints who had been disciples of Bernardino, followed their teacher’s example by providing the impetus that led to the resumption of construction of the huge convent church of San Francesco in Siena.4 The Franciscans were already solidly established in Siena going back, according to tradition, to Francis’s own time, and their local prestige only increased through the existence of the convent of the Osservanza and because of the increasing devotion to San Bernardino in the city. Since the terms are important below, it is worth noting here that observant and reformed refer to two similar but not necessarily identical ideas. Observance is the strict interpretation of a religious rule as given by the founder of the order, and reform indicates a new and always radical reinterpretation of a religious rule. Thus observant Franciscans sought to restore the rule originally established by Saint Francis himself, and the term observant is used to distinguish them from others who followed radical interpretations of the same Franciscan rule, that is, reformers like the Spirituali or the Amadeiti. In the case of the Dominicans, however, one may refer to either the reformed or observant (or both) preaching friars of San Domenico; they were known officially as both without any apparent confusion. Every religious community developed a strong sense of attachment to its place of origin, and those pious institutions with deeply rooted local traditions tended to attract new vocations. This confluence of preferences was directly responsible for the success of one religious community relative to another. The Dominicans certainly noted the success of the Franciscans; they were, at the same time, relentlessly pursuing the canonization of the Sienese Tertiary Dominican, Catherine Benincasa. Even though Catherine had died in 1380, she was not canonized until 1461 by Pope Pius II, eleven years after Bernardino became a saint. During her lifetime, Catherine resided in the vicinity of the Sienese Dominican convent of San Domenico in Camporegio, and her calling, as well as many of her miracles, occurred in that church. Among other things, Saint Catherine had been a forceful spokesperson in favor of reforming both the church and the Dominican Order, thus joining calls for reform from within the order that are documented from the

3 Martino Bertagna, “Memorie bernardiniane I. Glorificazione senese di S. Bernardino,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 71 (1964): 5–50. Reprinted in L’Osservanza di Siena: Studi storici 2 (1964): 3–48. 4 The church of San Francesco was built as the principal Franciscan foundation in the city; construction of the new building was initiated at the very beginning of the thirteenth century and left incomplete following the Black Death in 1348. Vittorino Lusini, Storia della basilica di S. Francesco in Siena (Siena: Tipografia editoriale S. Bernardino, 1894), 95; and Patrizia Turrini, ‘Per honore et utile de la città de Siena’: Il comune e l’edilizia nel quattrocento, (Siena: Tipografia senese, 1997), 163–65. See also Mauro Mussolin, “La chiesa di San Francesco a Siena: Impianto originario e fasi di cantiere,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 115–55.

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end of the fourteenth century. When Raymond of Capua (d. 1399), Saint Catherine’s confessor, was named master general of the order, he worked tirelessly to introduce the reform of the Dominican Rule to all the order’s convents. The reform did not spread quickly, and a distinction developed between the reformed and so-called conventual communities, despite such divisions being contrary to the fundamental principle of the uniformity of the order. Nonetheless after 1427, when the Bologna convent that housed the remains of Saint Dominic accepted the reform, the principal Italian courts began to request the presence of the educated and austere observant Dominicans, who were thought to confer advantage and tangible blessings on the local government.5 In 1442, the conventual Dominicans of Siena proudly rejected Eugenius IV’s injunction obliging the convent of Camporegio to adopt the reform.6 Thus in about 1445, the city’s governing council, the Concistoro, responding to pressure from two Dominicans—Bartolomeo Texier (d. 1449), general of the order and a tireless supporter of the observant movement, and Antonino Pierozzi, vicar general of the observant Dominicans of the Tusco-Roman province—requested that the apostolic see send a community of reformed friars to Siena from the neighboring reformed congregation at San Marco in Florence.7 When they arrived in Siena in 1448, the observant Dominicans were assigned the impoverished and dilapidated church of Santo Spirito with its adjacent monastic complex. The buildings had previously been occupied by various monastic communities: the Silvestrines, the Celestines, and the Benedictines from the rich Congregation of Santa Giustina in Padua.8 The original church occupied a site in the heart of the Terzo di San Martino just inside the city walls, with a scenic view of the valley of Fonte di Follonica. The complex faced a large open space, raised up from the present-day Via dei Pispini, which leads from the Strada Romana down the hill towards the gate of San Viene.

5

Alfonso D’Amato, L’Ordine dei frati predicatori: Carisma, storia, attualità (Rome: Istituto storico domenicano, 1983), 121–33. The support for the reformed Dominicans by both the Este court in Ferrara and the Aragonese court in Naples at the end of the fifteenth century is well documented; D’Amato, “Vicende dell’osservanza regolare della Congregazione domenicana di Lombardia negli anni 1469–72,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 15 (1945): 52–101; D’Amato, “Sull’introduzione della riforma domenicana nel napoletano per opera della Congregazione lombarda (1489–1501),” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 26 (1956): 249–55; and Simonetta Fasoli, “Tra riforme e nuove fondazioni: L’Osservanza domenicana nel ducato di Milano,” Nuova Rivista Storica 76 (1992): 417–94. For Medici support for the observant Dominicans up to the period of Savonarola, see Roberto Ridolfi, Vita di Girolamo Savonarola (Florence: Le lettere, 1997), 51–54. For Sixtus IV’s and Julius II’s support of the Observance, see Marco Fois, “I papi Della Rovere e l’Osservanza,” in L’età dei Della Rovere (Atti e memorie della Società savonese di storia patria) 24, no. 1 (1988): 155–58, 169–71. 6 Regarding the need to found an observant Dominican monastery separate from that of San Domenico, see Daniel Mortier, Histoire des maîtres généraux de l’Ordre des frères prêcheurs (Paris: A Picara, 1911), 4:169–70. On the Tusco-Roman Dominican observance, see Raymond Creytens, “Les actes capitulaires de la Congrégation Toscano-Romaine OP (1496–1530),” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 40 (1970): 125–230. 7 Antonino Pierozzi, Archbishop of Florence, was canonized and became a patron saint of Florence in 1523. M. P. Paoli, “Sant’Antonino ‘vere pastor et bonus pastor:’ Storia e mito di un modello,” in Verso Savonarola: Misticismo, profezia, empiti riformistici fra medioevo ed età moderna, ed. Gian Carlo Garfagnini and Giuseppe Picone (Florence: Sismel Edizioni di Galluzzo, 1999), 83–139. 8 Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 9–11, 34–37.

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For the citizens of Siena, the establishment of a reformed Dominican community must have appeared to be the realization of a promise made by Saint Catherine. The Dominican reform movement had its origins in Catherine’s words; it had now found an appropriate setting at the church of Santo Spirito. The new community offered the Sienese a Dominican alternative to the spirituality of the observant Franciscans of San Bernardino. The observant Dominicans in Siena drew heavily on the contemporary experiences of the Florentine community under the leadership of Antonino Pierozzi, who eventually became archbishop of Florence. He disagreed with San Bernardino on many theological points and was personally responsible for the success of the preaching friars of San Marco. The Sienese, however, already had a strong allegiance to the preaching of San Bernardino and thus never responded to the Dominicans of Santo Spirito to the same degree as did the Florentines to their counterparts at San Marco. For the three centuries that followed the establishment of the observant Dominicans in Siena, the history of the convent of Santo Spirito highlights the difficulties that community faced in Siena and reveals, occasionally in a dramatic fashion, the unsuccessful decisions made by a powerful institution within a sometimes hostile urban environment.

CONSTRUCTION HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND CONVENT Among the archival papers of the convent of Santo Spirito is a volume of preeminent significance for tracing the foundation and development of this religious community.9 The volume, known as the Chronica, survives in its original manuscript version and takes the form of a traditional monastic chronicle.10 The Chronica offers a chronological history of the convent from the end of the thirteenth century, although its accounts of the years before 1509, the year the volume was begun, are not always precise. Entries in the Chronica continue until the suppression of the convent at the end of the eighteenth century. At that time the complex of Santo Spirito became the Accademia Ecclesiastica, although that institution survived for only a few years. During that period, the few remaining clergy inhabited only a few of the convent’s rooms. In the twentieth century, the monastic buildings were converted into a prison; the church itself was annexed by the Archdiocese of Siena and is presently served by clergy attached to the cathedral.11 9 The two main holdings of the original archive of the convent of Santo Spirito in Siena are preserved in the Archivio di Stato di Siena; see ASS, Guida-Inventario dell’Archivio di Stato di Siena (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali. Publicazioni degli archivi di stato, 1951), 1:40-41, 2:78. 10 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348. The volume’s incipit reads: “Chronica conventus Sancti Spiritus de Senis almi praedicatorum Ordinis, anno Dominicae Incarnationis MDIX, incohata mense octobri venerando patre fratre Cherubino florentino conventus ipsius priore bene merito mandante pro Congregtione ethrusca regulari.” For a transcription of the list of the convent’s priors and the first book of the Chronica, see Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 165–214. The manuscript belongs to a larger group of codices known as cronache quadripartite, divided into four chronological sections corresponding to the following subjects: notable moments in the history of the convent, list of the convent’s priors, list of the lay brothers and professed friars, and list of the friars deceased in the convent. For sources regarding the cronache quadripartite, see Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 31–34. 11 For the history of the convent, the principal sources remain Giovacchino Faluschi, Chiese senesi, XXXXX

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An important passage in the Chronica describes the condition of the complex before the reconstruction initiated by the Dominicans.12 The friars found it necessary to rebuild the entire convent as soon as they occupied Santo Spirito, but the community’s lack of resources prohibited it from undertaking this work. A series of petitions sent to the civic magistracies of Siena granted the friars, as was usual in such cases, tax exemptions and permission to accept cash donations.13 At regular intervals between 1462 and 1475, the Concistoro provided substantial funds to support work on the north wing of the convent. The sacristy was erected on the ground floor adjacent to the church; the chapter house, hospice, and various workrooms were constructed afterwards; and the northern dormitory was then installed on the floor above.14 Other significant contributions by the Concistoro permitted the friars to begin construction of the east wing in 1478. It housed the refectory, kitchens, and other service areas on the ground floor. By 1483, thirteen cells on the floor above were partially completed. As was common at the time, the cells were small spaces created by constructing partition walls and ceilings under the high open-timber roof with exposed beams, similar to what can still be seen today in the convent of San Marco in Florence.15 By about 1492 the community of friars was able to function normally in the two existing wings of the convent.16 The west wing, with its two-story loggia along the side of the church, was begun in 1494. At the same time, the old bell tower at the entrance to the convent was demolished and rebuilt in its present location to allow for ringing the bells from the new sacristy (fig. 1). The presence of an outcrop of tufa created an obstacle to the construction of the south wing of the cloister and convent, and the friars chose instead to concentrate on the church, leaving the problem of removing the mons tufi to a later date.17

12

manuscript in the Biblioteca Comunale di Siena, E.V. 17, fols. 197–201, with some repetitions in E.V. 18, fol. 57; Giovacchino Faluschi, Breve relazione delle cose notabili della città di Siena ampliata e corretta (Siena: Stamperia Mucci, 1815), 141–43; and Alfredo Liberati, “Chiesa di S. Spirito,” in “Chiese, monasteri, oratori e spedali senesi,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 9 (1950): 136–46. On the rapport between the convent of Santo Spirito in Siena and the other convents belonging to the Savonarolan congregation, see Gianmario Cao, Nicoletta Pons, and Aldo Tarquini, eds., L’età di Savonarola: I luoghi, la storia, l’arte (Venice: Marsilio, 1996), 69–71. 12 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fols. 5–5v; transcribed in Mauro Mussolin, “Vicende di un cantiere conventuale senese: I regolari osservanti di san Domenico ed il complesso di Santo Spirito ai Pispini” (PhD diss., Istituto Universitario di Architettura, Venice, 1995), 38–41, with an Italian translation. 13 See Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Revival or Renewal: Defining Civic Identity in Fifteenth-century Siena,” in Shaping Urban Identity in Late-medieval Europe: The Use of Space and Images, ed. Peter Stabel and Marc Boone (Leuven: Garant, 1999), 123–25 and tables 1–3. 14 Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 43–49. 15 The continuous barrel vault in Santo Spirito visible today was only constructed in 1721. See ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2359, fol. 30v (25 June 1721). 16 Gillis Meersseman, “L’architecture dominicaine au XIIIe siècle: Législation et pratique,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 76 (1946): 136–90; R. A. Sundt, “‘Mediocres domos et humiles habeant fratres nostri:’ Dominican Legislation on Architecture and Architectural Decoration in the 13th Century,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 46 (1987): 394–407; and Pietro Lippini, La vita quotidiana di un convento medievale: Gli ambienti, le regole, l’orario e le mansioni dei Frati Domenicani del tredicesimo secolo (Bologna: Edizioni studio domenicano, 1990). 17 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 8; and Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 50–52.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 1. Exterior of presbytery, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

SAVONAROLA AT SANTO SPIRITO The year 1494 marks a dramatic caesura in the life of the observant Dominican community in Siena. In that year a petition by various Sienese nobles requested the introduction of a stricter form of observance in the convent of Santo Spirito. This request was inspired both by sincere devotion and by less obvious political aims. The request for the reform of the convent was made to the friars through institutional channels, and on 10 June 1494 the Concistoro was advised that Girolamo Savonarola, Prior of San Marco in Florence, had been chosen to manage the reform of the Sienese convent.18 Thanks to Savonarola’s reforming zeal, the Tuscan convents of San Domenico in Fiesole, San Domenico in Prato, Santa Maria del Sasso in Bibbiena, and Santa Caterina in Pisa all chose in a matter of a few months to create an affiliation of 18 Ridolfi, Vita di Girolamo Savonarola, 62; and Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 52–70. The main proponent of the convent’s reform was Niccolò di Bartolomeo Borghesi, jurist and eminent figure in the Monte dei Nove, professor at the Studium Urbis, and a key figure in the political rise of Pandolfo Petrucci; see Dizionario biografico degli italiani (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, 1970), s.v. “Borghese, Nicolò”; Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 84-87; and V. Mattii, Apologetico di frate Girolamo Savonarola (con documenti inediti relativi alla sua vita ritrovati in Siena) (Siena, 1864).

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reformed convents.19 The Dominicans hoped they might achieve the same success in Siena they had enjoyed in other parts of the region. The enthusiasm of the Sienese was, however, short-lived, and the reform of Santo Spirito lasted but a single day and night, from 23 to 24 June 1494. The event is described in minute detail in the Santo Spirito Chronica.20 It is also recorded in a similar fashion in the chronicle of San Marco and in other wellknown contemporary accounts such as the so-called Vita latina of Savonarola.21 These pro-piagnone accounts relate that a number of troublemakers whipped up the local residents against Savonarola and his friars because he had expelled the community of Sienese Dominicans and replaced it with Florentines in order to facilitate the process of reform. The circumstances surrounding those events were rather complex, and the actions of the Sienese republic remain particularly obscure. One has the sense that the events were an orchestrated mise-en-scène planned by a faction of the ruling class to incite public antipathy towards Florence. Prominent among those who might have had a motive to encourage a popular uprising was Niccolò Borghesi, a staunch defender of Sienese civic liberties and thus an opponent of the social reforms advocated by Savonarola’s vis prophetica. It is difficult to believe that Borghesi would have failed to note the dangers to the ruling oligarchy and the traditional party politics of the Sienese ruling class posed by Savonarolan prophecies with their insistence on spiritual and temporal reform. One can imagine instead that Borghesi and the Sienese civic authorities must have preferred the reforms proposed by Francesco di Andrea Mei, who was Savonarola’s archenemy and opposed his prophetic interpretation of reform. Mei was a friar in Savonarola’s own convent of San Marco, and he would shortly found a new, reformed Dominican congregation opposed to both Savonarola and the longestablished Lombard congregation at the Bolognese convent of San Domenico. Mei was in a good position to undertake this project. In 1494 he had been the much admired Lenten preacher at the Duomo in Siena and was in close contact with members of the municipal government. Furthermore, at the same time he was prior of the nearby Dominican convent of San Gimignano, which belonged to the Lombard congregation. When Savonarola was expelled, and because the convent at Santo Spirito had in any case to be administered by observant Dominicans, the apostolic see decided to incorporate it into the Lombard congregation and send Mei as its prior. Mei presided at Santo Spirito for two difficult years until 1496, 19

Savonarola’s governance of these convents is cited in contemporary accounts under an extraordinary variety of names: Congregazione riformata etrusca; Congragatio tusciae; Congragatio Tusciae Sancti Marci nuncupata or sub titulo Sancti Marci; and finally, the Società dei riformati etruschi. An excellent synopsis may be found in Creytens, “Les actes capitulaires,” 125–230. See also, Raymond Creytens and Alfonso D’Amato, “Les actes capitulaires de la Congrégation de Lombardie,” Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 32 (1962): 211–84. 20 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 8v; Mattii, Apologetico di frate Girolamo Savonarola, 7577; I. del Dungo, “Il Savonarolae e i senesi,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 2 (1895): 198-99; Ridolfi, Vita di Girolamo Savonarola, 297 n. 35; and Lorenzo Polizzotto, The Elect Nation: The Savonarolan Movement in Florence, 1494–1545 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994). 21 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana di Firenze, ms. San Marco 370, fols. 14v–15; and Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, ms. Conventi Soppressi J. VII.28, fol. 12v.

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when he was recalled to take up the prestigious position of general procurator of the Dominican Order. In Rome Mei inspired Pope Alexander VI Borgia, another of Savonarola’s implacable enemies, to form the Congregatio Romane et Tusciae Provinciae, a new reformed, observant Dominican congregation, founded on 7 November 1496. Its objective was to destroy the image of Girolamo Savonarola and the authority of the government he had managed to create in the city of Florence. The pope’s brief required that all reform movements in the Tusco-Roman province be united into a single congregation. In its report on the complications created by this decision, the Chronica reveals the extent of the resentment it caused within the community at Santo Spirito.22 The order requiring the friars to adhere to the new congregation was sent to Santo Spirito on 8 May 1497; when they received it, the Lombard friars immediately notified the Sienese republic that they had been ordered to abandon the convent. The newly formed congregation infuriated everyone, not only Savonarola and his followers, but also the Lombard friars who were obliged to return north of the Apennines and seek refuge at their original convents in order to avoid submitting to the superiors of that scandalous union. The friars’ discontent derived from the heterogeneous nature of this merger, which forced different interpretations of the order’s rule to coexist and created practical problems in the daily life of the friars. Above all, the friars resented being held to obedience by superiors from foreign religious families; this deprived them of that strong sense of belonging that was characteristic of each single convent and its particular congregation. Savonarola’s enemies were finally appeased when he was burned at the stake on 23 May 1498. As has been widely discussed in the literature, ecclesiastical authorities, after briefly repressing the Savonarolan piagnoni friars, granted them greater autonomy from the rest of the recently formed Tusco-Roman congregation, allowing the former friars of the San Marco congregation independent chapters, priors, and governance. Ironically, this contributed to the successful formation of the unified group of convents Savonarola himself had hoped for, so that by September 1498, friars from San Marco had been sent to the traditional reformed convents in Florence, Fiesole, Bibbiena, Lucca, and Prato, and even to the houses left abandoned by the Lombard congregations in Siena, Viterbo, and San Gimignano. These complexes eventually came to function as secret centers for the promotion of Savonarolan spirituality, for which Santo Spirito and its Chronica provide strong testimony.23

THE FRIARS OF SAN MARCO AT SANTO SPIRITO According to the Chronica, construction at Santo Spirito began again in 1499 under the aegis of Fra Luca da Trani. He overcame a general reluctance to rebuild 22

ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fols. 8v–9v. Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 71–78. See also Armando Verde and Elettra Giaconi, Epistolario di fra Vincenzo Mainardi da San Gimignano domenicano 1481–1527, Memorie Domenicane n.s. 23 (Pistoia: Centro riviste della provincia romana, 1992), 2:685–712. For the exile of the friars of San Marco from Florence, see Cesare Vasoli, “Stefano da Codiponte: Una breve vicenda savonaroliana,” in Frate Girolamo Savonarola e il suo movimento, Memorie Domenicane n.s. 29 (Pistoia: Centro riviste della provincia romana, 1998), 261–80. 23

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Fig. 2. Plan of Santo Spirito, Siena. The walls of the original church are marked in gray and those built after 1498 in black. Drawing by author.

To view this image, please the complex and provided strong support for refer to the print version the project in hard times. The work of reconof this book. structing the church began on the southern wing, which was in such danger of collapsing that it was being held up by scaffolding.24 The present form of the church may derive from the San Marco friars’ desire to have a simplified version of the previously approved project for the church. In the spring of 1499, the Sienese Balìa ordered the election of the first set of lay supervisors (operai) for the building works at Santo Spirito.25 A number of well-known and influential individuals facilitated the Dominicans’ construction through generous donations. By 1513, nine of the ten newly constructed chapels had found patrons and were endowed (fig. 2). The most consistent donations were made by Pandolfo Petrucci, who provided the funds for the construction of the tribune, dome, and presbytery, all of which were marked with his coat of arms.26 As recent scholarship has shown, Petrucci, the de facto ruler of Siena, pursued a policy of cultural and political self-representation through the 24 The building under Fra Luca da Trani is described in ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fols. 9–10v. The work on this wing of the convent was not completed until 1523; see ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 25. 25 The operai were Niccolò Borghesi, Giovanni di Cecco de’ Tommasi, and Bernardino del Golia (Monte dei Nove); Luca Martini, Vittorio Cecchini, and Giovanni Tegliacci (Monte del Popolo); and Francesco Rangoni, Giulio Spannocchi, and Agostino Berti (Monte dei Gentiluomini). See Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 78–83. 26 No record of payments for these works has been found in the convent’s archive, and the Chronica is the only source to record Petrucci’s donation in 1509: “Plurimi vero donaria plurima contulerunt. Sed et Pandulphus Petruccius, vir per ipsum tempus urbis primarius, ecclesiae cubulam seu tugurium, fornicem quoque inter cubulam et maiorem capellam, ipsam quoque maiorem capellam et alia prout ipsius armade monstrant ad summam aureorum octingentorum in ipsa ecclesia suis impensis construi fecit, atque in hunc modum ex debili satis principio, melior fortuna sequuta est.” ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 10. The “quadernuccio della fabbrica,” cited in ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2353, c. 38, fols. 133v–134, is lost.

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patronage and even partial control of many of the city’s artistic commissions.27 Because he controlled public finance, Petrucci was relatively free to dispose of Comune funds. His ability to do so was guaranteed by his allies in the city’s government, a number of whom were also elected as operai of Santo Spirito.28 According to the Chronica, the Balìa itself made generous contributions to the convent, which is not surprising given that many patrons of the church were members of that important government body. The patronage network that surrounded the church of Santo Spirito maintained especially close ties to members of the Monte dei Nove who were in turn bound to Petrucci through shared political, commercial, cultural, and familial interests. The Dominicans’ contacts with the Studium Urbis (the university) should also be noted, given that many friars taught there. In addition, the church was patronized by lawyers, artisans, some minor guilds such as that of the innkeepers, two female Dominican confraternities, a few members of the Spanish community, and an indeterminate group of other individuals who selected the church for devotional reasons or perhaps simply because of its location.29 From the very beginning, the Dominicans were evidently very concerned that the chapels in the church be both simple and uniform in design. Indeed, the earliest altarpieces produced for the church were similar in scale and proportion.30 Variation was allowed only over time and following the lead of the innovative Spanish chapel that Sodoma painted around 1530.31 The reliance on models established by the convent of San Marco, which had always been the central force behind the Savonarolan movement, is also evident in the artistic choices made in the subject matter of the paintings, inspired by a sense of deeply felt but austere devotion. In just a few years, the convent was enriched by manuscripts illuminated by Fra Eustachio and decorated with paintings by Mariotto Albertinelli and Fra

27 Giuseppe Chironi, “La Signoria breve di Pandolfo Petrucci,” in Storia di Siena, ed. Roberto Barzanti, Giuliano Catoni, and Mario De Gregorio (Siena: Alsaba, 1995), 1:395–406; David L. Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy and the Rise of Pandolfo Petrucci, 1487–97,” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico: Politica, economia, cultura, arte (Florence: Pacini Editore, 1996), 3:1051–72; and Maurizio Gattoni da Camogli, Pandolfo Petrucci e la politica estera della Repubblica di Siena (1487–1512) (Siena: Edizioni Cantagalli,1997). On artistic patronage (including references to earlier bibliography), see Giovanni Agosti and Vincenzo Farinella, “Interni senesi ‘all’antica,’” in Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exhibit catalogue (Milan: Electa, 1990), 578–99; Jeannette Stoschek, “Pandolfo Petrucci als Auftraggeber,” (Master’s thesis, University of Cologne, 1991), 34–37; Giovanni Agosti, “Su Siena nell’Italia artistica del secondo Quattrocento (desiderata scherzi cartoline),” in Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena 1450–1500, ed. Luciano Bellosi (Milan: Electa, 1993), 488–509; and Cecil Clough, “Pandolfo Petrucci e il concetto di ‘magnificenza,’” in Arte, committenza ed economia a Roma e nelle corti del Rinascimento (1420–1530), ed. Arnold Esch and Christoph L. Frommel (Turin: Einaudi, 1995), 383–97. 28 See Giuseppe Chironi, “Politici e ingegneri: I Provveditoridella Camera del comune di Siena negli anni ’90 del Quattrocento,” Ricerche Storiche 23 (1993): 375–95. 29 The two female confraternities were the Collegio delle sorelle di Santo Spirito di Penitenza di San Domenico and the Collegio delle sorelle di Santa Caterina del Paradiso; G. A. Pecci, Raccolta universale di tutte l’iscrizioni ..., ASS, ms. D. 5, fols. 87–106. 30 A contract for a commission of 1509 prescribes that the patrons “nel acconciare la sopradetta cappella non guastassino l’ordine dell’altre et entrassino nel chiostro.” ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2353, fol. 17. For an analysis of the patronage of the chapels, see Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 84–122. 31 Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 96–115.

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Paolino del Signoraccio.32 In 1502, the friars Agostino and Andrea, “lay brothers from Florence, painters, through whose art and pious labor the entire church was decorated, as may be seen by anyone in the paintings on the walls of the church,” also came to Siena. 33 In spite of their close ties, the relationship between the observant Dominicans and Siena’s ruling elite was not always easy. Sienese political instability, exacerbated by papal policies, reached a climax in 1504 when Julius II placed the city under interdict. Although Petrucci had insisted otherwise, the community of Santo Spirito stopped celebrating religious services. Thus the Sienese government’s intransigence towards the observant Dominican community was once again evident as it had been in 1494, when the friars were forced into a brief exile.34 The first decade of the sixteenth century saw the most intense period of building at Santo Spirito; sacristy donations alone provided the surprisingly high sum of 1200 florins for Fra Luca’s campaign, while other private donations enriched the church with liturgical fittings. By 1504, there were forty-five friars at Santo Spirito, of whom twenty-two were priests and fourteen novices. By 1510, work on the church had advanced considerably, and in 1513 it was consecrated and the dedication to the Holy Spirit reconfirmed. In 1519, the attractive monumental portal was installed (figs. 3, 4). The portal was commissioned by Giovanni Piccolomini, an illustrious patron and fourth bishop of Pienza. It was designed by an unknown master, although it has been attributed, without any supporting documentation, to Baldassarre Peruzzi. The cloister portico on the south wing was completed by 1509 (fig. 5). The leveling of the outcrop of tufa resulted in an extra few square canne of land for the convent; this was augmented by the Balìa which granted it additional property bordering the Via del Finimondo in 1513. The design of the remaining part of the complex was significantly altered in 1520, leading to the construction of two quite distinct structures next to each other. The refectory was later reconfigured and a series of guest rooms created. A visual survey of the convent, now the city jail, reveals the formal debt that Santo Spirito owed to the convent at San Marco. This is especially true in the arrangement of interior spaces and the form of the Ionic arcades, which were rather unusual in Siena.35 32

On the convent’s illuminated choir books, see Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 124– 25 nn. 325–26. For Mariotto Albertinelli, see Mussolin, “Vicende di un cantiere conventuale,” 92–93 nn. 232–33; Alessandro Angelini, “Francesco di Giorgio pittore e i suoi collaboratori,” in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 286, cat. 56; and Serena Padovani, ed., L’età di Savonarola: Fra’ Bartolomeo e la scuola di San Marco (Venice: Marsilio, 1996), 79–83, 145–49, cat. 15, 39–40. For Fra Paolino, see Andrea Muzzi in L’età di Savonarola. Fra’ Paolino e la pittura a Pistoia nel primo’500, ed. Chiara D’Afflito, Franca Falletti, and Andrea Muzzi (Venice: Marsilio, 1996), 19–21. 33 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 11: “conversi de Florentia pictores, quorum arte ac pio labore ornatus omnis ecclesiae quicumque in parietibus ecclesiae cernitur pictus.” On Fra Andrea di Valdarno and Fra Agostino del Mugello, see Armando Verde, “La Congregazione di San Marco dell’ordine dei frati Predicatori. Il reale nella predicazione savonaroliana,” in Insegnamento e riforma nell’Ordine domenicano, Memorie Domenicane n.s. 14 (Pistoia: Provincia romana dei Frati predicatori, 1983): 170 n. 40, 214–15 n. 47; and Verde and Giaconi, Epistolario di fra Vincenzo Mainardi, index of names. 34 Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 125-28; and Mussolin, “Vicende di un cantiere conventuale,” 126–27. 35 The most obvious difference between the two convents is the fact that at Santo Spirito the XXXX

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. (above) Façade, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 4. (left) Monumental doorframe (traces of the medieval entrance are visible to the right of the doorway and correspond to “c” in fig.11), Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 5. View of cloister from above, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

It can fairly be said that construction work at Santo Spirito was nearing completion by 1520. After 1525, relations between Siena, Florence, and Pope Clement VII de’ Medici became ever more strained. In 1526 and in line with Dominican theology, the community of Santo Spirito openly opposed the celebration of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, which was widely celebrated in Siena in that year as a renewal of the devotional pledge the city made to the Virgin for its recent victory over the Florentines at Porta Camollia. The renowned Dominican friar, Ambrogio Caterino Politi, had the leading role in these conflicts among the convent, the city authorities, and the apostolic see. Politi’s position was ambiguous at best. The end result was the checkmating of the observant Dominican community which was, in 1532, forced to celebrate the feast of the Immaculate Conception. This episode, which touched on both the civic pride and the devotional sentiment of the Sienese, resulted in a general disaffection for the church of Santo Spirito.36 In 1530, Clement VII decreed the suppression of all the old reformed congregations in the Tusco-Roman region and founded instead a single, reformed Tusco36

dormitories are placed directly over the four arcades of the cloister, while at San Marco the porticoes project into the cloister. The cloister of Sto. Spirito is rectangular in plan (ca. 20.25 m x 25.70 m) and, although its arcades are now filled, it is still easy to imagine its original appearance with five arches on the short sides of the cloister and seven on the long ones. The width of the bays varies from one wing to the next and the gray stone columns rising from a continuous, high plinth are just under three meters tall. No decorative motifs enrich the interior walls of the cloister. The original disposition of the interior spaces is also still clearly legible in spite of later modifications. There are a number of old photographs in the photographic archives at the Kunsthistorisches Institut, Florence. 36 Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 129–57; and Creytens, “Les actes capitulaires,” 125–230.

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Roman province. This decision brought an end to the legal autonomy of the Congregation of San Marco, the outspoken observant community whose reforming zeal had significantly influenced the political events in Tuscany for more than half a century. It also left the Sienese friars without the support of their Florentine brothers and far from the general interests of the Dominican Order. The Sienese, furthermore, continued to view the friars of Santo Spirito as a foreign community and, through a combination of suspicion and indifference, became less and less interested in the fortunes of that community. During the imperial siege of Siena in 1553–55, the convent was occupied by the allied French troops. The heavy damage caused by this occupation was repaired, and the convent managed to survive on its modest means. Similarly, the building— once the refined temple of the elite of the Monte dei Nove—assumed its present role as a neighborhood chapel in the Terzo of San Martino.37

THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE CHURCH An old photograph of the Sienese church of San Francesco shows what it looked like before its restoration in 1913 (fig. 6). Above the main portal and slightly to the right, a walled-in arch is still visible. This is the brick arch of the doorway of an earlier church. The photograph shows that part of the old building and its façade were incorporated into the new structure; it also indicates that since the church was enlarged towards the left of the old building, the original access to the church was off center on the new façade.38 The method for expanding San Francesco served as the model for the enlargement of the other Franciscan church in Siena, that is, San Bernardino all’Osservanza. Here as well, old photographs show traces of the original façade encased in the new one.39 Still more obvious is the example of the church of San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, where both the façade and the side elevation reveal traces that the church was expanded in a similar way (fig. 7).40 The façade of the church of Santo Spirito also reveals traces of an arch and its supporting pier, which has a jagged edge caused by the removal of the original portal (figs. 3, 4). Evidence of a no-longer-extant porch over the door can also be detected. At Santo Spirito, however, the survival of the preexisting building and its incorporation into the new structure reveal a far more sophisticated restoration than the other examples. A brief description of the extant church will facilitate a formal architectural analysis of the building. The plan of the church is circumscribed within a compact rectangle from which only the choir projects (fig. 2). The façade is composed of

37

Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 157–72. Vittorino Lusini, La Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi in Siena (Siena: Tipografia ponteficia S. Bernardino, 1908), 83–94; Enzo Carli, L’arte nella Basilica di San Francesco a Siena (Siena: U. Periccioli, 1971), 14 and throughout; and Mussolin, “La chiesa di San Francesco,” 115–55. 39 Michele Cordaro, “L’architettura della basilica e del convento dell’Osservanza,” in L’Osservanza di Siena: La basilica e i suoi codici miniati (Milan: Electa, 1984), 21–50; and Anna Maria Amonaci, Conventi toscani dell’osservanza francescana (Milan: Silvana, 1997), 338–53. 40 Lusini, La Basilica di Santa Maria dei Servi; and F. Cipriani, “La chiesa di San Clemente e i suoi arredi” (Master’s thesis, Università degli Studi, Florence, 1994). 38

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Fig. 6. (right) Façade prior to nineteenth-century restorations, San Francesco, Siena. Photo courtesy of Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

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Fig. 7. (left) Façade, San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 8. Exterior view of west aisle wall with walled-in arches and traces of medieval wall, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 9. View of interior vaulting towards the entrance, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 10. Exterior view of dome, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

clean brickwork, with four simple, vertical projections framing the monumental portal (fig. 3). Heavy buttresses, supporting the counterthrust of the nave vault, rise from the walls between the side chapels (fig. 8). The dramatic dome is encased in a cylindrical drum set on a low plinth and capped by a small lantern (figs. 9, 10). There is a single nave in the interior, flanked by four rectangular chapels on each side. The nave is covered by a barrel vault penetrated by lunettes set above the window openings; transverse arches spring from a simple, unbroken entablature supported by plain pilasters that mark the spaces between each chapel (fig. 11). The side chapels are also barrel-vaulted and have no windows. There are two large transept chapels, although they are no deeper than the side chapels. The presbytery consists of a telescopic sequence of two square spaces; the first, now containing the high altar, is barrel-vaulted, and the second, now the choir, has a sail vault (figs. 2, 3, 11). The church ends in a shallow apse surmounted by an oval window that corresponds to the oculus on the façade. It is a little surprising, given the seemingly careful spatial articulation of the building, that the friars of Santo Spirito were able to preserve both the façade and the foundations of the old structure, as well as most of its walls, when they decided to restore and enlarge the preexisting Benedictine church (figs. 2, 12). The only demolition required was that of the apse behind the high altar; with the construction of two new walls, the church as it is known today took shape. The old cloister wall, raised up to its present height, became the external wall of the side chapels, Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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Fig. 11. View of interior towards the presbytery, Santo Spirito, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 12. Section and plan with site of original church shown in gray, Santo Spirito, Siena. Drawing by author.

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while the right wall in the interior right was built ex novo within the nave of the previous church. The original outside left wall became the internal left wall, pierced by the massive arches of the side chapels (fig. 11). And finally, the left outer wall was built beyond the original church. Thus, the depth of the chapels can be read as the difference in width between the old and the new church (fig. 2). Walled-up traces of window frames and part of the crowning course of brickwork under the roof can still be seen adjacent to the new windows on the exterior surface (fig. 8).41 A number of the constraints inherent in To view this image, please refer to the the dimensions of the original church were print version of this book. brilliantly resolved in the planning of the new building. Once the width of the nave, bounded on one side by the old walls, had been established, all the other proportional ratios followed from it. Indeed all the dimensions of the building depend on this measurement, including the depth of the side chapels, the length of the nave (twice its width), and the diameter of the dome (fig. 12). In other words, the nave is made up of two cubic volumes (10.99 meters wide by 10.66 meters long by 10.20 meters high to the trabeation); it then culminates in the cubic space of the dome, which has the same dimenFig. 13. View of interior pilasters, Santo Spirito, sions (fig. 9).42 The only real divergence from Siena. Photo by author. this apparent regularity is that the piers supporting the arches framing the left side chapels are considerably out of plumb. The elevation of the nave walls of Santo Spirito consists of an order of pilasters without bases, the capitals of which are engaged in the trabeation from which the church’s barrel vault springs (figs. 11, 13). This structural element, which elsewhere might have simply been a refined architectural detail, appears odd here. The pilasters on the walls between the side chapels appear to have been laid over existing, and still visible, frescoed roundels asymmetrically placed on either side of these pilasters (fig. 13). This illogical motif offers evidence of changes made to the plan of the church 41

Günter Fehring emphasizes that these few indications do not permit a reconstruction of the appearance of the previous church; Fehring, “Studien über die Kirchenbauten des Francesco di Giorgio” (PhD diss., Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg, 1956), 160–61. 42 In addition, it may be noted that the old nave was already finished at least up to the transept. A brick stringcourse marking the upper limit of the old wall, traces of the seams between the old and new walls, and the arch of a previous opening with deep, splayed surrounds all belong to the medieval fabric of the church.

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Fig. 14. Proposed sequence of interventions on the church: (top) The first project based on the model of the church of San Bernardino all’Osservanza, Siena; and (bottom) The second project, a modification of the first, but differing in the final result, Sto. Spirito, Siena. Drawings by author.

To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

following the arrival at Santo Spirito of the observant Dominican friars of the congregation of San Marco after 1498.43 If this is the case, then the pilasters must have been erected in a second building campaign and simply laid over the walls that had already been decorated with the fresco roundels. Early twentieth-century restoration records describe the discovery of these frescoed tondi in 1918.44 Thus it may be presumed that the frescoes are not additions made by modern restorers. In all likelihood, the roundels were executed by the two friars, Agostino and Andrea, mentioned above, who were sent from San Marco to Siena in 1502 specifically to decorate the nave of the church. It is necessary, then, to clarify the sequence of projects to expand the church. First, however, it should be noted that the nave walls reveal static problems not mentioned in the written sources; these problems must have emerged when the medieval wall on the left side of the nave was pierced by arches (fig. 14). The piers of these arches are clearly out of plumb, while the adjacent pilasters on the walls are absolutely vertical—an irregular relationship that can be clearly seen in the area around the frescoed roundels above. This lack of harmony was effectively reduced 43 An alternative hypothesis, previously rejected, assigns the pilasters of the nave and the asymmetrical, frescoed half-roundels to the original project; Mussolin, “Vicende di un cantiere conventuale,” 173–74. 44 “Cronache di restauri: Chiesa di Santo Spirito,” Rassegna d’arte sanese 16 (1920), 59–60; and Soprintendenza peri Beni Ambientali e Architettonici di Siena, Archivio storico: H 145 (19 March 1918).

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by the optical illusion that the pilasters are centered on the walls at eye level, rather than halfway up as one might expect. These problems affected only the left medieval wall, which was evidently destabilized by the creation of the openings for the side chapels. The remedy resulted in a significant modification of the project and the addition of the pilasters to reinforce the structure. Thus there is further confirmation that the frescoes must have been painted before the pilasters were built, probably even before the creation of the barrel vault. The nave would have appeared to be a large hall covered by a barrel vault penetrated by lunettes, similar to the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. At Santo Spirito, however, the inclusion of barrel-vaulted side chapels placed perpendicular to the big, barrel-vaulted nave suggests a more complete understanding of the structural system of interpenetrated vaults exemplified by the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome.45 Scholars have frequently observed that a number of Renaissance churches can be linked to the spiritual values of a community committed to a life of poverty, and these projects show a conscious search for a mediocritas that prized functionality over design and resulted in an austere sense of decoration. Two frequently cited examples of this type of stripped-down architectural language are the Florentine churches of Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, known as Il Cestello, and San Salvatore al Monte.46 There are, however, few useful points of comparison between those churches and Santo Spirito in Siena. More fruitful, perhaps, is a comparison with the church of San Bartolomeo alla Badia Fiesolana, generally given to Brunelleschi but which Manfredo Tafuri convincingly attributed to Alberti instead.47 A few elements serve to highlight the compositional debt Santo Spirito owed to this church of the canons regular at Fiesole. The contracted transept plan and the transepts themselves, the nave flanked by four chapels on each side, the general sense of the volumes, and the deep choir are similar, although the Badia has sail-vaulted side chapels, a sail-vaulted nave supported by narrow Corinthian pilasters, and a different lighting system. According to the original design for Santo Spirito as reconstructed here, a continuous barrel vault with no pilasters along the nave would have offered further points of correspondence. At the Badia, the austerity of the architecture, the purely structural references to the antique, the classicism of the spatial relationships, and the spare decoration can be identified as the necessary characteristics of the simple religious building requested by observant friars. Fruitful comparisons can also be made to the Sienese church of the Osservanza, which, in spite of subsequent restorations, remains surprisingly close to 45

See Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 175–76. On the history of Cestello, see Alison Luchs, Cestello: A Cistercian Church of the Florentine Renaissance (New York: Garland, 1977). Cestello was a significant architectural model for the friars of San Marco when they constructed the church of San Domenico in Fiesole. See Lodovico Ferretti, La chiesa e il convento di S. Domenico di Fiesole: Monografia illustrata (Siena: Cantagalli, 1992). For San Salvatore, see Riccardo Pacciani, “Cosimo de’ Medici, Lorenzo il Magnifico e la chiesa di S. Salvatore al Monte a Firenze,” Prospettiva 66 (1992): 27–35; and Giampaolo Trotta, San Salvatore al Monte: Antiquae elegantiae per un’acropolis laurenziana (Florence: Becocci Scala, 1997), although the analysis in the latter is overinterpretative. 47 Manfredo Tafuri, “History of Archiecture,” (lecture notes, Università IUAV, Venice, 1992–93). See also Franco Borsi et al., La Badia Fiesolana (Florence: Le Monnier, 1976); and Isabelle Hyman, “Antonio di Manetto Ciaccheri and the Badia Fiesolana,” Architectura 2 (1995): 181–93. 46

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Santo Spirito, especially in the structure of the nave. The arches framing the side chapels are supported by pilasters without bases, which early photographs clearly show are very similar to those at Santo Spirito.48 The Osservanza’s nave is divided into two bays, separated by a broader section of wall, and is marked by pilasters with capitals engaged in the trabeation. The ceiling consists of two elaborate sail vaults, the exquisite lines of which are worthy of an architect of the stature of Giuliano da Maiano. The nave is followed by a square space topped by a dome and framed by a triumphal arch motif; beyond this is a choir space vaulted with a third sail vault. Because its sense of space is so magnificent, the Osservanza is not generally considered an example of the architectural language of monastic poverty and simplicity. The debate raised at the time of its construction is repeatedly cited in the modern literature because the friars themselves opposed such a grand church.49 Indeed, the Osservanza offers a particularly interesting case, given the numerous contradictions inherent in the guidelines established by the orders and congregations regarding architectural matters, since it reveals an attempt to define an architectural language both austere and yet still appealing to lay patrons. The architecture of the Osservanza, and its domed baldachin in particular, needed also to underscore the church’s function as a sanctuary for the body of San Bernardino whose return the Sienese had repeatedly but not successfully requested from the citizens of Aquila.50 There are a number of important similarities between the plans of the churches of the Osservanza and Santo Spirito. For example, the wall between the second and third chapels at the latter is slightly wider than those that separate the others. This suggests that a break was intended between these two bays, implying that they were to be topped by sail vaults rather than the existing barrel vault. It would also have been possible to put pilasters on those walls like those found at the Osservanza. This minor detail suggests that the plans of the two churches may have been generated from a common architectural type. Recalling the hypothetical reconstruction of Santo Spirito outlined above, it may well be that the first architectural idea for the building was a conscious adaptation of the Franciscan church of the Osservanza with its characteristic external volumes of nave and drum (fig. 13). The decision to abandon this nave plan might then be associated with the arrival of the preaching friars from San Marco in September 1498. They would have been sensitive to the criticism about the ostentation of the Osservanza, and the use of a sail vault in the nave may have been abandoned as too conspicuous a display of wealth.51 48 The bases currently visible in the church belong to a restoration executed in the 1930s; see Cordaro, “L’architettura della basilica,” 21-50. 49 Pacciani, “Cosimo de’Medici,” 32. 50 Iris Origo, The World of San Bernardino (New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962), 258-69. 51 The hypothesis of a pair of successive sail vaults over the nave of the church of Santo Spirito is reinforced by the fact that a similar solution was also adopted in Siena in the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Valli, which has a single nave without side chapels, its two bays covered by sail vaults, and a polygonal apse with a tiburio dome. This church, vaulted around 1480, is among the buildings attributed (with some debate) to the young Francesco di Giorgio. Baldassare Peruzzi experimented with similar rectangular modules with sail vaults to great effect in a number of extraordinary drawings dating to the 1530s for the reconstruction of the church of San Domenico di Camporegio; see Heinrich XXXXX

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In any event, the elegance of the Osservanza was abandoned in favor of solidity at Santo Spirito, although the latter displays a spatial organization that is far more innovative in its conception. The Osservanza plan lacks a transept, and thus the domed presbytery and choir connect directly to the nave without the spatial mediation of a real crossing. Even the dome was originally an extrados covered with scalloped tiles.52 Inside, the Osservanza has stylistic qualities such as the linearity of the cornices and sail vaults that lighten the sense of mass of the walls and proclaim a Florentine paternity; by contrast, the absence of volumetric unity on the exterior was not imitated in subsequent designs. Thus the interior of Santo Spirito bears some resemblance to that of the Osservanza, but it is completely different in the design of its tribune and exterior. The differences between the Osservanza and Santo Spirito here become irreconcilable. While the plan and the spatial relationships of the nave of the Dominican church are clearly indebted to the Franciscan precedent, the design of the church was altered according to new principles of spatial organization that demonstrate a greater tolerance for architectural variation and even seem to anticipate certain features generally associated with formal elements of High Renaissance architecture. The hypothesis offered here for the different vaulting in the churches demonstrates precisely such flexibility.53 Many of the convent complexes belonging to the friars of San Marco underwent architectural renovations characterized by functionalism and simple decor.54 Furthermore, Dominican chronicles frequently document the direct involvement of the friars themselves in these building campaigns.55 However, the practicality of the friars cannot in itself entirely explain the complex design solution employed at Santo Spirito, where the elaborate use of preexisting walls presupposes consummate architectural skill grounded in considerable engineering abilities. Such skills are characteristic of the Renaissance period, which in Siena has been aptly characterized as a machine culture augmented by the system of applied mathematics developed by the masters in charge of maintaining the bottini, the city’s underground water system.56 If, indeed, the initial project for the reconstruction of 52

Wurm, Baldassare Peruzzi: Architekturzeichnungen (Tübingen: Ernst Wasmuth, 1984), 228–33, pls. 219–21. 52 This solution is clearly different from the tiburi to be found on other Sienese churches, such as Santo Spirito, Santa Maria degli Angeli in Valli, San Eugenio in Monistero, and San Martino. Obviously this renders the already strained comparison with the church of San Bernardino in Urbino, constructed for the same observant Franciscans by Francesco di Giorgio, even more problematic. See Howard Burns, “San Bernardino a Urbino,” in Francesco di Giorgio architetto, ed. Francesco Paolo Fiore and Manfredo Tafuri (Milan: Electa, 1993), 230–43. 53 For a more detailed discussion of the type of plan at Santo Spirito and its importance as a model for churches beginning with Santa Caterina in Formiello in Naples, see Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 176–86. 54 The failure of Antonio da Sangallo’s ca. 1520 project for the reconstruction of the church of San Marco is, therefore, not surprising; the design’s theatrical character and its allusions to Medici triumph could hardly have been less appropriate to this conventual context. See Manfredo Tafuri, Ricerca del Rinascimento: Principi, città, architetti (Turin: Einaudi, 1992), 189–96. 55 The friars Roberto Ubaldini da Galliano, Luca da Trani, Uguccione Pieri, and Francesco da Prato are expressly cited in contemporary Dominican sources for their design ability. See Mussolin, “Il convento di Santo Spirito,” 186–91. 56 Paolo Galluzzi, “Le macchine senesi: Ricerca antiquaria, spirito di innovazione e cultura del territorio,” in Prima di Leonardo: Cultura delle macchine a Siena nel Rinascimento, ed. Paolo Galluzzi (Milan: XXX

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Santo Spirito predates the arrival in Siena of the friars from San Marco, it would not be surprising to find that a group of specialists of the caliber of Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Giacomo Cozzarelli, or Oreste Vannoccio Biringucci might have been consulted since it required salvaging the extant walls of the medieval church. The project to rebuild Santo Spirito might have proceeded like the one Allegretto Allegretti described when he discussed Francesco di Giorgio’s involvement in the partial restoration of the church of San Francesco in 1475. He states that it was executed by “two of his assistants, who are citizens of Siena.”57 Indeed, Francesco di Giorgio Martini was employed by the city (with the title and privileges of a risieduto, or member of the Concistoro) as the expert in charge of the bottini; in 1488, he was also appointed as the engineer of Follonica (one of the city’s public water outlets; it bordered the convent of Santo Spirito and was granted in perpetuity to the friars in 1503). And although Francesco di Giorgio himself had requested this position, he never fully completed the renovation of this water source.58 His expertise in military engineering also suggests that he possessed the skills required for the restoration of Santo Spirito; both forms of architectural design required great efficiency, speedy execution, and applied common sense. It is also equally difficult to attribute either to a specific personality. Santo Spirito was never totally demolished. Instead it was transformed by interventions that respected the traditional form of the church, which was already an integral component of its neighborhood. The building’s proportions are marked by simple and harmonious ratios developed from the width of the new nave, a dimension itself derived from the width of the old church. Such a humanist architecture is a perfectly logical development from the Middle Ages, the architectural principles of which it reuses with self-consciously modern results. Thus, while it may be inappropriate to speak of the faithful execution of a specific project, or of continuous on-site control exercised by an architect, the structure itself clearly declares its Renaissance spirit in spite of its apparent refusal to adopt any contemporary form of decorative language. This architectural experience belongs to a larger and more complex cultural environment, of which Francesco di Giorgio, with his broad-ranging artistic knowledge, was the most spectacular exponent. At the same time, the Santo Spirito project cannot lay claim to a unified design or to the supervising hand of a single master. There is thus a gap between 57

Electa, 1991), 15–44; Nicholas Adams, “Architecture for Fish: The Sienese Dam on the Bruna River— Structures and Design, 1468–ca. 1530,” Technology and Culture 25 (1984): 768–97; Nicholas Adams, “The Life and Times of Pietro dell’Abaco, a Renaissance Estimator from Siena (active 1457–1486),” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 48 (1985): 384–95; and Stefano Moscadelli, “Maestri d’abaco a Siena tra Medioevo e Rinascimento,” in L’Università di Siena: 750 anni di storia (Milan: Silvana, 1991), 207–16. 57 Allegretto Allegretti, “Diarj scritti delle cose sanesi del suo tempo,” in Rerum Italicarum Scriptores, ed. Lodovico Muratori (Milan 1733; repr. Bologna: Arnaldo Forni, 1982), 23: col. 776. 58 The fountain was virtually abandoned by the beginning of the fifteenth century. The documents attest to Francesco di Giorgio’s involvement with it between 1499 and 1501, but little was executed of his ambitious project which called for “quecunque hedificia que sibi videbuntur et placebit.” See Fabio Bargagli Petrucci, Le fonti di Siena e i loro acquedotti (Florence: Olschki, 1991), 1:262–65, 2:489; Fabio Bargagli Petrucci, “Francesco di Giorgio Martini: Operaio dei Bottini di Siena,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 9 (1902): 235–36 doc. 49; and Laura Cavazzani and Aldo Galli, “Biografia di Francesco di Giorgio ricavata dai documenti,” in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 512–17.

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an ambitious initial design and its ultimate execution. This divide developed with the arrival of San Marco friars who took control of the project to expand the church and then reduced it according both to their aesthetic requirements and their more limited means. The on-site experience, which documentary sources note that many of the friars possessed, provided the Dominicans of Santo Spirito with some ability to confront problems, but when structural difficulties did emerge, the solutions they found paid little attention to stylistic concerns. Looking closely at the reinforcing pilasters on the piers and vault, it becomes clear that their proportions, and particularly their projection, bear no logical relationship to the rest of the building. They can only been explained as structural buttresses suggested by the friars and executed by the builders simply in order to avoid the building’s possible collapse. In the spirit of avoiding all ostentatious display, an originally sophisticated and modern church design was drastically changed and stylistically impoverished. It was then executed in a hurried and unsophisticated manner.

 One might make a final observation about the enigmatic model attributed to Baccio d'Agnolo in the Museo di San Marco in Florence.59 The model is relevant here because it contains several elements that are central to the discussion of the church of Santo Spirito. If it could be confirmed that the complex in the model is indeed San Marco, there would be no doubt that the characteristics common to both churches were developed in an attempt to provide a simplified language of ecclesiastical architecture appropriate to Savonarolan teaching. In this case, the Dominicans would have brought these ideas back to San Marco strengthened by their experiences in Siena. Numerous Florentine artists in the early sixteenth century were involved in the process of developing an artistic language appropriate to the demands of a profound spirituality; in these instances Savonarola’s name always emerges because his sermons concentrated so fervently on the evangelical principles of poverty and simplicity. It is well known that Savonarola wanted to abandon the convent of San Marco to found a new one at Montecavo above Careggi; built only of wood and bricks, it would have been an absolute and fundamental coenobium.60 Savonarola’s words echo a number of passages in Saint Paul’s Letters to describe one of his visions, “the first temple is the primitive Church of living stones, that is, of Christians rendered solid through their Faith.”61 In Savonarolan aesthetics, all forms of display and luxury in the house of God were pure vanitas.62 59

For a overview of the previous debates regarding the model, see Christine Smith, cat. entry 47, in The Renaissance from Brunelleschi to Michelangelo: The Representation of Architecture, ed. Henry Millon and Vittorio Magnago Lampugnani (Milan: Bompiani, 1994), 457, cat. 47; and Mussolin, “Le vicende di un cantiere conventuale,” 191–92. 60 Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze, Conventi Soppressi, J. VII. 28, fols. 10v–11; Piero Ginori Conti, La vita del Beato Ieronimo Savonarola/scritta da un anonimo del sec. 16. e già attribuita a Fra Pacifico Burlamacchi (Florence: Olschki, 1937), 51; and Domenico Di Agresti, Sviluppi della riforma monastica savonaloriana (Florence: Olschki, 1980), 16–18. 61 See Savonarola’s “Prediche su Aggeo (Ognissanti, 1494),” in Girolamo Savonarola, Prediche e scritti (Milan: Hoepli, 1930), 84–86. 62 Regarding the Savonarolan artistic and aesthetic vision, see Eugenio Marino, “Estetica, fede e XXXX

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For the ordained, art generally should not interfere with prayer, nor should it be a distraction or encourage a desire for material goods. Santo Spirito in Siena, “novam et pulchram fabricam,” would nonetheless have been excessive for Savonarola’s fundamentalist aesthetic.63 Yet it surely also followed his precepts, although interpreted and modified in a fashion similar to the way the principles of other forms of observant reform were adapted at San Salvatore al Monte in Florence and the Osservanza in Siena. The enthusiastic passages in the Chronica about this building leave no doubt that Santo Spirito sufficiently satisfied the needs of the faithful and that its excessive austerity was reduced in deference to the church’s urban constituency. The simple strength of the church’s architecture defines a devotional paradigm that balances the ideals of religious reform fostered by an intransigent spiritual movement with the devotional expectations of private patrons.

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critica d’arte. L’arte poetica di Savonarola. L’estetica di Ficino e la Primavera di Botticelli,” in Contributi di storia domenicana: Cronache e arte, Memorie Domenicane n.s. 27 (Pistoia: Provincia romana dei frati predicatori, 1996); and Eugenio Marino, “Sul trattato Apologeticus de ratione poeticae artis di fra Girolamo Savonarola,” in Frate Girolamo Savonarola e il suo movimento:V centenario della morte di Girolamo Savonarola, Memorie Domenicane n.s. 28 (Pistoia: Provincia romana dei frati predicatori, 1998), 179–246. 63 ASS, Patrimonio Resti Ecclesiastici 2348, fol. 14.

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Narrative in Context The Cassoni of Francesco di Giorgio

S

Some of the most interesting and enigmatic narrative painting in fifteenth-century Siena occurs on cassone panels painted by Francesco di Giorgio Martini (1439–ca. 1501) in collaboration with other artists, especially Neroccio de’ Landi. This essay will investigate some cassone paintings associated with Francesco di Giorgio and some questions they provoke about visual narrative. Cassoni have generally been studied for their iconography or for what they reveal about individual artists. Scholars concerned with style criticism and attribution view cassoni as important territory in which to delineate separate artistic identities. A compelling literature has been generated on cassoni as objects of material culture, in which subject matter has received a wealth of analysis as to how it reflects social formations, particularly in terms of gender.1 These approaches, focusing either on artists or on iconography, have too often been seen as separate areas of inquiry. This chapter will consider how artists, patrons, and stories intersect in a collaborative working environment that has important implications for the way visual narrative is understood. Narrative is not only revealed in the painting with the appropriate source to decode it, but can also be construed as a process of intersections of texts, artists, and patrons. Painted cassoni were a Florentine phenomenon that became popular in Siena only in the second part of the fifteenth century.2 A Sienese example is Benvenuto di Giovanni’s Triumph of David, now in the Siena Pinacoteca Nazionale, which was 1

This essay attempts to place the narrative cassoni associated with Francesco di Giorgio and his collaborators within an interpretative context that does not isolate the problems of attribution of artists, iconography, or patronage as separate areas for analysis. In order to understand how these cassoni tell their stories, scholars must begin to delineate a complex interaction among artists, appreciate their working practices, search for what resonates in a widening variety of texts, and examine the goals of an elite group of Sienese patrons who were telling their own stories through the conspicuous consumption of domestic art. 1 Recent studies include Cristelle Baskins, Cassone Painting, Humanism, and Gender in Early Modern Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998), esp. 21–25 and bibliography; Marina Vidas, “Representation and Marriage: Art, Society, and Gender Relations in Florence from the Late Fourteenth through the Fifteenth Century” (PhD diss., New York University, 1997); Paola Tinagli, “Women and Society: Painted Marriage Furniture,” in Women in Italian Renaissance Art: Gender, Representation, and Identity (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1997), 21–46; and Jacqueline Musacchio,The Art and Ritual of Childbirth in Renaissance Italy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999). 2 For discussions of Sienese cassoni, see Paul Schubring, Cassoni: Truhen und Truhenbilder der Italienischen Frührenaissance. Ein Beitrag zur Profanmalerei im Quattrocento (Leipzig: K. W. Hiersemann, 1915), 1: 97–99, 130–39, 231–33, 320–35; Piero Misciattelli, “Cassoni Senesi,” La Diana: Rassegna d’arte senese 4 XXXX

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made ca. 1459–60 for a member of the Piccolomini family. The classicizing treatment of Benvenuto’s subject (and the subject itself, which is a popular Florentine one) reflects the impact on his native city of the Sienese humanist Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, who became Pope Pius II in 1458. He pressed for the restoration of political rights for his family and the readmission of the gentiluomini into government, including the return of many exiled by the Comune. “Great families consolidated their position,” as Carl Strehlke notes, “first in relationship to the Piccolomini and secondly with regard to city politics from which previously they had often been wisely excluded.”3 Among Francesco di Giorgio’s early paintings is a gabella cover (Siena, Archivio di Stato) depicting Pius II installing his nephew Francesco Piccolomini as cardinal. The painted interior is embellished with figures from the antique. The ambition of Pius II to enhance his family’s fame in his native city was emulated by a wealthy elite, who built and embellished the interiors of spectacular private palaces to this end. This circumstance forms a part of the context of the treatment of antique themes in interior decoration that is seen in many of Francesco’s cassoni.4 The lively demand for these painted chests lasted from the 1460s through the 1480s, when it was largely over. The last decorative project of this kind Francesco participated in was the Sienese pictorial cycle of Famous Men and Women, a set of eight spalliera paintings to be installed on the walls of a bedchamber, which was likely commissioned for a Piccolomini wedding in Siena in 1493. For this project, Francesco joined with Neroccio de’ Landi, Pietro Orioli, Matteo di Giovanni, and the Griselda Master. Francesco’s part in the project is the painting of Scipio Africanus, the hero of so many episodes on cassoni, now in the Bargello Museum in Florence. Among the earliest of Francesco di Giorgio’s cassone paintings is Triumph of Chastity in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) (fig. 1). It displays the arms of the Gabbrielli and Luti families of Siena and can be connected to the 1464 marriage of Gabbriello di Bartolomeo di Pavolo Gabbrielli and Portia di Mess. Francesco di Giovanni Luti.5 The painting depicts scenes from Petrarch’s Trionfi, a series of visions of the triumphs of Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Eternity, written in terza 3

(1929): 117–26; and John Pope-Hennessy and Keith Christiansen, “Secular Painting in Fifteenth-century Florence: Birthtrays, Cassone Panels, and Portraits,” Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art 38 (1980): 17, 43–45, 47–48, 51–54. 3 Carl Brandon Strehlke, review of exhibition Francesco di Giorgio e il Rincsamento a Siena 1450– 1500, Burlington Magazine 135 (1993): 500. See also Alessandro Angelini, “Siena 1460: Episodi artistici al tempo di Pio II,” in Umanesimo a Siena: Letteratura, arti figurative, musica, ed. Elisabetta Cioni and Daniela Fausti (Siena: S. Universitatis Senarum, 1994), 263–84. 4 For Francesco di Giorgio as a cassone painter, see Allen Stuart Weller, Francesco di Giorgio: 1439– 1501 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1943), 112–27; Burton B. Fredericksen, The Cassone Paintings of Francesco di Giorgio (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1969); Ralph Toledano, Francesco di Giorgio Martini: Pittore e scultore (Milan: Electa, 1987), 44–48, 73–78, 93–100, 154; Keith Christiansen, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988), 294–98, 316–19; and Arthur Frank Iorio, “The Paintings of Francesco di Giorgio: A Reassessment” (PhD diss., University of Virginia, 1993), 193–98. 5 Burton B. Fredericksen, Catalogue of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu, CA: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972), 15; and Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 17–22, based on information provided by Alexandra Pietrasanta. The Getty Museum object file cites ASS, Mss. A 55, fol.1t as the source of the information.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

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Fig. 1. Francesco di Giorgio,Triumph of Chastity, mid–1460s. Tempera on panel. Photo courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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rima, in a tradition of medieval allegory that encompassed the Roman de la Rose, Dante’s Commedia, and Boccaccio’s Amorosa Visione.6 Chastity is seated under a baldachin, holding a shield and another object, probably a palm branch, her head bent slightly forward. The wagon, filled with Virtues and accompanied at the side by the confident group of chaste women and men, moves toward a classicizing six-sided temple. The bound and blindfolded god of love walks dejectedly at the head of the profile procession, ahead of Chastity’s unicorns. Francesco’s Triumph of Chastity exhibits the interests of contemporary painters and patrons in a self-conscious imaging of textual materials in their commissions. Petrarch’s Trionfi appealed to its audience precisely because of its allusive resonance, especially the presence within it of classical texts.7 The relationship between text and visual image in representations of Petrarch’s poem is correspondingly complex, because in the Trionfi texts and images already form a tissue of quotations. Paul Watson described depictions of the Trionfi on marriage chests as “almost a summary of the iconographic history of cassone painting.”8 Cristelle Baskins has noted a Sienese preference for the representation of a single triumph and for the subjects of the castigation of Cupid and the triumph of Chastity.9 Either the patron who commissioned Francesco’s Triumph of Chastity, the patron’s advisor, or the painter himself (or all of these) looked closely at the text. However, while Francesco di Giorgio followed Petrarch’s text with attention to many specific details, he was also innovative in his leftward movement from a circular area of strife to the friezelike serenity of the horizontal procession. In a distinctly violent passage at the far right, Cupid’s chariot is on fire, his horses lie dying, brutally beaten by women at the picture edge; other women, at the upper right, have captured Cupid and seem to be disarming and tormenting him. Baskins wrote that the focus on the defeat and castigation of Cupid in Francesco’s panel was “probably the earliest allusion to the scene of the combat between Cupid and Chastity in Petrarch’s Trionfi, although this is still a moment after the battle and not the battle itself.”10 Francesco di Giorgio followed Petrarch’s text but does not depend only on that text. For example, at the entrance to the Temple of Venus is a statue of a horse reined in by a youth. This is not from Petrarch, but very likely represents antique imagery introduced to ornament and enrich Petrarch’s story in a way that would please the patrons. The temple is a pattern reused in many of Francesco’s other paintings.

6 Petrarch, The Triumphs of Petrarch, trans. Ernest Hatch Wilkins (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962), 46. 7 Amilcare A. Iannucci, “Petrarch’s Intertextual Strategies in the Triumphs,” in Petrarch’s Triumphs: Allegory and Spectacle, ed. Konrad Eisenblichler and Amilcare A. Iannucci (Ottawa: Dovehouse Editions, 1988), 4–5. Iannucci argues that the poem’s “classical substratum” makes it “not so much an allegorical work as an allusive one cast within an allegorical frame.” 8 Paul F. Watson,“Virtù and Voluptas in Cassone Painting” (PhD diss.,Yale University, 1979), 225–26. 9 Cristelle Louise Baskins, “Lunga Pittura: Narrative Conventions in Tuscan Cassone Painting circa 1450–1500” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1988), 121–22. 10 Baskins, “Lunga Pittura,” 121–22. For detailed discussions of this panel, see Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 17–22; and Cristelle Baskins, “Il Trionfo della Pudicizia: Menacing Virgins in Italian Renaissance Domestic Painting,” in Menacing Virgins, ed. Marina Leslie and Kathleen Kelly (Cranbury, NJ: University of Delaware Press, 1998), 127–31.

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Francesco was part of an interpretive community of artists who visualized texts in a flexible way. Indeed, the Trionfi themselves formed the basis of many different verbal and visual interpretations in fifteenth-century Italy. There is no reason to assume that the Sienese patrons of Francesco’s painting would have associated it exclusively with Petrarch’s text. There were probably many mediating factors that stood between the artist and that text. Written instructions to a cassone painter could supersede the primary text to be illustrated. Although no record of written instructions to Francesco di Giorgio is extant, a 1441 letter by the artist Matteo de’ Pasti to his Florentine patron Piero di Cosimo de’ Medici gives a window into the process of illustrating cassoni.The letter asked the patron for details regarding a commission to illustrate Petrarch’s Trionfi: I therefore beg you urgently to send me your notion of the others [figures] so that I can visualize them, and if you like I will send you these…. So complete it as you wish, and if you like it send me word to do the one of Fame, for I have the concept, except that I don’t know whether you want the seated woman in a short gown or a mantle, as I would like. For the rest I know all that is to go into it, that is, the chariot drawn by four elephants. And I don’t know if you want shield bearers and girls behind, or famous men of the past, so tell me all of it and I will do a fine thing that will make you glad.11

This letter is evidence of the patron’s role in how a narrative might take shape, and also the degree of flexibility that artists enjoyed in telling a story. Instructions from the patron—in the case of painted marriage chests this could be the father-in-law, the husband, the father, or sometimes even a brother—may have influenced the representational practice of Francesco di Giorgio by an attention to the text that was congenial both to patron and painter.12 But just as Matteo de’ Pasti must have had drawings of each of these stock visual ingredients of triumphs that he kept in pattern books to be used and reused in different contexts (“shield bearers and girls” and “famous men” have the sound of ingredients in a recipe), Francesco di Giorgio’s surviving paintings show that pattern books were an essential part of his artistic practice. The cassone paintings considered here have as much to do with a corpus of visual stereotypes as with any particular text. Watson has described cassone painting as a new genre of narrative painting. The size and shape of the marriage chest required a certain treatment. Its purpose and its place within a complex set of nuptial customs both allowed and limited experiments with secular subjects commonly used in luxury manuscript painting but now disseminated to a wider audience. Patrons’ desire for scenes from classical subjects allowed painters to experiment with styles influenced by Roman sarcophagi, 11 Creighton Gilbert, Italian Art 1400–1500: Sources and Documents (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1980), 6. Manuscript illustrations of the Trionfi were beginning to be painted only in the 1440s and did not usually follow the text. Watson cited Pesellino’s 1457 panels, The Triumphs of Love, Chastity, and Death and The Triumphs of Fame, Time, and Eternity, now in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Boston), as the earliest representations on cassoni of Petrarch’s Trionfi that he knew. Watson, “Virtù and Voluptas in Cassone Painting,” 244. 12 On the commissioning of marriage chests, see Vidas, “Representation and Marriage,” 55–56; and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, “Les noces feintes: Sur quelques lectures de deux thèmes iconographiques dans les cassoni florentins,” I Tatti Studies: Essays in the Renaissance 6 (1995): 11-30.

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examples of which they often studied and sketched.13 Subjects infrequently depicted in Siena (and some not depicted previously in Florence) received novel treatment despite the deployment of standard patterns and models in compositions. Among the surviving cassone paintings associated with Francesco di Giorgio is a pair depicting the biblical Story of Joseph (Pinacoteca Nazionale, Siena) and a single panel portraying Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Victoria and Albert Museum, London). Paintings whose subjects were drawn from the literature of classical antiquity include The Story of Coriolanus (Private collection, Milan) from Plutarch and Livy; The Death of Virginia (Private collection, New York), told by Livy and Valerius Maximus; Story of Tuccia, the vestal virgin, drawn from Pliny (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond);The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas (Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon) drawn as much from Boccaccio as from Virgil; The Story of Paris (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles); the fragmentary Punishment of Psyche (Villa I Tatti, Florence) from Apuleius; and Triumph of Chastity (J. Paul Getty Museum) discussed above. These have survived for the most part as single instances of the handling of the subject; whether Francesco and his collaborators created other examples is not known. Only Francesco’s two panels of the Joseph story in Siena and the cassoni depicting The Visit of Cleopatra to Antony and The Battle of Actium, both drawn from Plutarch’s Lives (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh), which are principally the work of Francesco’s collaborator Neroccio de’ Landi, survive as pairs. If Sienese painters regularly produced narrative cassoni in pairs, as was the Florentine custom, most of the narrative effect of the pairings has been lost. A group of cassone paintings does survive, however, that gives some sense of the working out of a story in separate panels. Cassoni of the Two Triumphs, as the group will be called, gives some sense of the working habits of Francesco and Neroccio at the end of the 1460s and contributes to the understanding of how narrative was produced. The left side of a cassone painting designated The Goddess of Chaste Love (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) shows a golden-haired figure in a shimmering patterned dress who is carried on a gilded cart drawn by four griffins, two in front and two following (fig. 2). She carries a scepter and inclines her head slightly. Her attendants form a half circle at her side, a mass of blonde hair and silk gowns; some are singing while others are holding bands of cloth. On the right side of the cassone panel (Egidio Tosatti collection, Genoa), another goldenhaired woman carrying a scepter rides an equally fantastic canopied cart drawn by swans, again two ahead and two behind. Her attendants carry a bow and arrows. The central part of the panel is missing.14 Although the painting seems unclear today, at the end of the 1460s the subject was popular enough to have been treated 13 Watson, “Virtú and Voluptas in Cassone Painting.” See also Richard Brilliant, Visual Narratives: Storytelling in Etruscan and Roman Art (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1984). Brilliant’s study of narrative art on ancient sarcophagi provides insights into narrative in Renaissance cassone painting. 14 A biccherna panel of 1468 in the Archivio di Stato of Siena is close in style to the fragmentary Metropolitan panel and the fragment in Genoa. Laurence B. Kanter suggests that these should be dated slightly later than the biccherna panel, placing them within the years of the collaboration of Francesco and Neroccio de’ Landi. According to Kanter, Francesco di Giorgio probably worked on the Metropolitan/ Tosatti panel, the Carminati panel in Milan, and possibly Stibbert 317 in Florence; Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 319. Federico Zeri, who first connected the Metropolitan and Tosatti fragments as parts of one panel, thought that Francesco painted the Milan panel; XXX

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 2. Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, Goddess of Chaste Love, 1469–75. Tempera and gold on panel. Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Marquand Fund, 1920 (20.182).

several times by Francesco and his collaborators; in addition to the two fragments, five intact panels survive. In each, two blonde female figures in gold chariots drawn by griffins and swans appear to confront each other at left and right, each with a retinue of blonde women, separated by a central scene. In the intact panels, the central scene is of two kinds. In three panels (Rita Carminati collection, Milan; private collection, Crans sur Sierre, France; Museo Stibbert, Florence, 317) women in the central foreground shoot arrows at a tree that stands before a small pool in a pleasant landscape, while other women join in a circular dance in the 14

Federico Zeri and Elizabeth E. Gardner, Italian Paintings: Sienese and Central Italian Schools (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1980), 11. Toledano reproduces all of the panels, referring to the individual panels as types of psychomachia and labeling the group “cassoni dei due trionfi” (cassoni of the two triumphs): Toledano, Francesco di Giorgio, 73–77.

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central background. In two panels (Museo Stibbert, Florence, 4098 and 12922), the central scene is a severe landscape dominated by a rocky hill behind which women are killing stags; in the left foreground, two kneeling women present the head of a stag to the figure drawn by griffins, who gestures to them (fig. 3). Within these different types of scene, there are additional differences. In the Milan panel, the archers aim their arrows at a heart contained within a wreath in the tree. The panel in Crans sur Sierre depicts women shooting arrows into a wreath in the tree, but there is no heart in the wreath. In the Stibbert panel with the same type of scene (317), neither the wreath nor the heart is in the tree. Instead, the tree is full of fruit. Nevertheless, the archers stretch their bows toward the tree. With one exception, the panels portray only female figures: in the exceptional panel in Crans sur Sierre, two groupings of male figures appear in the distant hilly background, apparently observing the spectacle of the opposed chariots, the archers, and the dancing women. Three of these figures may be centaurs or satyrs; there are also two male figures half-concealed behind a hill, one of them winged and holding a bow or a lyre. In all of these panels, the regal figures that preside over these very different scenes could lead one to infer that different moments in the same narrative are represented in different panels. One cannot be sure that the story is complete. How can one understand these paintings that refer to a story that is no longer known? Their iconography is so complex as to suggest specific references to texts, but none has been found that would seem to explain sufficiently the activities depicted. The custom has been to approach these cassoni as representations of a contest of opposing forces, using iconographical analysis as a tool. The woman drawn by swans on the right seems to be associated with Venus: in Book X of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, swans pull the chariot of Venus. In terms of the binary opposition suggested by the confronting chariots, the woman who appears always on the left of the panels, as in the Metropolitan fragment, would stand for the opposite of Venus; in cassone painting, that is usually Diana, as a personification of chastity (fig. 2).15 But the iconographical attributes of the figure on the left are puzzling, and despite many attempts, she has not been identified.16 Because of her griffin-drawn chariot, Dante’s Beatrice has been proposed.17 In the procession in the earthly Paradise where Beatrice first appears, Dante describes a “triumphal two-wheeled chariot / drawn by a griffin, harnessed to its neck.” Both the textual and the pictorial tradition of Dante illumination support a single griffin pulling a

15 See Zeri, Italian Paintings, 11. Kanter accepts that there is a conflict between chaste love and carnal love; Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 317–19. Watson provides the definitive treatment of this theme in Tuscan cassone painting; Watson, “Virtù and Voluptas”. 16 Bernard Berenson listed the Metropolitan fragment as a Triumph of Diana (fig.2); Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and their Works, with an Index of Places (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1932), 202. Erwin Panofsky tentatively proposed the Triumph of Minerva (in a letter cited in Zeri and Gardner, Italian Paintings, 11). The painting was listed as Triumph of Minerva? in Burton B. Fredericksen and Federico Zeri, Census of Pre-nineteenth-century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1972), 74, 473. 17 Schubring, Cassoni, 135, 328 n. 463; Selwyn Brinton, Francesco di Giorgio Martini of Siena: Painter, Sculptor, Engineer, Civil and Military Architect, 1439–1502 (London: Besant, 1934–35), 1:110; Giovanni Carandente, I Trionfi nel primo Rinascimento (Napoli: ERI, Edizioni RAI, 1963), 60, 65, 68, 131 n. 157; and Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 30–32.

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Fig. 3. Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, Cassoni of the Two Triumphs, ca. 1469–75. Tempera on panel, Museo Stibbert (Florence), 12922. Photo courtesy of the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies,Villa I Tatti, Florence.

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chariot.18 In the cassone panels, however, the chariot is drawn by four griffins, which spatially enclose the canopied figure. The two cassone panels with central scenes showing women slaying a stag and the sacrifice of the stag’s head (fig. 3) have been connected to Diana.19 Laurence B. Kanter suggests that Beatrice may be conflated with Diana, further strengthening the association with chastity.”20 However, images of women hunting are not always associated with chastity. Amorous love is signaled in the sequence of ladies playing games and hunting in the marginalia of the Taymouth Hours (ca. 1325–35,Yates Thompson Ms. 13, British Library, London). Women with bows aiming erotic arrows at lovers are among the secular themes in a Tuscan model book from the 1360s (Pierpont Morgan Library, New York).21 The “hunt of love” subject can be traced back to the popular poetic form, the caccia amorosa. Influenced by the Ovide moralisé, the subject can be linked to the doctrine of chastity, personified by Diana.22 However, the stag hunt is ubiquitous in marriage art, and it also has other meanings. A Sienese marriage coffer depicting The Triumph of Venus, dated 1421 and probably decorated by Giovanni di Paolo (Louvre, Paris), has a stag hunt taking place along its circumference. On its cover, Venus, sumptuously dressed and worshiped by a trio of elegant ladies, hands a bow and an arrow to two blindfolded Cupids, initiating the hunt.23 The hunter and stag are frequent metaphors for the pursuit of love in Ovid’s Art of Love. The stag can represent either the lady—Dido, for example—or the lover. Petrarch likens himself to a deer in Triumph of Chastity: “I, who had been as wild as the forest deer, / was swiftly tamed, even as all the rest / Of those who suffered in love’s servitude.”24 Boccaccio reworks these themes in the Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine, in the Ninfale fiesolano, and in his gruesome tale of Nastagio degli Onesti from the Decameron, in

18 Dante Alighieri, Purgatory 29, lines 107–8, in The Divine Comedy, trans. Mark Musa (New York: Penguin, 1984). See also Peter Brieger, Millard Meiss, and Charles S. Singleton, Illuminated Manuscripts of The Divine Comedy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1969), 2:410–16 and color pl. 4. 19 The panels were connected to the Ovidian story of Diana and Actaeon by Arthur McComb, “The Life and Works of Francesco di Giorgio,” Art Studies 2 (1924): 21, 24–25; and by Helen Comstock, “Francesco di Giorgio as Painter,” International Studio 89, no. 4 (1928): 34–36. Berenson called Stibbert 4098 a Triumph of Diana and later referred to both panels as “mythological hunting scene”; Berenson, Italian Pictures of the Renaissance: A List of the Principal Artists and their Works with an Index of Places: Central Italian and North Italian Schools (New York: Phaidon, 1968), 140. 20 Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 317. 21 See Veronica Sekules, “Women and Art in England in the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries,” in Age of Chivalry: Art in Plantagenet England 1200–1400, ed. Jonathan Alexander and Paul Binski (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1987), 47–48; and Paul F. Watson, The Garden of Love in Tuscan Art of the Early Renaissance (Philadelphia: Art Alliance Press, 1979), 41–42, pl. 26, 28. 22 Jerzy Miziolek makes this argument concerning a Florentine desco da parto attributed to the Master of Ladislao Durazzo, dated between 1390 and 1420 in the Yale University Art Gallery, on which women slay a stag; Miziolek, Soggetti classici sui cassoni fiorentini alla vigilia del Rinascimento (Warsaw: Instytut Sztuki Polskiej Akademii Nauk, 1996), 113. See also Cecilia de Carli, I deschi del parto, (Turin: Umberto Allemondi, ca. 1997), 72–73; and Charles Seymour, Early Italian Paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, CT:Yale University Press, 1970), 135–37. 23 Carl Brandon Strehlke, “Giovanni di Paolo,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 168. 24 See Marcelle Thiébaux, The Stag of Love: The Chase in Medieval Literature (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974), 96–102; Michael Camille, The Medieval Art of Love: Objects and Subjects of Desire (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998), 101; and Petrarch, Triumphs, 27.

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which a woman is hunted by a knight with dogs.25 Cassoni of the Two Triumphs have been connected to Boccaccio’s Caccia di Diana (Diana’s Hunt), a kind of anti-Actaeon story in which stags are slain by huntresses under Diana’s direction. Before the stags can be burned in sacrifice to Diana, Venus appears and the slain stags come alive, changed into men who become the huntresses’ betrothed. However, as A. K. Kassel and Victoria Kirkham write, “if these paintings illustrate Diana’s Hunt, they must reflect some iconographic influence from the Amorosa visione and Petrarch’s Trionfi.”26 The huntresses and the stags may mark some kind of association with Boccaccio’s poem, but again they hardly signal a point of departure. If anything, they are emblematic of the diffuseness and complexity of such associations, which are tracing the outline of a series of different texts. Are the figures, then, the huntresses of Diana or of Venus? In all of the intact panels of Cassoni of the Two Triumphs, figures from the opposing entourages face toward the center, and in three of the paintings a circular dance takes place in the central background. Marina Vidas shows that many Florentine cassoni derived from different sources are framed around the concept of opposing forces and emphasize patterns of reconciliation. If an opposition between chaste love and carnal love is seen to be the organizing theme of the group, perhaps the circular dance of the women in the background celebrates a resolution. J.J.G. Alexander argues that the dancing circle represents metaphorically the acceptance of the couple into the social fabric, especially through marriage.27 Perhaps the enigmatic figure with her griffins is Juno Pronupta; the possibility that at least one of the artists who worked on the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs understood her to be Juno is suggested by the supplementary details of the figure in the Milan panel: a peacock perching on her chariot and the conspicuous arc of a rainbow, the pathway of Iris, Juno’s messenger. Nuptial Juno, as Virgil writes, “has the bonds of marriage in her keeping,” and perhaps it is these bonds that are signified by the yokes the women in the Metropolitan fragment hold (fig. 2).28 Alexander shows how the representation of the dance—like the wreath, which may crown Chastity or figure as an explicitly erotic symbol—formally encodes sexual behavior and may be ambivalent in its meaning.29 In the Month of April fresco at Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, Venus appears in a chariot drawn by 25

For analyses of visual representations of these written texts, see Paul F. Watson and Victoria Kirkham, “Amore e Virtù: Two Salvers Depicting Boccaccio’s Commedia delle ninfe fiorentine in the Metropolitan Museum,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal 10 (1975): 35–50; Ellen Callmann, “The Growing Threat to Marital Bliss as Seen in Fifteenth-century Florentine Paintings,” Studies in Iconography 5 (1979): 73–92; Cristelle Baskins, “Gender Trouble in Italian Renaissance Art History: Two Case Studies,” Studies in Iconography 16 (1994): 1–36; and Cristina Olsen, “Gross Expenditure: Botticelli's Nastagio degli onesti Panels,” Art History 15 (1992): 146–70. 26 Giovanni Boccaccio, Diana’s Hunt: Caccia di Diana: Boccaccio’s First Fiction, trans. A. K. Kassel and Victoria Kirkham (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991), 59–61, 92 n. 38; Ellen Callmann, “Subjects from Boccaccio in Italian painting, 1375–1525,” Studi sul Boccaccio 23 (1995): 26– 28; and Paul Watson, “A Preliminary List of Subjects from Boccaccio in Italian Painting, 1400–1550,” Studi sul Boccaccio 15 (1985–86): 161. 27 Vidas, “Representation and Marriage,” 4–5 and chap. 4 passim; and J. J. G. Alexander, “Dancing in the Streets,” Journal of the Walters Art Gallery 54 (1996): 147–62. 28 See Virgil,The Aeneid, trans. Robert Fitzgerald (New York: Random House, 1983), bk. 4, line 59. 29 Alexander, “Dancing in the Streets,” 147, 150; and Camille, Medieval Art of Love, 54–56.

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swans. However, in a Triumph of Chastity (ca. 1500, Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore) by the pseudo-Granacci, an anonymous Florentine painter, Chastity is pulled by swans rather than unicorns. Deer in this painting apparently symbolize chastity and purity.30 Michael Camille observes the ambivalence of griffins, which can function as “fierce signs of unchastity and faithlessness” and also figure in imagery associated with chastity; a tapestry made in Basel (ca. 1460) portrays the griffin as a guardian of the lady’s body.31 The very same iconographic elements that might give clues to decode the meanings in these cassoni are precisely the dense points where that meaning is unclear. One of the panels in Florence demonstrates how working practice destabilizes narrative in the very act of constituting it. In Museo Stibbert 12922, the painters have assembled a mixture of narrative fragments found in other cassone paintings (fig. 3). There are the two regal women, with their griffins and swans. A hunt seems to be concluding in a rocky landscape. Women, accompanied by dogs, have killed two stags on either side of a rocky hill. One stag lies headless on the left; two women are presenting its head as if in sacrifice to the figure drawn by griffins. This is the landscape of Diana. But into the rocky landscape the painters have inserted the tree in full fruit placed at the center in front of the rocky hill, with the pleasant pool and the brook at its foot, which signals the landscape of Venus in its gentlest aspect. In the instability signaled by the supplementation, both the opposition of chaste and carnal and its resolution are revealed as incapable of securing meaning. The painting manifests the conditions of its making, and this is an important part of the story it tells. Allen Stuart Weller commented that “almost every detail in the composition arouses many associated ideas; but until a key in the form of some specific literary source is discovered, it seems impossible to explain the allegory itself.”32 Rather than search for Weller’s “key in the form of some specific literary source,” one should look at the working practice of the painters and the process of mediation that distances scholars from any literary source, even should one be found. The visual narratives painted on cassone panels were the product of eclectic and adaptable representational practices, some of which can be studied in the little that is known of the working practices of Francesco di Giorgio and Neroccio de’ Landi. Looking at the implications of the interactions among artistic personalities, all working to satisfy a demand for narrative paintings by using an efficient organization for their production, affects the understanding of these works. In their appropriation of images from contemporary art works; in their use of new forms sketched in visits to sites of innovation such as Verocchio’s workshop in Florence; in their experimentation with antique forms, often taken from sketches made by Francesco at ancient ruins and the drawings in which he imaginatively reconstructed them; in their use of manuscript illuminations, pattern books, and prints; and in the heightened play with style seen in artists of equal status working together, the working practices of these artists are inextricable from their practice of narrative. 30

Federico Zeri, Italian Paintings in the Walters Art Gallery (Baltimore: Trustees of the Walters Art Gallery, 1976), 2:315–16, and pl. 144. 31 Camille, Medieval Art of Love, 105–6. 32 Weller, Francesco di Giorgio, 125.

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Citing the production of cassoni as an example, Anabel Thomas writes that “artists often joined together in workshop organizations as a kind of insurance against the hard times when demand for their trade might be low.” When Francesco entered into a compagnia with Neroccio de’ Landi around 1469, the situation was the opposite; these artists likely consolidated to fill the exploding demand driven by the new trends in private patronage, in a commercial environment that accommodated what Kanter has described as the “virtual mass-production of painted cassoni.”33 A much-discussed document exists that refers to the collaborative association of Francesco di Giorgio and Neroccio. It deals, however, with the dissolution of that association in 1475 and tells little about how it worked. The document appoints Vecchietta, at the request of Francesco, and Sano di Pietro as Neroccio’s referee, to arbitrate “lites, causas et questiones inter eos” (quarrels, cases, and problems between them) but does not say what the dispute was about.34 In 1476, Sano di Pietro and Francesco di Giorgio appraised a number of items Neroccio had made for the Sienese nobleman Bernardino Nini; these included a tabernacle with a Madonna, a chair, a bedstead, and a “pair of chests with stories worked in fine gold,” which were valued at 25 florins. An inventory of Neroccio’s estate includes six painted cassoni, which Thomas speculates were “workshop merchandise—completed and ready for sale, rather than permanent pieces of furniture.”35 The term “workshop” cannot be understood with specificity. Not all Sienese painters who produced cassoni worked in the same way. The cassoni produced by Giovanni di Paolo and Pellegrino di Mariano, as well as another artist called the Lecceto Master, for instance, are very likely to have been the product of different working practices from those used by Francesco and Neroccio. Giovanni di Paolo collaborated with artists of equal status such as Sano di Pietro, but the evidence suggests that his preference was to work independently with the support of workshop assistants and journeymen.36 Kanter argues that Francesco’s collaboration with Neroccio “was clearly more complicated than has traditionally been assumed and may have corresponded in certain essentials to the association of Sano di Pietro with the

33 Anabel Thomas, The Painter’s Practice in Renaissance Tuscany (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 10; Giovanni Agosti, “Su Siena nell’Italia artistica del secondo Quattrocento (desiderata scherzi cartoline),” in Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, ed. Luciano Bellosi (Milan: Electa, ca. 1993), 488–509; and Laurence B. Kanter, Italian Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1994), 1:198–99. 34 Gaetano Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena: Onorato Porri, 1854–56), 2:465– 66; and Gertrude Coor, Neroccio de’ Landi: 1447–1500 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1961), 141 doc. 6. 35 Milanesi, Documenti, 2:356–57; Coor, Neroccio de’ Landi, 5, 141–42, 153; and Thomas, Painter’s Practice, 55. 36 John Pope-Hennessy, Giovanni di Paolo, 1403–1483 (London: Chatto & Windus, 1937), 156–58; Janneke Panders, The Underdrawing of Giovanni di Paolo: Characteristics and Development (Deventer: drukkerij Salland de Lange, 1997), 58; Milanesi, Documenti, 2:389; Pèleo Bacci, “Documenti e commenti per la storia dell’arte. Ricordi della vita e dell’attività del pittore senese Giovanni di Paolo di Grazia detto Boccanera (1399–ca. 1482),” Le Arti 4 (1941–42): 22; and Keith Christiansen, “Painting in Renaissance Siena” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 27–30. For the Lecceto Master, see Pope-Hennessy and Christiansen, “Secular Painting,” 17.

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Master of the Osservanza earlier in the century.”37 Although Neroccio was the younger of the two artists when the working arrangement was made, Max Seidel and others rightly point out that there is no reason to assume that Neroccio was Francesco’s subordinate. Among Sienese artists who painted cassoni, there is no evidence that any of the others used the efficient techniques of production of Francesco and Neroccio. Although Neroccio ceased to paint cassone panels after the dissolution of the compagnia, Kanter has argued that he applied the successful model of production of his years with Francesco to turning out paintings and stucco reliefs of the Madonna and child.38 Although the contractual relationship of Francesco and Neroccio is documented, the nature of their collaboration is a subject of much debate. During the period from 1470 to 1475, documents show that Francesco worked on projects in Siena with Lotto di Domenico and with Cozzarelli, whose relationship to the compagnia is not known. According to Arthur Iorio, Giacomo Cozzarelli, who later accompanied Francesco to the court at Urbino, was “accustomed to translating Francesco’s disegni and modelli into finished products.”39 Alessandro Angelini has extended the argument that Francesco executed little except the design of his works by asserting the involvement of a single unidentified trusted assistant, whom he designates “Fiduciario di Francesco.” Angelini identified him as a painter of the cassone fragment in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 2) and its counterparts, which almost certainly date to the period of the compagnia. This unknown painter must have trained in the workshop at the height of the collaboration with Neroccio and is said to be responsible for the greater part of the paintings from the workshop, including most of the Madonna and child compositions.40 The Fiduciario is projected as a veritable alter ego of Francesco, acting as the colorist for Francesco’s designs from the early workshop period on. Angelini's argument depends in part on infrared reflectographic examinations of some of Francesco’s paintings. These show strongly executed and formally sophisticated underdrawings that differ from the execution of the paint surface. It is to address this apparent inconsistency that a figure like the Fiduciario was created. Janneke Panders interprets the relationship between Francesco’s underdrawing and the paint surface as one of interaction. For example, in Francesco’s Coronation of the Virgin of 1471 (Siena Pinacoteca Nazionale), Panders argues that “comparison of the infrared documentations with the painted surface indicates that the 37

Laurence B. Kanter, “Francesco di Giorgio,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 325. Kanter (328) remarks on the emergence of Neroccio’s figure style and palette influenced by the examples of Francesco and Liberale da Verona. 38 On the artists’ relationship, see Max Seidel, “Die ‘Societas in Arte Pictorum’ von Francesco di Giorgio und Neroccio de’ Landi,” Pantheon 51 (1993): 46–61; and Max Seidel, “Sozialgeschichte des Sieneser Renaissance Bildes: Studien zu Francesco di Giorgio, Neroccio de’ Landi, Benvenuto di Giovanni, Matteo di Giovanni und Bernardino Fungai,” Städel Jahrbuch 12 (1989): 116–23; and Weller, Francesco di Giorgio, 6–7; Coor, Neroccio de’ Landi, 3–5, 16–48. 39 Iorio, “Paintings of Francesco di Giorgio,” 77–78, 84–85, 93. 40 Alessandro Angelini, “Francesco di Giorgio pittore e i suoi collaboratori,” in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 284–90; Giulietta Chelazzi Dini, Alessandro Angelini, and Bernardina Sani, Sienese Painting From Duccio to the Birth of the Baroque, trans. Cordelia Warr (New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1998), 300–301; and Alessandro Angelini, “Francesco di Giorgio pittore e la sua bottega: Alcune osservazioni su una recente monografia,” Prospettiva 52 (1988): 16.

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underdrawing plays a role in the paint surface.”41 Pia Palladino disputes Angelini’s assumption that the underdrawing and the execution must originate from different hands, arguing that the results of these reflectographic analyses may be interpreted “as confirmation of the artist’s ability to adapt an advanced formal and spatial approach to a more traditional Sienese decorative vocabulary.”42 Nor does the idea that most of Francesco di Giorgio’s paintings were executed to his design by a specific if unidentified Fiduciario address the particularity of the level of collaboration that existed between Francesco and Neroccio and other painters of equal status such as Liberale da Verona. The details of Francesco and Neroccio’s association are difficult to isolate, but it is arguable that sometimes the two artists worked together closely and sometimes in the same painting.43 The quality of Francesco’s interaction with Neroccio can be gauged in part by the difficulty of separating out their work. A cassone painting of The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas in the Portland Art Museum has been attributed both to Francesco and to Neroccio de’ Landi. In the left section of the panel (fig. 4), Aeneas enters from the right, urged on by a companion. In a hexagonal pavilion, Dido sits serenely on a throne, surrounded by soldiers and courtiers. Burton B. Fredericksen saw the panel as indicative of the influence of Francesco and Neroccio on each other: “It comes as close to Neroccio as Francesco ever came.” The balancing pairs on each side of the royal pavilion (two women of the court on the left and two soldiers on the right) and the basic structure of the pavilion are repeated almost exactly in the cassone panel of the Story of Tuccia in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond). Kanter noted “the marked resemblance” between The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas and Neroccio’s Saint Sebastian predella in Pienza, and suggested that in the partnership Neroccio may have directed the production of this and other panels.44 The use and reuse of decorative elements in the embellishment of narrative cassoni point to a working environment where reproducibility was prized. Some of the cassoni from the compagnia are of the pastiglia dorata type. Reusable piece molds on these seem to have been an important feature of the representational practice of 41

Janneke Panders, “Some Examples of Fifteenth-century Sienese Underdrawing,” in Album Discipulorum: J. R. J. van Asperen de Boer, ed. Peter van den Brink and Liesbeth M. Helmus (Zwolle: Waanders Uitgevers, 1997), 163–69. 42 Pia Palladino and Carl Brandon Strehlke critique the major role Bellosi suggested for the Fiduciario. Strehlke points out that the insistence on the separation of Francesco’s design from its execution in some works may stem from their poor condition: “For several late Quattrocento Sienese painters— Francesco di Giorgio and Neroccio de’Landi in particular—the state of their works is crucial. These artists build pictorial effects with subtle glazes and highlights so that even the slightest surface abrasion distorts appearance.” Palladino, “Francesco di Giorgio,” Master Drawings 34 (1996): 86–87; and Strehlke, review of exhibition, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, Burlington Magazine 135 (1993): 501–2. 43 Although Angelini and others argue that there is no evidence that Neroccio and Francesco collaborated on any painting, both Max Seidel (“Die ‘Societas in Arte Pictorum,’” 46–61) and Laurence B. Kanter (Italian Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, 1:198) convincingly argue otherwise for specific paintings. 44 Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 35–38; and Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 325. Toledano (Francesco di Giorgio, 154) saw this cassone as influenced by Liberale da Verona and attributed it to an unnamed associate of Francesco. See Baskins, Cassone Painting, 55–57, for a discussion of the treatment of Dido as a regal rather than a suicidal figure in Florentine cassone painting.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 4. Workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, detail of The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas, ca. 1469–75. Polychrome on panel. Photo courtesy of © Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

Francesco di Giorgio and Neroccio. Kanter likened their use of piece molds to Sano di Pietro’s use of reproducible cartoons, and suggested that this may indicate that Francesco had trained with Sano di Pietro. Two cassoni that appear to be the product of their collaboration may be dated to the 1470s and depict giostre in gilt stucco relief. One of them, in the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection (Lugano), bears the arms of the Piccolomini family. Another in Vienna (ex-Figdor collection) has some figures identical to the Lugano cassone placed in a slightly different arrangement, suggesting that these were derived from the same reusable piece molds.45 Museo Stibbert panel 4098 of the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs manifests, on either side, figures of heroic shield-bearing men derived from piece molds. These same piece mold figures may be seen in the cassone of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba associated with Francesco di Giorgio. The chariot of the Queen of Sheba in this panel immediately evokes those in the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs, and the stylistic relations with the Stibbert panels have been noted.46 Francesco’s Triumph of Chastity 45

Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 138–39, 319, 332; and Gaudenz Freuler, ed., Manifestatori delle cose miracolose: Arte italiana del '300 e '400 da collezioni in Svizzera e nel Liechtenstein (Lugano-Castagnola: Villa Favorita, Fondazione Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1991), 104–5. In “Notes on Painting in Renaissance Siena,” Burlington Magazine 132 (1990): 212–13, Keith Christiansen discusses gesso decoration on a cassone painting by Liberale da Verona in the Museo di Castelvecchio that seems to be based on casts made by Francesco. 46 L. G. Boccia, G. Cantelli, and F. Maraini, Il Museo Stibbert: I depositi e l’archivio (Florence: Museo Stibbert, 1976), 4:30; and C. M. Kauffmann, Victoria and Albert Museum: Catalogue of Foreign Paintings XXX

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panel in the J. Paul Getty Museum has classicizing pilasters in wood and stucco on each side; adjacent to these are stucco reliefs that appear to depict swans showing the arms of the families (fig. 1). Drawings and pattern books were important in the genesis of the cassoni under discussion. Ellen Callmann’s study of the workshop practice of the cassone painter Apollonio di Giovanni emphasizes his use of a pattern book.47 A Florentine pattern book in the Louvre, dated to the second quarter of the fifteenth century, contains stock images of animals that appear frequently in Florentine cassoni.48 It is likely that Francesco di Giorgio and his collaborators used such pattern books as well, but many original designs by Francesco and Neroccio also became patterns to be used again. Gertrude Coor suggested that the designs of the ships in Neroccio’s Battle of Actium (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) were based on Francesco’s drawings, in particular a drawing in Francesco’s sketchbook in the Biblioteca Comunale (Siena). She also noted that Antony’s wreathed head (seated figure, far left) in The Visit of Cleopatra to Antony (also in the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) had been based on a head of Apollo, perhaps taken from a coin (fig. 5).49 Francesco’s drawings of antique and other subjects were later turned into fair copies and kept together for reuse.50 As with so many aspects of Francesco di Giorgio’s art, which defy easy categorization, this graphic practice elides the boundaries between “sketch” and “pattern book” that scholars have made such an effort to keep distinct and to imbue with significance. Francesco’s Opusculum de architectura is the earliest set of his drawings in finished form and may be dated ca. 1470–75, the period of the compagnia. It contains a drawing of an allegorical figure of Abundance seated on a “two gear-rack car” that evokes a mechanized triumphal chariot.51 The drawing subverts the boundaries that 47

I: Before 1800 (London: Thanet Press, 1973). 47 Ellen Callmann, Apollonio di Giovanni (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974), 30–34; and Ernst Gombrich, “Apollonio di Giovanni: A Florentine Cassone Workshop Seen Through the Eyes of a Humanist Poet,” in Norm and Form: Studies in the Art of the Renaissance (London: Phaidon, 1966), 11– 28. See also Francis Ames-Lewis, “Training and Practice in the Early Renaissance Workshop: Observations on Benozzo Gozzoli’s Rotterdam Sketchbook,” in Florentine Drawing at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ed. Elizabeth Cropper (Florence: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1992), 26–44. 48 See Robert W. Scheller, Exemplum: Model-Book Drawings and the Practice of Artistic Transmission in the Middle Ages (ca. 900–ca. 1470), trans. Michael Hoyle (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 1995), 332, 339 n. 10 for a list of corresponding cassoni in Schubring. 49 Coor, Neroccio de’Landi, 30. For cassone architecture based on drawings developed for Francesco’s Trattato, for example, see fol. 29 pl. 53 and fol. 14 pl. 23 (the turreted fortress of Carthage in The Meeting of Dido and Aeneas) and fol. 71v pl. 130 (the three-level colosseum to the left in the Story of Tuccia) from the Turin Codex, in Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Trattati di architettura ingegneria e arte militare, vol. 1, ed. Corrado Maltese, transcr. by Livia Maltese Degrassi (Milan: Edizioni Il Polifilo, 1967). For an analysis of Francesco’s Story of Tuccia, see Anne B. Barriault, “The Abundant, Beautiful, Chaste, and Wise: Domestic Painting of the Italian Renaissance in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” in Arts in Virginia ([Richmond]:Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1991), 2–21. 50 See Scheller, Exemplum, 83; A. Nesselrath, “I libri di disegni di antichità: Tentativo di una tipologia,” in Memoria dell’antico nell’arte italiana, ed. Salvatorie Settis (Turin: G. Einaudi, 1986), 104–5 n. 232; and Christoffer H. Ericsson, Roman Architecture Expressed in Sketches by Francesco di Giorgio Martini: Studies in Imperial Roman and Early Christian Architecture (Helsinki: Societas Scientiarum Fennica, 1980). 51 British Museum ms.197, b21. Gustina Scaglia, Francesco di Giorgio: Checklist and History of Manuscripts and Drawings in Autographs and Copies from ca. 1470 to 1687 and Renewed Copies (1764– 1839) (Bethlehem, PA: Lehigh University Press, 1992), 43–44; Gustina Scaglia, “Autour de Francesco XXXXX

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Fig. 5. Neroccio de’ Landi, The Visit of Cleopatra to Antony, ca. 1475. Tempera, gold, and silver leaf on panel. Photo courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

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separate the classicizing, the allegorical, and the scientific tendencies of Francesco di Giorgio’s art. The drawing also provokes the question of its relation to an actual machine. Pageants and marriage processions and their descriptions have long been considered a factor in the creation of narratives on cassoni.52 Giovanni Carandente suggested Francesco used papier-mâché models in the creation of the chariots for the cassone paintings. He noticed that the triumphal chariot in the Metropolitan fragment resembles episcopal seats created for processions (fig. 2).53 The possible relation of cassone imagery to social rituals further complicates the practice of narrative, because these events were described in texts, sometimes scripted, and sometimes painted by artists working with written descriptions of the event long after its occurrence.54 It seems likely that engravings and drawings made for engravers also provided images for Francesco’s cassoni. Lucy Whitaker discusses the pen drawings in The Florentine Picture Chronicle as a unique “record of the use of and dependence on pattern book ideas,” reflecting artists’ working practice in the Florentine workshop of Baccio Baldini in the early 1470s.55 Drawings in the Picture Chronicle—for example, the chariot in the drawing of the Triumph of Joseph with its embellished circular platform, and the chariot in Proserpine and Pluto with its ornate columns and team of dragons—evoke the fantastical golden chariots of the women in the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs and may reflect the use of similar pattern book ideas.56 The Lucchese painter called the Stratonice Master, now identified as Michele Ciampanti, is thought to have trained in Siena during the early part of his career in the 1470s. Both Francesco di Giorgio and Liberale da Verona seem to have been important 52

di Giorgio Martini, ingénieur et dessinateur,” Revue de l’art 48 (1980):143; Iorio, “Paintings of Francesco di Giorgio,” 143; and Arthur Ewart Popham, Philip Pouncey, and John A. Gere, Italian Drawings in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum: The Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries (London: Trustees of the British Museum, 1950), 1:32–38. 52 For triumphal cassoni as reflections of contemporary spectacle, see Werner Weisbach, Trionfi (Berlin: G. Grotesche, 1919), 83. Baskins makes a valid critique of what she calls the “custom and costume paradigm,” inherited from Vasari, which grounds nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature on cassone painting; Baskins, “Lunga Pittura,” 8–63. See also the essays devoted to “The Triumphs and the Spectacle of Society” in Petrarch’s Triumphs: Allegory and Spectacle, ed. Eisenblicher and Ianucci, 349– 414. 53 Carandente, I Trionfi nel primo Rinascimento, 60. 54 An example would be a pair of cassoni, executed ca. 1452, that depict Alfonso I storming the city of Naples and his triumphal entry into the city, a staged triumphal procession all’antica that took place almost a decade earlier on 26 February 1443. See Ellen Callmann, “The Triumphal Entry into Naples of Alfonso I,” Apollo 109 (1979): 24–31. 55 Lucy Whitaker, “Maso Finiguerra, Baccio Baldini, and The Florentine Picture Chronicle,” in Florentine Drawing at the Time of Lorenzo the Magnificent, ed. Elizabeth Cropper (Bologna: Nuova Alfa Editoriale, 1994), 196. See also, Ellen Callmann, “Love Bound, a Sienese Desco,” in Mosaics of Friendship: Studies in Art and History for Eve Borsook, ed. Ornella Francisci Osti (Florence: Centro Di, 1999), 110– 11. Some of the Fine Manner engravings of the 1470s by Baccio Baldini seem to have connections to Sienese nuptial art. To what degree Sienese artists took images from Florentine engravings and to what degree Florentine graphic art took existing Sienese images and disseminated them is a subject for further study. Mechanical reproduction adds another dimension to an already complicated pattern of circulating images. See Patricia Rubin and Alison Wright, with Nicholas Penny, Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s (London: National Gallery Publications, 1999), 338–45. 56 Sidney Colvin, A Florentine Picture-Chronicle (London, 1898; repr., New York: B. Blom, 1970), pl. 16, 18, and 62. Colvin notes the many cassone subjects among the drawings.

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models for him. Luciano Bellosi argues that Michele Ciampanti participated in the production of the Metropolitan fragment of the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs (fig. 2).57 In Ciampanti’s spalliera painting The Rape of Proserpine (Private collection, Florence), dated 1470–75, Pluto’s ornate gilded chariot is very similar to those in The Florentine Picture Chronicle. Francesco is known to have based the composition of The Coronation of the Virgin, now in the Siena Pinacoteca Nazionale, on a niello print by Maso Finiguerra.58 It may be that the composition of the figures shooting arrows at a heart encircled by a wreath in a tree in the Milan panel of the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs recalls that of a Florentine copper engraving circulating ca. 1461– 64, The Fight for the Hose.59 This popular print depicts the farcical competition of many women vying for a few men: a group of women, some pulling at each other’s hands, stretch their arms upward toward a heart pierced by an arrow in a wreath, held just out of reach by two winged cupids. The use of this composition overlaid by the neo-Boccaccian amatory theme raises the issue of narrative irony in these cassoni. Sienese popular literature of the time provided subjects for painters that have later been interpreted as allegory. Caterina Badini has shown that Francesco di Giorgio’s manuscript illumination in the Biblioteca Nazionale, Florence, illustrates a popular poem celebrating the young Bianca Saracini Luti, a famous Sienese beauty.60 Weller discusses two drawings, first published as Francesco di Giorgio by Cesare Brandi, that he felt were used in preparation for cassoni. The sheet, in the Soprintendenza alle Belle Arti of Siena, depicts on one side a bearded man with ass’s ears, a table decorated with classic designs, and women seated or moving away, one of them balancing a book on the table surface; on the back of the sheet are two pairs of embracing lovers.61 Gustina Scaglia argued that these drawings were adaptations of youthful works of Francesco made by Guidoccio Cozzarelli but agreed that “their subjects might pertain to romance literature which then flourished in Siena, and they were perhaps meant for the decoration of cassone panels.” 57 Luciano Bellosi, “Il ‘vero’ Francesco di Giorgio e l’arte a Siena nella seconda metà del Quattrocento,” in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 62–64 and entries by Aldo Galli, 276–83, 524–25. Scaglia had attributed this drawing to Guidoccio Cozzarelli; Scaglia, Francesco di Giorgio, 70– 71. See also Maurizia Tazartes, “Nouvelles perspectives sur la peinture lucquoise du Quattrocento,” Revue de l’art 75 (1987): 30–31; and Maurizia Tazartes, “Anagrafe lucchese, II: Michele Ciampanti: Il Maestro di Stratonice?” Ricerche di storia dell’arte 26 (1985): 18–27. 58 John Pope-Hennessy, “Matteo di Giovanni’s Assumption Altarpiece,” in Proporzioni 3 (1950): 81–86; and Luciano Bellosi, “Il ‘vero’ Francesco di Giorgio,” 66–67. 59 John Goldsmith Phillips, Early Florentine Designers and Engravers (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1955), 55–56, pl. 66a, 66b (the latter is a German print by the Master of the Banderoles from which the Florentine print is adapted). Maso Finiguerra, who executed the engraving, collaborated with Antonio Pollaiuolo on the design. See Aby Warburg, “Artistic Exchanges between North and South in the Fifteenth Century,” in Renewal of Pagan Antiquity, 274–80, 468–69. The print is also reproduced in Colvin, Florentine Picture-Chronicle, fig. 107. 60 Caterina Badini, “Francesco di Giorgio e Liberale da Verona,” in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 262–64. 61 Weller, Francesco di Giorgio, 128–30. Weller (255) also argues that Francesco’s late drawing of Hippo in the Uffizzi was a study for a cassone painting (the subject was popular in Siena), but the suggestion that it may have been made for the kind of bronze relief Francesco was making in the Urbino period is compelling. See Palladino, “Francesco di Giorgio,” 86–87; and Cesare Brandi, “Disegni inediti di Francesco di Giorgio,” L’Arte 37 (1934): 45–57.

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She relates Cozzarelli’s drawing of two lovers, in the Netherlands Institute in Paris, to Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini’s Storia di due amanti.62 Such a drawing may have been adapted to illustrate more than one text. The pose of the figure at the right of the drawing, for example, is not unfamiliar from the seated figures in the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs. Francesco’s drawings were also copied and used by other artists in the realization of visual narratives. Toby Yuen established links between Francesco di Giorgio and Botticelli by comparing their drawings, arguing that Francesco’s style had influenced Botticelli’s illustrations of Dante.63 Later Sienese artists worked as copyists of Francesco’s designs. The Sienese Codex Palatino 767 in the Biblioteca Nazionale in Florence, which Scaglia dates to ca. 1480, contains copies of drawings from Francesco’s Opusculum de architectura and variants of machine complexes that are probably copied from some larger compilation of Francesco’s drawings; however there are twenty-one previously unknown drawings, including a “richly clothed fountain figure in female form.” Bellosi recognized this drawing as the model for the woman in the center of the standing group in the young man’s bedroom in the cassone painting of Antiochus and Stratonice in the Huntington Library (fig. 6) and attributes it to Michele Ciampanti. The collaboration of Francesco and Neroccio was enhanced and complicated by the presence in Siena of two other painters during the years of their formal partnership. The miniaturists Liberale da Verona and Girolamo da Cremona had come to Siena to illuminate choir books for Monte Oliveto Maggiore and for Siena’s cathedral. Both were working in Siena during the early 1470s, and the influence of Francesco, Neroccio, Liberale, and Girolamo on each other may be seen in a number of cassone paintings. Keith Christiansen argues that several “recurring motifs in the paintings of Liberale and Francesco di Giorgio suggest that between 1470 and 1475 the two artists were in close touch with each other, and it is not impossible that the cassone panels produced by Liberale at this time were contracted through Francesco di Giorgio, who seems otherwise to have had a near-monopoly on this sort of work.” Among these are Liberale’s Rape of Europa in the Louvre and the Rape of Helen in the Musée du Petit Palais (Avignon), which had been attributed to Girolamo. Two fragments of a cassone in the Metropolitan Museum, Scene from a Novella and The Chess Players (fig. 7), and a third fragment in Villa I Tatti (Settignano) are parts of a continuous panel, formerly thought to be by Francesco di Giorgio, and now attributed to Liberale da Verona. Christiansen links the figure types to Girolamo da Cremona; the costumes and table covering are imitated from Francesco, displaying sgraffito, the incising into the pigment of designs on clothing to reveal the underlying gold leaf, a favorite technique of Francesco’s.64 62 Much work has been done to differentiate Francesco’s designs from those of artists who copied his work and were influenced by him, especially Guidoccio Cozzarelli. See Gustina Scaglia, “Autour de Francesco di Giorgio Martini,” 7–25; Gustina Scaglia, Francesco di Giorgio; and B. Degenhart, “Francescos di Giorgio Entwicklung als Zeichner,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 4 (1935): 103–26. 63 Toby Yuen, “New Aspects of Botticelli’s Late Works: A Suggestion for the Dating of the Dante Illustration and Francesco di Giorgio’s Influence,” Marsyas (1964–65): 22–33. 64 Keith Christiansen, “Liberale da Verona,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 25, 294–98.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 6. Michele di Pietro Ciampanti, Detail of Antiochus and Stratonice, ca. 1470–75. Tempera on panel. Photo courtesy of the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, San Marino, California.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 7. Liberale da Verona,The Chess Players, ca. 1475. Tempera and gold on wood. Photo courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Maitland F. Griggs Collection, Bequest of Maitland F. Griffs, 1943 (43.98.8).

Whether an association was made formal by contract and whether Liberale worked in the same location as Francesco and Neroccio is not known, but the relation of Liberale to Neroccio was also close. A cassone in a private collection in Florence depicting The Story of Tobias, now attributed to Liberale, puzzled Fredericksen, who saw it “as a work of Francesco’s in which he is trying very hard to integrate details of Liberale’s manner into his own”; Carlo del Bravo, on the contrary, saw it as one of the last works Liberale made in Siena, ca. 1475–76, under the strong influence of Neroccio.65 The figure of Raphael on the far right of the Tobias panel is repeated as the figure of Virginius in Francesco’s cassone depicting The Death of Virginia in a private collection (among the earliest treatments of this subject in cassone 65

Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 23; and Carlo del Bravo, Liberale da Verona (Florence: Edizioni d’Arte Il Fiorino, 1967), cxviii. On the relationship of Liberale and Neroccio, especially the connection of Neroccio’s painting of Tobias and the Angel to Liberale’s miniature of the Liberation of Saint Peter in the Piccolomini Library in Siena, see Coor, Neroccio de’ Landi, 39–40.

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painting).66 The point is that there is no reason why all of these attributions should not be at least in part correct. The use and reuse of patterns, sometimes copied from drawings, sometimes figures developed by Neroccio, Francesco, or Liberale and copied by one or the other to try out a certain style, make identification of a single painter difficult and perhaps counterproductive. The persistence of patterns developed by Francesco or Liberale in emulation of each other’s styles may be seen in the circulation of a stock figure of a fleeing woman turning her head to look behind her, used by Francesco in his early masterpiece of domestic painting, the fragmentary Punishment of Psyche in the Berenson collection in I Tatti.67 This figure is seen again in Liberale’s Jesus Chased from the Temple in an illumination for a gradual in 1473, and again, around 1480, in the figure of Cloelia entering the gate of Rome in Guidoccio Cozzarelli’s cassone painting of The Legend of Cloelia in the Metropolitan Museum (New York). The cassone pair painted by Neroccio de’ Landi (North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh) depict episodes from Plutarch’s Life of Antony. Coor saw that the composition of Neroccio’s cassone painting The Visit of Cleopatra to Antony (fig. 5) had been previously used by Francesco di Giorgio in the cassone fragment in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 2). The first printed edition of a collection of the Lives appeared in Rome in 1470, and an edition was printed in Florence in the same year. Neroccio’s painting follows closely the description in Plutarch’s text: She herself reclined beneath a gold-embroidered canopy, adorned like a painting of Aphrodite, flanked by slave-boys, each made to resemble Eros, who cooled her with fans. Likewise her most beautiful female slaves, dressed as Nereids and Graces, were stationed at the rudders and the ropes…. Some people formed an escort for her on either side all the way from the river, while others came down from the city to see the spectacle. The crowd filling the city square trickled away, until at last Antony himself was left alone, seated on a dais.68

In Neroccio’s painting, a strikingly blonde Cleopatra is seated on a canopied, gilded throne, a scepter in her hand. The queen’s barge, its sail billowing in the wind, oars in the water, is filled with blonde female attendants in colorful patterned dresses, who do not seem to be closely minding the ropes and the rudders. It is steered not by slaves but by a small Cupid. At the left edge, Antony, crowned with a laurel wreath, sits on a carved throne, facing toward Cleopatra. His courtiers surge forward for a better look at her. Lively young women lean from the windows of the upper stories of the palace. The scene reflects what John Pope-Hennessy referred to as Neroccio’s “playful and essentially literary attitude to the antique.”69 The painter 66

Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 26; and Kanter, “Francesco di Giorgio,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 325. Andrea De Marchi describes The Death of Virginia as a workshop product in Bellosi, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinasimento a Siena, 242–43. 67 The subject of this fragment has been much debated, with some critics arguing that it depicts the rape of Helen. For a compelling argument that the subject is the punishment of Psyche, see Luisa Vertova, “Cupid and Psyche in Renaissance Painting Before Raphael,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 42 (1979): 104–21. 68 Plutarch, Roman Lives: A Selection of Eight Roman Lives, trans. Robin Waterfield (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), 383. 69 John Pope-Hennessy, Sienese Quattrocento Painting (Oxford: Phaidon Press, 1947), 22.

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translates Cleopatra’s arrival into the key of myth, as did the city residents to whom Plutarch alludes: “The notion spread throughout the city that Aphrodite had come in revelry to Dionysus, for the good of Asia.”70 Coor noted that the companion cassone, The Battle of Actium, has as its representational strategy the balancing of ships, the symmetry of oars, and the distancing strangeness of the shoreline, with Neroccio’s surprising admixture of northern Gothic architecture with Francesco di Giorgio’s characteristic round buildings. Neither the ship of Antony nor that of Cleopatra figures in the painting; Neroccio, Coor writes, “had no inclination to depict tragedy.”71 Although Neroccio was responding to a demand for specific details of Plutarch’s text, the treatment he gave to the antique subject suggests he was satisfying more than one of the patron’s interests. In the painting the humanistic and the courtly converge in what Charles Mitchell has called “the nostalgic cult of classical antiquity.”72 The patrons, of course, tell their own stories with these sumptuous objects. The most popular of all Sienese romances, Storie dei due amanti, completed in 1444 by the cosmopolitan “poet and imperial secretary” Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, takes place in Siena during a visit of the Emperor Sigismund. Aeneas Sylvius writes, “You will not hear the loves of Troy or Babylon, but of our own city.” Women on the streets of Siena, he claims, can easily be mistaken for those goddesses “whom Paris, we are told, saw in a dream.” Playing on the familiar appellation of Siena as the city of the Virgin, Aeneas Sylvius writes, “It is the city of Venus.” The author follows the literary model of ideal beauty delineated by Boccaccio in his portrait of Emilia in the Teseida, a story of tragic love at the court of Theseus. Aeneas Sylvius’s heroine Lucretia has long hair “the colour of beaten gold”; the author can scarcely describe “the beauty of her mind, the whiteness of her breast.”73 Such a literary ideal doubtless informs the representations on cassone paintings. The blonde women in all of these paintings evoke a particular ideal of feminine beauty that figures in popular Sienese literary fiction. But the ideal was also lived out in the visual representations of Sienese women. The manuscript illumination by Francesco di Giorgio, ca. 1473–74, in which a blonde young woman flies high in the sky over Siena, is an illustration of Benedetto da Cingoli’s poem in honor of a famous Sienese beauty, Bianca Saracina Luti. Badini has given a brilliant analysis of the illustration and its text, which, she argues, expresses the polymorphic enthusiasm of Boccaccio for mythological fables through the visionary narrative style of the Trionfi, articulating the local taste for the allegorical and the 70

Plutarch, Roman Lives, trans. Waterfield, 383. Coor, Neroccio de’ Landi, 29–31. Coor believed that by this time Neroccio had visited Verrocchio’s workshop in Florence and seen the work of the young Leonardo; but see Ellen Callman, Beyond Nobility: Art for the Private Citizen in the Early Renaissance (Allentown, PA: Allentown Art Museum, 1980), 10–12. 72 See Charles Mitchell’s introduction to A Fifteenth Century Italian Plutarch, British Museum Add. Ms. 22318 (London: Faber & Faber, 1961), 5–17 and pl. 1, a manuscript illumination depicting Cleopatra’s arrival. 73 Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, The Tale of the Two Lovers, trans. Flora Grierson (London: Constable, 1933), xvi, xx, 1, 3–4, 70. De Duobus Amantibus Historia was written in 1444, circulated in many manuscripts, and was first printed in 1468. See also Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Storia di due amanti (Palermo: Sellerio, 1985). 71

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fantastic, strongly influenced by Ovid.74 A contemporary Sienese woman, such as the one depicted in Neroccio’s Portrait of a Lady in the National Gallery (Washington DC) (fig. 8), achieved this poetic ideal of pale skin by using the milk of asses, sulfur, and sublimate. Their hair approached “the colour of beaten gold” only after “bleaching…hair in the sun, washing and drying, washing and drying again…and not even in a private place, but in the squares To view this image, please refer to the and streets,” a practice denounced print version of this book. in a sermon by the famous Sienese preacher San Bernardino.75 These images of contemporary Sienese beauties help scholars see anew the plethora of blonde women in the cassoni of Francesco di Giorgio and his collaborators. Francesco’s patrons were refashioning stories and imprinting their own images back onto them. They were using the visual stories in an elaborate process of self-fashioning, which collapsed Fig. 8. Neroccio de’Landi, Portrait of a Lady, ca. 1490. Tempera on the boundaries between an imagpanel. Photo courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington inary ancient past and what they DC, Widener Collection. wanted others to imagine about their present. This essay has argued that the cassone paintings associated with Francesco di Giorgio show the richly complicated collaborative process by which they were created, which by the very nature of its plurality does not lend itself to being dissected for one painter, one author, or even one narrative. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in a cassone painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum, which is generally thought to depict The Story of Paris (fig. 9). Most scholars have considered it the work of Francesco. On the left is the 74 Badini, “Francesco di Giorgio e Liberale da Verona,” 262–64. Pia Palladino discusses this manuscript illustration in connection with a manuscript portrait by Francesco of the Sienese preacher San Bernardino; Palladino, Treasures of a Lost Art: Italian Manuscript Painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2003), 154–55. See also Carl Brandon Strehlke, review of exhibition, Francesco di Giorgio e il Rinascimento a Siena, 502. 75 Quoted in Keith Christiansen, “Liberale da Verona,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 294–98.

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Fig. 9. Francesco di Giorgio,The Story of Paris, ca. 1469–75. Tempera on panel. Photo courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

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judgment of Paris. Athena and Hera look on as Aphrodite takes the apple from an apparently indifferent Paris, whose head turns away from the scene. Paris is dressed in armor rather than as a shepherd. The center of the panel is dominated by an exuberant female figure in the guise of a huntress; a pen of animals appears in the background, incongruously referring to Paris’s occupation as a shepherd, although he is not dressed for the role. In the next scene toward the right, the figure appears again gazing up at the mounted Paris and at the far right, a city, perhaps Troy, glows red. This scene would seem to be the rape of Helen, but the scenario is puzzling. It contains none of the emotion of the more familiar scene, in which a resistant Helen is brought to a waiting ship, as for example in the dramatic cassone painting of the subject by Liberale da Verona made during this period in Siena and now in the Louvre. The sea is nowhere in sight. Nor is Helen usually depicted as a huntress, a fact that has led to the suggestion that the figure is Paris’s wife, the nymph Oenone, whom Ovid portrays as a huntress in the Heroides, and that the scene represented is Oenone’s farewell to Paris. The female figure gazes longingly upward at the armored Paris on horseback with a pathos that could easily evoke the soon-to-be abandoned wife.76 The exchange of letters between Helen and Paris in Ovid’s Heroides likely affected the extended treatment of the meeting of Paris and Helen in the immensely popular Historia Destructionis Troiae by Guido delle Colonne (1287). The principal vehicle for transmitting the medieval Troy story to later readers, Guido’s Historia portrayed Helen’s abduction as a scene of seduction rather than forcible removal. This way of telling the story was taken up by some artists of the 1460s and 1470s, for example in the pen drawing in The Florentine Picture Chronicle, in which an elegantly clothed Paris and Helen are shown departing arm in arm from the Temple of Venus, “since she was animated by consent rather than dissent,” as Guido wrote.77 As Priam’s court debates whether to raid Sparta, Paris discloses a dream he had. At the end of a day of hunting, he chased a deer that led him into a grove and vanished. He fell asleep and dreamed the encounter with Mercury and the three goddesses; his choice of Venus assures that he “will carry away from Greece a very noble woman, more beautiful than Venus herself.” In trecento northern Italian manuscripts of Guido’s work, Paris sleeps while his dream vision is represented as taking place beside him. The Paris figure on the Getty cassone is part of a pictorial tradition not much changed from the sleeping Paris of the Guido manuscript now in Madrid in the Biblioteca National (17805 fol. 38), among the earliest surviving representations of the judgment of Paris in medieval art.78 The deployment of this traditional pattern of the sleeping Paris without the corresponding scene of the alert Paris rendering his judgment gives an odd effect of languor to the scene in the cassone painting. Here the dreamer and his vision seem 76 Ovid, The Heroides, V.17–20. For a discussion of the iconographic anomalies, see Fredericksen, Catalogue of the Paintings, 16; and Fredericksen, Cassone Paintings, 33–34. 77 Guido delle Colonne, Historia Destructionis Troiae, trans. with intro. by Mary Elizabeth Meek (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1974), xi–xii, xxiii, 65–78. See also, Colvin, Florentine PictureChronicle, pl. 58. 78 See Hugo Buchthal, Historia Troiana: Studies in the History of Mediaeval Secular Illustration (London: Warburg Institute, 1971), 37–39 and pl. 34a.

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one and the same. His golden armor is no more appropriate for a hunting expedition than the court costume with its embroidery worn by the Paris of the trecento manuscript, but it is an appropriate development of the manuscript tradition. Both refer back to Guido’s scene in Priam’s court where the royal Paris recounts his dream. To complicate matters further, in the central scene of the cassone painting of The Story of Paris, the artists have followed another tradition of the rape of Helen, articulated in a second-century poem and summarized by Photios, the patriarch of Constantinople, in his Biblioteca in the ninth century. In this version of the story, Helen is abducted while hunting. Photios writes, “Some authors say that Helen was carried off by Paris while she was hunting on the Mount of the Virgin. Struck by his beauty, she followed him like a god.”79 The figure in Francesco’s painting evokes a cluster of textual associations. Helen, dressed as a huntress, becomes a Venus Venatrix—Venus masquerading as Diana. The scene in the Aeneid in which Aeneas meets Venus disguised as a huntress is a classic model: “She had hung / About her shoulders the light, handy bow / A huntress carries, and had given her hair / To the disheveling wind”;80 perhaps Virgil’s huntress influenced the secondcentury poet who described the abduction of Helen as she was hunting. To depict this figure, Francesco di Giorgio turned to a stock pattern, used at least three other times during the early 1470s. The woman with the bow in the cassone painting of The Story of Paris has stepped out of the same pattern book as the archer at the right of the composition in the Milan panel of the Cassoni of the Two Triumphs.81 It is not simply the violation of the customary landscape that confuses viewers and forces them to tease out strands of the narrative that might satisfy them. The pattern book figure seems to pull away from its figurative status and to announce itself as a pattern, simultaneously constituting and unraveling the visual narrative.

79

Photius, Bibliothèque, ed. and trans. René Henry (Paris: Les Belles-Lettres, 1962), 3:59–60. See also, Helene Homeyer, Die Spartanische Helena und der Trojanische Krieg: Wandlungen und Wanderungen eines Sagenkreises vom Altertum bis zur Gegenwart, Palingenesia 12 (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GMBH, 1977), 58–59. 80 Virgil,The Aeneid, trans. Fitzgerald, bk. 1, lines 318–19, p. 14–15. 81 The pattern is used in the manuscript illumination depicting Bianca Saracina Luti discussed above, in the altarpiece of The Coronation of the Virgin (Pinacoteca Nationale, Siena), and in the cassone painting of the Two Triumphs (Rita Carminati Collection, Milan).

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Ambrogio Spannocchi’s “Bella Casa” Creating Site and Setting in Quattrocento Sienese Architecture

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On 30 January 1476, the Sienese banker Piero Turamini wrote to the Florentine Benedetto Dei: Ambrogio Spannocchi has built a notable palace with a marvellous façade on the Strada Romana, next to the Palazzo Salimbeni. It has been designed by a Florentine, and work on it is still underway. It is considered a beautiful thing and is said to have cost him more than 15,000 florins.1

It is clear from these comments that a number of factors were significant in the patronage choices made by Ambrogio Spannocchi when he began acquiring the necessary land to “build a beautiful house” in Siena in the late 1460s.2 Spannocchi chose to build in a prominent, central site in the city, adjacent to the enclave and palace of one of the medieval city’s most important noble families, using a magnificent palace design, provided by a Florentine architect and constructed at considerable cost. While Giuliano da Maiano’s design of the Palazzo Spannocchi is now unquestioned in the scholarship, Ambrogio Spannocchi’s other choices regarding the careful selection of a site and the construction of a magnificent structure on it have not previously been considered.3 1

My special thanks go to Georgia Clarke for her supervision of the thesis and careful reading of this text. Material for this article is drawn from chapter 3 of my unpublished PhD thesis; Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Urbanism in Siena (ca. 1450–1512). Policy and Patrons: Interactions Between Public and Private” (PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1998). This paper also develops themes presented as papers given at the Courtault Institute of Art in 1996 and the College Art Association Conference, Toronto, in 1998. This article was completed in July 2000 and has remained unchanged since; consequently it does not take account of recent bibliography or of my own more recent work. Currency in Siena in the 1470s: 1 florin was worth 4 Sienese lire, 1 ducat was worth 5 Sienese lire. Translations are my own unless otherwise noted. 1 ASF, Conventi Soppressi, Badia di Firenze, Familiarum, VI, no. 317 [nuovo] fol. 245v, as quoted in Cornelius von Fabriczy, “Giuliano da Maiano in Siena,” Jahrbuch der Königlich Preussischen Kunstsammlungen 24 (1903): 320–34. On Pietro Turamini, see ASS, Lira, 57, fol. 23v (1453) and on his heirs, see ASS, Lira, 185, fol. 143 (1481). 2 Scipione Borghesi and Luciano Banchi, eds., Nuovi documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena: E. Torrini, 1898), 242–43. See also Ferruccio Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” in La sede storica del Monte dei Paschi, ed. Ferruccio Guerrieri (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1988), 64. 3 See Francesco Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano: “Grandissimo domestico” (Rome: Officina, 1996), 243–58. This essay expands initial comments on the site of the palace presented in Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “‘Per Ornato della Città’: Siena’s Strada Romana and Fifteenth-century Urban Renewal,” Art Bulletin 82 (2000): 26–50.

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By the time Spannocchi had his palace built in Siena, his native city was involved in a policy-led renewal of its urban core, and in particular of the buildings that lined the main city street, the Strada Romana.4 Specific policies aimed at improving the urban fabric—the application of which was encouraged and enforced by a newly founded committee called the Ufficiali sopra all’ornato—led to the widespread restoration of buildings, the construction of new palaces and churches, and the removal of cantilevered balconies from buildings facing the Strada Romana.5 Thus, legislative measures encouraged and indeed assisted in the architectural transformation of Siena’s more public streets, resulting in the “great beautification of the whole city and satisfaction of all its citizens.”6 Since the fourteenth century, when a series of laws had been introduced to regulate the form of the city’s main square, the Piazza del Campo, and of the façades of buildings fronting onto it, the Sienese Comune had expressed a marked concern for the collective appearance of its public spaces.7 Fifteenth-century documentary and physical evidence suggests that improvements were directed at renewing the major streets, spreading outwards from the centrally placed civic center of the Piazza del Campo. The innovative approach of offering public subsidies to architectural patrons involved in the process assured a broad base of participation in the campaign aimed at improving the prestige of the Strada Romana. The government’s interest in favoring architectural renewal can be explained in a number of ways: improvement of the city’s main street provided a more fitting setting for ritual events, while on a more mundane level, pilgrims and merchants, on whom luxury retailers relied for business, frequently traveled the main street.8 Above all, it would seem that the Sienese considered the Strada a vital asset for the transmission of civic pride and identity, as it was the street “along which foreigners pass, who praise the entire city.”9 4

This urban renewal is analysed in Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” 30–34 and appendix table. See also Petra Pertici, La città magnificata: Interventi edilizi a Siena nel Quattocento (Siena: il Leccio, 1995); and Patrizia Turrini, ‘Per honore et utile de la città di Siena’: Il comune e l’edilizia nel Quattrocento (Siena: Tipografia senese, 1997). 5 The office of the Ornato is described in Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Urbanism in Siena (ca. 1450– 1512). Policy and Patrons: Interactions Between Public and Private” (PhD diss., Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1998). See also Pertici, La città magnificata, 63–64. A number of records documenting the Ornato officials’ interventions in Siena survive in ASS, Concistoro, 2125 (listed and partially transcribed in Pertici, La città magnificata, 65–141). 6 ASS, Concistoro, 2125, fol. 78 (January 1468); and Pertici, La città magnificata, 106. 7 For legislation on street mainentance, see Donatella Ciampoli and Thomas Szabó, eds., Viabilità e legislazione di uno stato cittadino del Duecento: Lo statuto dei viarii di Siena (Siena: Accademia degli intronati, 1992). On the Piazza del Campo, see Wolfgang Braunfels, Mitteralterliche Stadtbaukunst in der Toskana (Berlin: Gebr. Mann, 1953), 155–56, 250, docs. 1–2; and Alessandro Lisini, ed., Il constituto del comune di Siena volgarizzato nel 1309–10 (Siena, 1903), 2:27. More generally, see Sprio Kostof, The City Shaped: Urban Patterns and Meanings Through History (Boston: Little, Brown, 1991), 10, 52–69. 8 See Nevola, “‘Per Ornato della Città’”; and David Friedman, “Monumental Urban Form in the Late Medieval Italian Communes: Loggias and the Mercanzie of Bologna and Siena,” Renaissance Studies 12 (1998): 330–31, 336–37. 9 ASS, Concistoro, 2125, fol. 47 (25 February 1466); and Pertici, La città magnificata, 93. For an assessment of Siena’s urban identity as expressed by architecture and sculpture on the Strada, see Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Revival or Renewal: Defining Civic Identity in Fifteenth-century Siena,” in Shaping Urban Identity in Late Medieval Europe:The Use of Space and Images, ed. Marc Boone and Peter Stabel (Leuven: Garant, 2000), 109–35.

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Siena’s redevelopment of its main street during the fifteenth century was not unique, although the means adopted to achieve this end were. In cities throughout Italy, central and major thoroughfares were transformed by the construction of prominent churches and palaces, which led to the creation of what Howard Saalman called “palace streets.” Yet as Saalman noted, while certain streets were preferred sites for private palaces, few patrons actually had the choice of building in such privileged locations, since property prices, familial ties to specific neighborhoods and sites, and land shortage on main streets prevented many from moving to these central locations.10 Nonetheless, the desire to impress and to improve the public realm through the construction of prominent residences resulted in what Charles Burroughs has identified as the development of “façade architecture,” which projected private values onto the public setting. So then, two differing and potentially contrasting objectives operated in the redefinition of the urban scenery of central spaces in many Italian cities. On the one hand, individuals set out to express their taste and values in the architectural choices adopted for their residences, while on the other, city governments and rulers sought to develop a message from the collective effect of private interventions.11 In Siena, where urban renewal policies were aimed at the integral renovation of the Strada Romana, private and public initiative came together to create a showcase palace street along the central portion of this thoroughfare. Lined with largely private façades, the Strada was nonetheless the city’s main artery, leading to its religious and political heart. Thus private magnificence was both harnessed and tempered in order to serve the goals of civic pride and urban self-fashioning. Ambrogio Spannocchi’s residence in Siena, a private palace developed on the city’s main street, provides an interesting example of the resolution of conflicting public and private interests.

SELECTION AND ACQUISITION OF THE SITE In August 1475, Cardinal Giacomo Ammannati Piccolomini wrote to his friend Cardinal Francesco Gonzaga, describing the “Ambrosianae domus”—that is, the Palazzo Spannocchi—as being so “wide, large, and magnificent that it outstrips both yours and mine. Its outer appearance is that of a royal palace; the interior is

10

Howard Saalman, “The Transformation of the City in the Renaissance: Florence as Model,” Annali di Architettura 2 (1990): 79–80. On family ties to neighborhood and architecture, see F. W. Kent, “‘Più superba di quella di Lorenzo’: Courtly and Family Interest in the Building of Filippo Strozzi’s Palace,” Renaissance Quarterly 30 (1977): 311–24; and Brenda Preyer, “The ‘chasa overo palagio’ of Alberto di Zanobi: A Florentine Palace of about 1400 and its Later Remodeling,” Art Bulletin 65 (1983): 396–400. 11 Charles Burroughs, “The Building’s Face and the Herculean Paradigm: Agendas and Agency in Roman Renaissance Architecture,” Res 23 (1993): 9. Burroughs (14–21) also notes the difficulty of controlling architectural choices of private individuals. The opposite has been argued by Christine Smith, Architecture in the Culture of Early Humanism (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 98– 129. A politicized reading of this problem has been suggested in relation to the Strada Nuova by George L. Gorse, “A Classical Stage for the Old Nobility: The Strada Nuova and Sixteenth-century Genoa,” Art Bulletin 79 (1997): 301–5. The civic value of the Siena’s Strada Roman development is developed in Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” 45–46.

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richly appointed and so spacious that it is in no way different from a royal palace.”12 Read together with Turamini’s comments regarding the palace’s beautiful and prominently placed façade, one is left in no doubt that Spannocchi’s palace made a significant impact on the Strada. Such was the effect of Spannocchi’s choices that while the Comune at first supported construction of the palace, they appear to have raised some obstacles in the later stages of construction, perhaps to reduce the building’s otherwise dominating effect on the street. Clearly, while the Comune desired that the Strada should become a privileged setting for architecture, they did not want the collective effect of this showcase area to be overwhelmed by the patronage choices of a single private citizen. The Spannocchi family were landowners from Spannocchia, a fortified village some ten miles west of Siena, who had moved to Siena during the thirteenth century.13 As a “new” family to the city, they had settled in the recently developed district of San Salvatore in the Terzo di Città, southeast of the Palazzo Pubblico, where they remained until the early fifteenth century. At that time Nanni di Ambrogio Spannocchi moved to the district of San Donato, centrally located in the Terzo di Camollia.14 Nanni di Ambrogio married Andrea di Pietro Boccacci in 1397 and had three sons, of whom Ambrogio di Nanni Spannocchi (born ca. 1415–20) was the only one to reach maturity. Ambrogio Spannocchi grew up to be one of the wealthiest and most successful bankers in Rome, and consequently in Italy, in the third quarter of the fifteenth century.15 In 1435, following the death of his father (1433), he took his inheritance and left Siena, even though he appears never to have abandoned his citizenship and continued to file tax returns to this end.16 By 1453, he had traveled extensively in Italy and Catalonia, visiting relatives who had settled in Ferrara and Bologna and going to Venice, Rome, and Naples in order to develop his skills in the banking business. In 1453, his Sienese tax report was submitted by his cousin, Ambrogio di Giacomo, who stated that Spannocchi was working in Naples and running a bank in Rome, where he also lived. By this time, he was in the service of the papacy, as he was involved in financing the papal fleet constructed for Calixtus III. He also acted as Siena’s ambassador at the papal court at his own personal expense.17 In 1458, Ambrogio Spannocchi profited from the advantages offered by the election 12

Jacopo [Giacomo] Ammannati Piccolomini, Epistolae et Commentarii Jacobi Piccolomini Cardinalis Papiensis (Milan, 1506), fol. 301v (14 August 1475). Cornelius von Fabriczy misunderstood this as a letter from Gonzaga; Fabriczy, “Giuliano da Maiano,” 320–24. Francesco Quinterio also misidentified the sender; Quinterio, Giuliano da Maiano, 255 n. 17. More recently, see Jacopo [Giacomo] Ammannati Piccolomini, Lettere (1444–79), ed. Paolo Cherubini (Rome: Ministero per i beni culturali e ambientali. Ufficio centrale per i beni archivistici, 1997), 3:1989. 13 Ubaldo Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi: Piccoli proprietari terrieri, artigiani, piccoli, medi e grandi mercanti-banchieri,” in Studi in memoria di Federigo Melis (Naples: Giannini, 1978), 3:91. 14 Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:91, 96. That the former was an area for “novi cives senenses” is discussed in Duccio Balestracci and Gabriella Piccinni, Siena nel Trecento: Assetto urbano e strutture edilizie (Florence: Clusf, 1977), 31. 15 Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:99–109. 16 Membership of Siena’s tax lists was synonymous with citizenship; see Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” 56–58. 17 Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:97–108; and ASS, Lira, 147, fol. 188. Ambrogio claimed tax discounts for expenses accrued “per onorare la sua città.”

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to the papacy of his compatriot, Pius II (Piccolomini), who appointed him joint Depositario of the papal Camera.18 Although the years of the Piccolomini pontificate were successful ones for Spannocchi, he lost favor under Pius’s successor, the Venetian Paul II Barbo (1464–71). He then reached the apex of his career under Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471–84), who nominated him papal treasurer in 1471.19 It was around this time that Spannocchi began the acquisition of a site in Siena on which to construct a palace. While archival sources are scant for the actual construction of the palace, a series of published and unpublished documents make it possible to reconstruct the process by which Ambrogio Spannocchi assembled the necessary property for his new residence (fig. 1).20 As Turamini and Cardinal Ammannati Piccolomini noted, the palace site was as remarkable as the architectural design adopted for it. It is all too easy to assume that the issue of site is subsidiary to the architectural style, but it is important to evaluate the implications of the placement of buildings. Spannocchi’s case reveals the difficulty facing patrons who wished to build in central city locations, and shows his diligence in pursuing his aim to construct a palace in a visible and significant location, at the heart of his hometown and in the vicinity of his birthplace. In October 1473, Spannocchi wrote about his decision to build, stating that, “having returned to Your [the Comune’s] city, and by the grace of God having earned some money, he decided to build a beautiful house for the glory of the city and of himself, in spite of his age.”21 It is not certain what drove Spannocchi to select the site he developed for the new palace, or “casa bella,” as both he and the Ornato officials referred to the palace project.22 Certainly, the fact that his father had lived there must have played some part in the decision, although his declaration of “expenses for the rent of his house” in the district of San Donato in a tax declaration of 1467 indicates that he was not a property owner in the area.23 Ubaldo Morandi suggested that following Spannocchi’s wedding in 1460 to the Sienese Cassandra Trecerchi, his visits to Siena for familial reasons became more frequent; it is also known that he had relatives living in the San Donato a Montanini area, on the corner of the Strada Romana and Vallerozzi.24 Spannocchi’s 18

A papal bull from the day after the pope’s nomination named Ambrogio Spannocchi, with the Neapolitan Alessandro Miraballi, Depositary of the Camera (ASS, Spannocchi, Diplomatico Spannocchi, 4 September 1458). 19 Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:103. 20 Gaetano Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese (Siena: Onorato Porri, 1854–56), 2:345– 46 (21 May 1471); Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43; Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 64 (selected references only); and unpublished documents from ASS, Spannocchi, discussed below. 21 ASS, Concistoro, 2185, fol. 146 (21 October 1473); and Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43: “de la Vostra città tornato, e per grazia di Dio con qualche guadagno, deliberò per gloria della città e suo, intanto, benché sia vecchio, fare una casa bella.” 22 Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43; and Milanesi, Documenti, 2:345–46 (21 May 1471). 23 ASS, Lira, 173, fol. 10 (1467): “spesa fia pigione di chasa, salari di famegli, fanti e fantesche fl c l’anno.” 24 Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:107. See ASS, Lira, 147, fol. 131 for 1453 declaration of a house in “San Donato al lato della chiesa” by Ambrogio di Iacomo Spannocchi (value 400 florins); repeated in ASS, Lira, 173, fol. 11; 1467 and fol. 137 for Bartolomeo di Giorgio Spannocchi (400 florins). Living XXXXX

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choices were thus probably influenced by a number of factors. First among them must have been the desire to build in a prominent location, tempered with a sense of developing a family identity indicated by erecting his palace near his relatives. Nonetheless, as in most Italian cities, centrally located properties were difficult to acquire, and Ambrogio Spannocchi’s selection of a site was largely governed by the availability of real estate. In Siena, prime sites for prominently located residential properties were limited to the Piazza del Campo and a few central streets, among which perhaps the most visible was the central section of the Strada Romana—the Via dei Banchi. Availability of property in these locations was further limited by the fact that most land belonged to Siena’s older families, few of which were willing to relinquish control of such properties.25 It is thus all the more remarkable that Ambrogio Spannocchi was able to acquire the ample site necessary for the construction of his palace. Faced by these difficulties, Spannocchi shrewdly identified the Salimbeni family as a large property owner whose economic and political problems made them, as demonstrated below, sufficiently vulnerable targets of a large-scale acquisition campaign. As early as 11 October 1468, Spannocchi’s procurator and Sienese branch manager, Costantino di Antonio Nini, acting on behalf of his absent employer, acquired a “casalino da torre” (house with a tower) from Tommaso di Marciano Allegretti for 68 florins; it was located near the Arco de Rossi, facing the “via publica comunis” (the Strada Romana) and backing onto San Pietro a Ovile (fig. 1).26 This transaction was followed by a series of acquisitions during the months leading up to March 1470 in the area around the Arco dei Rossi and along the Via dei Rossi, which leads to the church of San Francesco.27 As late as October 1473, some months after the palace construction had begun, Nini mediated the purchase of a site near the Arco dei Rossi from Francesco di Tancredi di Angiolo.28 The area involved in these early acquisitions was considerably farther down the Strada than the present palazzo and suggests Ambrogio Spannocchi’s possible intention to mount a grandiose campaign to buy up and create an entire insula for the palace. As one can see in the map, this original area was bounded by the Salimbeni palace, the Strada Romana, Via dei Rossi, and Vicolo Spannocchi (as it later came to be known) (fig. 1).29 Spannocchi had declared rented property near the

25

outside the district in 1453 were: ASS Lira 147, fols. 192 and 265 (Porta all’Arco) and fol. 83 (Pantaneto). 25 Gabriella Piccinni, “Modelli di organizzazione dello spazio urbano dei ceti dominanti del Tre e Quattrocento. Considerazioni senesi,” in I ceti dirigenti nella Toscana tardo comunale, ed. Donatella Rugiandinim (Florence: F. Papafava, 1983), 221–36. 26 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 7. 27 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 9 (26 February 1470): house and bottega from Ambrogio di Tofo Salimbeni; Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 64; ASS, Spannocchi, A7, fol. 20 (27 July 1469): bottega from Giovanni Giovannetti for 20 florins; fol. 49 (26 February 1469): house from Ambrogio di Giovanni Salimbeni; fol. 50 (20 February 1470): house near Arco from Tommaso di Mariano Allegretti for 100 florins; fol. 82 (1 March 1470): house in San Pietro Ovile di Sopra from Antonio da Asciano for 260 florins. 28 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 12, (6 October 1473); and Guerrieri, “‘Vicende architettoniche,” 64: “confinante da due lati con i beni di Ambrogio davanti con la via publica e dall’altro con un vicolo” (cost 700 florins). 29 A narrow alley eventually provided access to the rear of the Palazzo Spannocchi, as shown in XXX

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book. Fig. 1. Map showing the site created for the Palazzo Spannocchi (dotted lines indicate archways or tunnels). Map by Yanel de Angel.

Arco dei Rossi in his 1467 tax return, and so it seems probable that the initial plans for a palace intended developing that site further. His considerable expenditure for the Arco dei Rossi properties, which amounted to as much as 1,200 florins, suggests his serious intention to build in that area.30 Moreover, Spannocchi continued to live in the Arco dei Rossi area while the palace project was underway, as is demonstrated by the several property transactions in the 1470s (and his 1471 will) that were executed in “his house in the Terzo di Camollia, near the Arco dei Rossi.” It is impossible to tell, however, if this was the same house he had rented in 1467.31 Nonetheless, the palace was eventually built 100 meters farther north, where more land must have become available, while some of the Arco dei Rossi properties were instead used to relocate owners of sites required for the palace. 30

documents from a property dispute of 1725, when it was decribed as “ad unico oggetto di servire detto palazzo.” See ASS, Spannocchi, A9, no. 17. 30 1,200 florins if ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 12 is included. 31 ASS Spannocchi, A2, no. 1: “Testamento di Ambogio di Nanni Spannocchi dei Piccolomini (1471),” fol. 4v. In his tax declaration of 1467 (ASS, Lira, 173, fol. 11) Ambrogio Spannocchi declared rent for his residence in the district.

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By May 1471, plans for the location of the palace had evidently changed, as an Ornato petition described the site of the planned palace as both “north of the Arco dei Rossi” and “in front of the house which he [Ambrogio Spannocchi] acquired from Neri di messer Neri [Salimbeni].”32 The document marks a transitional moment in the acquisitions campaign, as the site in question could simply have been intended to complete the creation of an insula by extending as far as the Palazzo Salimbeni. However, a new series of acquisitions beginning in March 1472 indicate a firm shift away from the Arco and towards the Salimbeni enclave. By July 1472, Spannocchi spent 600 florins for new properties: a “palazzotto” purchased in March from a Salimbeni consortium represented by Lucio di Niccolò Salimbeni, and two other properties purchased from other Salimbeni family members by July 1472.33 All were in the vicinity of the Palazzo Salimbeni; the largest, acquired from Neri di Neri Salimbeni in July 1472, is described in great detail in a sale contract drawn up with Costantino Nini.34 The move to buy land in the Salimbeni enclave was not accidental. The Salimbeni had led an unsuccessful coup against the Comune in 1403, which resulted in the exile of numerous Salimbeni family members and the confiscation by the Comune of much of their property, including the family palace in 1419. Neri Salimbeni was a key member of the coup; he was decapitated in 1404 while his son, Neri di Neri, was still in his mother’s womb.35 Weakened by exile and expropriation, only three Salimbeni families were recorded in the 1453 tax declarations. It is likely that Spannocchi’s decision to move into the space of the Salimbeni consorteria was in part encouraged by the family’s financial weakness, which made them easy targets of an acquisition campaign.36 In spite of their recent misfortunes, the Salimbeni had been one of Siena’s oldest and most powerful families, and their massive castellare was one of the largest private palaces in fourteenth-century Siena. It seems probable that Ambrogio Spannocchi’s choice of site was therefore also influenced by the desire to appropriate part of the image of nobility and prestige that surrounded the Salimbeni and their enclave.37 32 For the eventual site, see ASS, Concistoro, 2185, fol. 146 (21 October 1473); and Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43. For Neri reference, see CG, 238, fol. 289; and Milanesi, Documenti, 2:345–46 (21 May 1471). Boundaries between the city districts of San Pietro a Ovile di Sopra and San Donato are unclear. 33 ASS, Spannocchi, A7 (7 March 1471, Sienese style) for 350 florins; ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 40 (25 November 1471): three-quarters of a house next to Palazzo Salimbeni from Tommaso di Simone for 1050 lire; and ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 11 (29 July 1472): series of rooms from Neri di Neri Salimbeni; Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 64. 34 For the contract see ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 11 (29 July 1472). On price judges for the sale approved by the Mercanzia, see ASS, Particolari famiglie senesi 178, “Spannocchi,” (17 August 1472). 35 Exile and expropriation procedures are still unclear; Christine Shaw suggests that exiles did not suffer expropriation but that rebels did; Shaw, The Politics of Exile in Renaissance Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 112–16. See Turrini, Per honore, 87–97, 129–31; and Randolph Starn, A Contrary Commonwealth: The Theme of Exile in Medieval and Renaissance Italy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982), esp. 108–19. Neri di Neri Salimbeni was born 23 April 1404, see Turrini, Per honore, 129. 36 Only three Salimbeni were taxed in 1453: ASS, Lira, 136, fol. 30 (Casato di Sopra); 148, fol. 158 (San Donato Chiesa); and 145, fol. 189 (San Pietro Ovile di Sopra). They were taxed a total of 10,900 lire (9,050 of that from Neri di Neri). 37 Alessandra Carniani, I Salimbeni, quasi una signoria (Siena: Protagon, 1995); and Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 17–24, 58.

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By the mid-fifteenth century, the wealthiest Salimbeni was Neri di Neri who, as his father’s sole surviving heir, was also the largest property owner around the family castellare. He, too, had been involved in conflicts with the Comune since the 1440s regarding portions of family property that had still belonged to them after 1404. These conflicts reveal an evident lack of clarity concerning the precise ownership of land in the Salimbeni enclave.38 In a July 1472 contract, Neri di Neri Salimbeni was offered a parcel of property behind the Strada Romana (“nel popolo di San Pietro a Ovile”) in return for half his palace on the “strada pubblica di Camollia” and a sum to be established by price judges.39 This exchange involved losing access to his house from the Strada as well as his ceding a series of quarters, including stables and half a cistern, at the rear of his property. Ambrogio Spannocchi compensated for these inconveniences by giving Salimbeni access to the main street from “the door which looks out on the upper side of that small palace, towards the Palazzo Salimbeni.”40 Examination of the palace site as it stands reveals the probable location of this access in the otherwise inexplicable recessed joint between the Palazzo Spannocchi and the Rocca Salimbeni (fig. 1).41 It seems quite likely that the sale was made against Salimbeni’s wishes, as he in fact refused to comply with the contract and also refused to leave his house, so that on 25 August 1472, Spannocchi went to the Mercanzia (the city’s commercial court) claiming that Salimbeni had reneged on their agreement.42 As Sienese statutes did not allow forced sales and expropriation during this period, it is apparent that Spannocchi acted heavy-handedly in the pursuit of his acquisition aims. Both the use of price judges, in itself unusual in Sienese property sales, and the fact that in later documents Neri di Neri Salimbeni stressed the role of peer pressure in making the 1472 agreement, confirm that he was the unwilling victim of Spannocchi’s grandiose palace plans.43 Moreover, Spannocchi provided Salimbeni with alternative accommodation (in the form of properties that Spannocchi had bought from Ambrogio di Tofo Salimbeni in February 1470), further supporting the possibility that Salimbeni was subjected to a forced sale for the sake of the palace project.44 Such a practice was rare in Siena, but Spannocchi’s attitudes toward creating a site and building a palace in Siena may have been informed by his firsthand experience of Pius II’s Pienza expropriations, which included the use of price judges and relocation of the owners of expropriated property.45 Contemporary 38

Property conflicts are documented in Turrini, Per honore, 129–31. ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 11 (29 July 1472); named price judges are Marco di Francesco Benizi and maestro Bartolomeo, maestro di legame. 40 “La porta che riesce dalla parte di sopra del detto palazzetto verso il palazzo dei Salimbeni.” ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 11. 41 This part of the palace was affected, but not altered, in Partini’s nineteenth-century “restoration.” See Massimo Marini, “Trasformazioni urbane ed architetture a Siena nella seconda metà del XIX secolo,” in Siena tra purismo e liberty, ed. Bernardina Sani (Milan: Mondadori, 1988), 266–86; and M. Cristina Buscioni, ed., Giuseppe Partini: Architetto del purismo senese (Florence: Electa, 1981), 154–56. 42 ASS, Particolari famiglie senesi, 178, “Spannocchi,” (17 August 1472). 43 Neri di Neri Salimbeni refers to the fact that he had “been encouraged by many citizens to do as Ambrogio desired” in ASS, CG, 236, fol. 239–40 (16 April 1476). 44 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 9 (26 February 1470). See also ASS, Particolari famiglie senesi, 178. 45 ASS, Concistoro, 564, fols. 18v–19: “illi qui habet ibi domos ut plateas debeant et teneant illas XXXX 39

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Roman eminent domain legislation introduced by Sixtus IV also allowed expropriation in favor of patrons wishing to expand their palaces to include neighboring properties.46 Ambrogio Spannocchi appears thus to have employed a mixture of pressure from peers and the Comune, legal wrangling, and perhaps even the remnants of governmental anti-Salimbeni feelings to secure the land he needed. Nonetheless, that Spannocchi’s actions were innovative in Siena is revealed by the fact that the dispute set a legal precedent; it was recorded by the famous sixteenthcentury lawyer Bartolomeo Sozzini, who related the Spannocchi-Salimbeni case in one of his legal treatises.47 The needs of the wealthy patron appear thus eventually to have been met, although problems between Spannocchi and Salimbeni were to emerge again in April 1476.48 Meanwhile, in October 1473, soon after construction of his palace had begun, Spannocchi also ran into trouble with the Comune for having appropriated public ground with his new palace.49 He was reprimanded by the officials in charge of safeguarding public property (the Ufficiali dei terratici) because “he [had] built on land belonging to Your Magnificent Comune” without permission and had exerted unaccorded leaning rights against the Palazzo Salimbeni, which also belonged to the Comune.50 The Palazzo Spannocchi had evidently occupied the public property of a platea, or piazza in front of the Palazzo Salimbeni (fig. 1). On account of these complaints, Spannocchi was worried that he might have to “knock down the whole building,” and pleaded that “he would prefer not to be bothered,” requesting instead that he be allowed to benefit from a decision by the Terratici to “sell, alienate, and dispose of ” the property to him.51 Again, by petitioning through the Ornato, he was able to secure the sale of “certain spaces adjoining his palace, on which he has built,” in spite of some opposition from within the government.52 At this rather delicate moment, when Spannocchi had been found to have built on public land, the Ornato stepped in to defend him and his project, renewing the city’s active assistance of architectural patrons.53 46

vendare dictis cortigianis pro convenienti pretio.” Pienza expropriations are described in Nicholas Adams, “The Acquisition of Pienza, 1459–1464,” Journal for the Society of Architectural Historians 44 (1985): 99–110. 46 Allan Ceen, The Quartiere dei Banchi: Urban Planning in Early Cinquecento Rome (New York: Garland Publishing, 1986), 29–30. 47 Bartolomeo Sozzini, Consilia I di Mariano e Bartolomeo Socini (Siena, 1571), nos. 105, 149 (thanks to Roberta Bargagli for this reference). 48 ASS, CG, 236, fols. 239–40 (16 April 1476). 49 Sigismondo Tizio, Historiarum Senesium, Biblioteca Comunale Senese, B III 10, fol. 72, start date of 15 March 1472. See Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43, for the document in ASS, Concistoro, 2185, fol. 146 (21 October 1473) (it has not been possible to locate the original). 50 Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242–43. The property invaded is listed in ASS, Vino e terrtaici, 10, fols. 15–15v (1430, but in use in 1470s). On the Ufficiali, see Donatella Ciampoli, “La proprietà del comune di Siena in città e nello stato nella prima metà del ‘400,’” in Siena e il suo territorio nel Rinascimento, ed. Donatella Ciampoli and Mario Ascheri, 1–44 (Siena: il Leccio, 1990). 51 Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 242-43: “di tutto guastre lo detto hedifitio … non vorrebbe essare molestato,” and “vendare, alienare, disporre e deliberare.” 52 ASS, Concistoro, 642, fol. 28v (20 October 1473) records twenty-five votes against the concession. Public land concessions to prospective patrons are discussed in Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città.” 53 The 1309 statute allowed expropriation only for the creation of new streets; see Lisini, Il constituto del comune di Siena, 40–41, 142–43.

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Three years later, in December 1475, Ambrogio Spannocchi had again become involved with Neri di Neri Salimbeni, acquiring an additional block of land and property from him.54 The sale comprised land-use rights on the narrow street leading behind the palace, parts of the Piazza Salimbeni, and other areas of the property that had been acquired in 1472, all at the considerable cost of 300 gold ducats (1500 Sienese lire). Spannocchi left Salimbeni access rights to his property but required that he raise the height of a staircase overhanging his property and demolish a cantilevered balcony in accordance with Ornato policies elsewhere in the city. It emerged by April 1476, however, that the land-use rights and properties sold in December 1475 were not in fact Salimbeni’s but the Comune’s. The Consigilio Generale, meeting on 16 April 1476, resolved the problem by establishing that the sum Spannocchi owed Salimbeni for the transaction should instead be paid to the civic authorities.55 The Terratici officials informed Salimbeni of the Comune’s ownership of the site, although he may, indeed, have been acting in good faith as the properties had originally belonged to his family.56 Just as Spannocchi had ingenuously built on Comune property in 1473, assuming that it would eventually be sold to him, it seems that he also took advantage of the problematic issue of Neri di Neri Salimbeni’s ownership of land in the Salimbeni enclave, and particularly in the vicinity of the Palazzo Salimbeni, to secure ownership of additional property in 1475 and 1476. It appears that Ambrogio Spannocchi had hoped to create a piazza to the north of the palace so that it might be better visible from along the street while also creating a showcase for a planned second façade.57 In January 1476 he bought rights to a piece of the Comune’s land from Ugo and Leonardo, the sons of Battista Bellanti, for 200 florins, in order to create an open space between his palace and San Donato (fig. 1).58 Ambrogio Spannocchi’s death in 1478 meant that plans for a piazza and second façade were abandoned. They were later realized by Giuseppe Partini in the nineteenth century.59 Even though the façade was not built, in April 1480 Spannocchi’s heirs were granted “the perpetual use of the Piazza, or Loggia, and garden which had once belonged to the Salimbeni, located next the aforementioned public street [Strada Romana] and the Salimbeni palace in the T[erzo] di C[amollia], on which they may erect vaults and columns.”60 Spannocchi’s heirs were thus able to secure the exclusive rights to use the open 54

ASS, Notarile anticosimiano, 593, 20 December 1475 (thanks to Philippa Jackson for this refer-

ence). 55 ASS, CG, 236, fol. 239 (16 April 1476), also recorded in ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 14 (23 April 1476). See also Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 64. 56 On Neri di Neri Salimbeni’s properties, see also Turrini, Per honore, 129–31. 57 See Caroline Elam, “Piazze private nella Firenze del Rinascimento,” Ricerche Storiche 16 (1986): 473–80. 58 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 13, (9 January 1476). See also Guerrieri, “Vicende architettoniche,” 64. Bellanti rights to this land are recorded from 1430, ASS, Vino e terratici, 10, fols. 15–15v. 59 On renovations, see Marini, “Trasformazioni urbane,” 266–86; and Buscioni, Giuseppe Partini, 154–56. For Ambrogio Spannocchi’s death, see Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 3:108. Strangely the tax report is made out to Redi di Ambrogio di Nanni; ASS, Lira, 71, fol.12 (1474). 60 ASS, Spoglio Balìa, ms. C 18, (26 April 1480 17, fol. 47). A wall was built in 1527, see ASS, Spannocchi, A1 bis, fols. 10, 23, and 24; and Guerrieri, “Vicende architecttoniche,” 64. On the Palazzo Salimbeni’s use by the Comune, see Turrini, Per honore, 87–97.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 2. Pazzini-Carli e Figli, Palazzo Spannocchi, 1755. Engraving. Private collection, reproduced with permission.

space in front of the Palazzo Salimbeni, with the provision that the space remain open for use by the Comune in the event that it might needed by the customs officials who occupied the Palazzo Salimbeni. Furthermore, his heirs were also allowed to build a loggia on part of the space; in 1527 this was closed to form a walled garden, visible in seventeenth-century prints of the palace (fig. 2).

SETTING THE PALACE ON THE STRADA ROMANA The property disputes and acquisitions outlined here were central to the process by which Ambrogio Spannocchi was able to erect his magnificent palace in a central location in the heart of Siena. Even though the project had the support of the Ornato, it took Spannocchi around seven years and at least 1,700 florins to buy the necessary land and overcome the obstacles of private and public interests. The site chosen was significant since it faced the most prestigious portion of the Strada Romana. There was, to the north of the palace, an arch that bore the inscription “Severo et Valeriano” and was believed by many contemporaries to be Roman.61 61 Bartolomeo Benvoglienti, De urbis Senae origine et incremento (Siena, 1506), ciiil. Although this book was published in 1506, it was written in the 1480s. For a site reconstruction, see Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” fig. 22.

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Described in 1466 by Ornato officials as “the most beautiful gate in all of Tuscany,” the arch framed the view of the Palazzo Spannocchi for those approaching it from the Porta Camollia.62 It was precisely opposite this arch, at the top of Vallerozzi, where Ambrogio Spannocchi’s cousins lived.63 Furthermore, the planned piazza site was on axis with the Via della Sapienza, which led to San Domenico. In 1471, Spannocchi endowed a family chapel in the Cappella Maggiore of that church, which was designed and decorated by the da Maiano workshop.64 The location of the palace was thus significant for its associations with family history and Roman antiquity as well as its central location, all elements that would have appealed to Spannocchi as a patron returning from abroad to establish and assert his business achievements in his hometown. In turn, the selection of Giuliano da Maiano as architect for the palace stressed Spannocchi’s commercial activity outside Siena. As Francesco Quinterio has argued convincingly, the web of interests that tied the Maiano architect-sculptors to Ambrogio Spannocchi from as early as 1466 were the commercial contacts made in Rome and Naples and not, as one might first assume, in Florence.65 That Naples was the probable location of contact between client and architect is further supported by documents recently published by Doris Carl regarding the patronage of the church of Santa Anna dei Lombardi in Naples, where Spannocchi mediated financial transactions with both the Rossellino and the da Maiano workshops.66 Thus, Spannocchi’s choice of Giuliano da Maiano and his brother Benedetto to work on the palace and the Cappella Maggiore of San Domenico in Siena confirmed the banker’s Neapolitan contacts and introduced the sophisticated style of elite palace architecture to his native city.67 As numerous sources confirm, Giuliano da Maiano began construction of the palace on 15 March 1473; his design focused on developing further the site’s special features through a series of visual strategies.68 The palace façade is gently 62 ASS, Concistoro, 2125, fol. 47 (25 February 1466). See also Borghesi and Banchi, Nuovi documenti, 222–24; and Pertici, La città magnificata, 93. Benvoglienti reports that the arch was demolished in the 1480s (“diecta fuit facto permissione damnabili”); Benvoglienti, De urbis Senae, ciiii. 63 ASS, Lira, 147, fols. 131, 137 (1453). 64 ASS, Spannocchi, A1, fol. 10 (16 July 1471). See also ASS, Notarile anticosimiano, 653, fols. 23v– 27v (16 July 1471); and ASS, Notarile anticosimiano, 653, fols. 51v–53v (12 December 1471). On the chapel, which cost 700 florins to buy and decorate, see Doris Carl, “Il ciborio di Benedetto da Maiano nella cappella maggiore di San Domenico a Siena: Un contributo al problema dei cibori quattrocenteschi, con un excursus per la storia architettonica della chiesa,” Rivista dell’Arte 42 (1990): 3–74. 65 Francesco Quinterio names Antonio Piccolomini, Duke of Amalfi, Alfonso, Duke of Calabria, and the Strozzi family as other players in this network; Quintero, “Verso Napoli: Come Giuliano e Benedetto da Maiano divennero artisti nella corte aragonese,” Napoli Nobilissima 28 (1989): 204–10. A similar “Roman” web of interests has been proposed for the palace of Tommaso Spinelli in Florence; Howard Saalman, “Tommaso Spinelli, Michelozzo, Manetti, and Rossellino,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 25 (1966): 151–64. 66 Carl, “Il ciborio di Benedetto da Maiano,” 318–20. 67 For the variety of Giuliano’s palace style, see essays in Giuliano e la bottega dei Maiano, ed. Daniela Lamberini, Marcello Lotti, and Roberto Lunardi (Florence: Octavo, 1994). On the growing taste for magnificence in palace patronage, see Mary Hollingsworth, Patronage in Renaissance Italy: From 1400 to the early sixteenth century (London: John Murray, 1994). 68 Tizio, Historiarum Senesium, Biblioteca Comunale, Siena, B III 10, fol. 72, start date of 15 March 1472 (Sienese style). This date is confirmed in ASS, Spannocchi, A12, fol. 41, “Relazione del XXX

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angled towards the north so as to present its “face” to travelers approaching from both north and south along the Strada. As Leon Battista Alberti advised, “it is no trifle that visitors at every step meet yet another façade, and that the entrance to and view from every house should face directly onto the street.”69 The façade dressing itself folds around the northern corner just enough to imply a full cladding in stone to someone coming from the north, who would see that corner of the building through the frame of the Roman arch. This was a common strategy; for example, it was also adopted for the Palazzo Rucellai and the Palazzo Strozzi sides facing minor streets. The palace was also given a sense of prominence by its unusual and strongly projecting entablature, in which three-dimensional busts are framed by the modillions—a unique feature on a palace in Siena.70 The importance assigned to the Strada Romana façade was also evidently tied to its commercial importance as the Strada dei Banchi (the Street of Banks). Perhaps to reinforce the family’s commercial and banking concerns, but also to serve a practical function, Spannocchi’s palace contained four shops that faced onto the Strada and were rented out to provide extra income (figs. 2, 3).71 In this the palace took advantage of its location on Siena’s prime commercial and business street, as did most other private residences along the Strada Romana. Again, it was the Strada aspect that was privileged in the palace’s heraldic signposting. Significantly, the papal arms of the Piccolomini took pride of place over the palace portal, while the Spannocchi sheaves of corn were placed both in escutcheons on the edges of the palace (which could be seen from a distance) and in roundels in the bifore windows and in the cornice (figs. 3, 4). The prominent display of the Spannocchi family arms combined with those of the Piccolomini thus revealed Ambrogio Spannocchi’s ties with another of Siena’s oldest and most renowned families, and in particular to Pius II, who had played an important part in Spannocchi’s business success.72

69

Palazzo Spannocchi” (“Al di 15 di Marzo 1472 [1473] principiò Ambrogio di Nanni Spannocchi un nobile et bello palazzo”), a diary entry published in full by Alessandro Lisini, Frammento di una cronacheta senese d’anonimo del secolo XIV (Siena: L. Lazzeri, 1893), 59–60. See also Allegretto Allegretti, “Diarj scritti delle cose sanesi del suo tempo,” in Rerum Italicarum Scritptores, ed. Lodovico Muratori (Milan 1733; repr. Bologna: Arnaldo Forni, 1982), 23: col. 775. 69 Leon Battista Alberti, On the Art of Building in Ten Books, ed. and trans. Joseph Rykwert, Neil Leach, and Robert Tavernor (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1991), 106. An obvious Florentine comparison would be the angled site of the Palazzo Boni-Antinori at the end of Via Tornabuoni. 70 Close similarities in Siena can be seen in the Duomo busts of popes, although these are on the interior of the building. See Cronache senesi, ed. Alessandro Lisini and Fabio Iacometti (Bologna: Nicola Zanichelli, 1939), 117, 148; and Enzo Carli, Il Duomo di Siena (Siena: Monte dei Paschi, 1979), 110. For a parallel on a banker’s palace, see Filarete’s illustration of the Banco Mediceo in his Trattato, in Francesco Paolo Fiore, Storia dell’architettura italiana: Il Quattrocento (Milan: Electa, 1998), 179. 71 Ambrogio Spannocchi’s heirs declared “botteghe vi sono sotto dele quali si trae fl xx di lire 4 di pigione l’anno”; ASS, Lira, 221, fol. 231 (1488). On shops in palaces facing the Strada, see Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città,” 31–32. 72 Ambrogio was recorded as Spannocchi dei Piccolomini in 1467 (ASS, Lira, 173, fol. 10). For concession of right to use the Piccolomini name, see ASS, Spannocchi, A2 and A1, fol. 39 (29 May 1498): renewal from Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. View from the north, Palazzo Spannocchi, Siena. Photo by author.

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Fig. 4. Crossed arms of the Spannocchi and Piccolomini families, from doorframe in the andito, Palazzo Spannocchi, Siena. Photo by author.

 Following his death and burial in San Domenico on 1 April 1478, Ambrogio Spannocchi was described by the monastic chronicler as “a very famous merchant both here [Siena] and in the whole of Italy…who brought great fame and honor on our city.”73 The Strada Romana was an obvious choice for the visual representation of Ambrogio’s achievements expressed by the construction of a large, magnificent palace. The execution of this personal monument to private success in turn benefited and used public policies of urban renewal, revealing the enduring dynamic central to Siena’s republican system, which linked public good to private interests.74

73 “Famosissimus mercator hic et in tota Italia… qui magnam famam et honorem dedit nostre civitatis”; ASS, Spannocchi, A 12/1, fol. 21v, quoted in Morandi, “Gli Spannocchi,” 108. 74 This issue is explored in detail in Nevola, “Per Ornato della Città.”

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A Fifteenth-century Sienese Fabula The Dynastic and Patriotic Significance of the Piccolomini Library

T

The Piccolomini Library, commissioned about 1492 by Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini (1439–1503) and built in the cathedral of Siena, stands as a remarkable monument of late fifteenth-century art and architecture (fig. 1). Its most basic function was to house the collected libraries of Pope Pius II (Piccolomini) (pope from 1458 to 1464) and his nephew, Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, archbishop of Siena.1 Yet as its rich decorative program suggests, the library is so much more. Unique among monuments of its type in Renaissance Italy, it is a papal library, a place of study, and a grandiose memorial to Pius II through its extraordinary biographical fresco cycle. It is thus surprising that until the late nineteenth century, the literature on the Piccolomini Library was, with rare exceptions, more enthusiastic than scholarly. Only within the last ten years have art historians seriously examined the library and established a much clearer picture of both its architectural and its decorative antecedents.2 What has emerged is a much richer understanding of a complex monument. At the same time, the significance of the library and its decorative program to a Sienese audience has only recently begun to attract scholarly attention, and the importance of so ostentatious a family monument in Siena’s central religious building has yet to be seriously discussed.3 In addition to its other layers of meaning, the Piccolomini Library and its decorations can and should be understood in a Sienese context, as intended to reinforce the status and dynastic ambitions of the Piccolomini family. A thorough 1

Cardinal Piccolomini owed his career and his position to Pius II, who made him archbishop of Siena at the tender age of twenty-one and shortly thereafter cardinal-deacon of San Eustacchio. 2 The literary history of the Piccolomini Library can be found in a series of dissertations published in the 1990s. Before then, scholars had relied on Giorgio Vasari’s secondhand account of the life of Pinturicchio. See Christine Esche, “Die Libreria Piccolomini in Siena: Studien zu Bau und Ausstattung” (PhD diss., Freiburg University, 1991); Stratton D. Green, “The Context and Function of the Piccolomini Library and Its Frescoes” (PhD diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1992); Gyde Shepherd, “A Monument to Pope Pius II: Pinturicchio and Raphael in the Piccolomini Library in Siena 1494–1508” (PhD diss., Harvard University, 1993); and Barbara Bays, “The Piccolomini Library in the Cathedral of Siena (Italy)” (PhD diss., Indiana University, 1999). 3 On the Piccolomini Library’s dynastic significance, see Donatella Toracca, “The Piccolomini Library and the Glorification of the Moon in Siena,” in The Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral, ed. Salvatore Settis and Donatella Toracca (Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 1998), 257–88.

To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 1. Interior view with frescoes by Pinturicchio, Piccolomini Library, Catedrale di Santa Maria (the Duomo), Siena. Reproduced by permission from Scala/Art Resource, NY.

156 STRATTON D. GREEN

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investigation of this question lies outside the confines of this short essay. A brief look, however, at the genesis of the library’s design and the development of its decorative program suggests the degree to which it was as much a local as an international monument. An examination of the two frescoes in Pinturicchio’s pictorial biography of Pius II that would have been of particular interest to a Sienese audience—Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon and Canonization of Saint Catherine—offers a clear insight into the library’s dynastic and patriotic importance.

THE LIBRARY, ITS GENESIS AND DECORATION Although intended as a depository for manuscripts, the design of the Piccolomini Library is a synthesis of two distinct architectural types—monastic libraries and private chapels. Large fifteenth-century monastic libraries were generally rectangular, lit by windows placed along either side of the long walls and furnished with a double row of fixed reading desks, or bancone, oriented along the longitudinal axis. The Library Cosimo de’ Medici built at San Marco (1441–44) is probably the most famous quattrocento monastic library in Florence. Sixtus IV’s library at the Vatican and several royal chapter libraries in France, however, also followed this general scheme and have been identified as sources of inspiration for Cardinal Piccolomini’s commission, although the Piccolomini Library lacked fixed reading benches and had only two windows on the short wall opposite the entrance.4 While other libraries certainly functioned as important prototypes, it was most likely the Piccolomini family chapel in the church of San Francesco in Siena that provided the cardinal with the most immediate and appropriate model for his library. The chapel, which was dedicated to Saint Andrew, was greatly damaged by a fire that destroyed much of the church around it late in the eighteenth century. It is known, however, that like the library, the chapel was rectangular in plan and had two long windows at its far end that were, again as in the Piccolomini Library, encased in marble surrounds. By making such a pointed reference to the Piccolomini chapel, the family’s traditional burial place, Cardinal Piccolomini may well have intended to underscore not only the library’s funerary and memorializing function but also the connection between the pope it glorified and the family whose renewed status in Siena he worked so diligently to ensure.5 4

See Esche, “Die Libreria Piccolomini,” 10. Esche argues convincingly for a number of examples outside Italy, in particular the cathedral libraries at Rouen (begun 1477) and Troyes (1478–79). See also Toracca, “The Piccolomini Library,” 257–59 and 284 n. 5. Toracca mentions that the Piccolomini Library possessed the “familiar elements” of a library such as reading desks, “wooden residences set against the wall, and the cases enclosing the chained manuscripts.” I have not found a primary reference that mentions the disposition of furnishings or a payment for chains used to attach manuscripts to the benches. I have also inspected several manuscripts that once belonged to the library, and none were marred with rivet or hasp marks. 5 The library’s funerary function was also emphasized through the use of commemorative inscriptions beneath each fresco, Lorenzo di Mariano’s (called il Marrina) double-story façade with its marine thiasoi imagery, and Antonio Ormanni’s double set of bronze doors. Shepherd, “A Monument to Pius II,” 222, compares the latter to the mausoleum doors on the pedestal of Donatello’s Gattamelata monument in Padua, and the grill for the screen Andrea Bregno designed for the Tomb of Neri Capponi in Santo Spirito, Florence (1458).

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 2. Floor plan, Catedrale di Santa Maria/the Duomo, ca. 1658. Codex Chigiano P.VII.11, fol. 49r. Reproduced by permission from Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana.

The library’s entrance façade, completed in about 1500, faces the left aisle of the cathedral’s nave just before the crossing (fig. 2). This structure, which is decorated with both fresco and sculpture, reinforces the pronounced funerary aspect of the library, with its double arch and imagery drawn from Roman sarcophagi (fig. 3). The façade is similar in style to the Piccolomini Altar, also commissioned by the cardinal, but in the early 1480s from Andrea Bregno. Cardinal Piccolomini intended the altar as his burial chapel should he die away from Rome, and its proximity to the library façade creates an even greater sense in the latter of a second and even more powerful dynastic memorial. As it happened, though, Cardinal Piccolomini was not buried in the Sienese cathedral but in Rome, where he died in October 1503 after reigning briefly as Pope Pius III. The fresco that decorates the library’s façade, Coronation of Pope Pius III, was commissioned from Pinturicchio shortly after the pope’s death by his surviving brothers, Andrea and Giacomo Piccolomini. It created a dynastic link among Pius II, whose life is celebrated within the library, his now papal nephew Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. Pinturicchio, Coronation of Pope Pius III, ca. 1503. Fresco, Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Scala/Art Resource, NY.

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Francesco, and (one can assume) his brothers.6 The central focus of the decoration of the Piccolomini Library, however, is the ten frescoes Pinturicchio (1452–1513) painted representing scenes from the life of Pope Pius II. Commissioned by Cardinal Piccolomini in 1502, the episodes, or istorie, are, for the most part, international in their significance.7 They are arranged on three of the library’s four walls and organize Pius II’s life into three distinct segments: his early years as a humanist, his experiences as a cleric, and then, at the apex of his career, his papacy. Although the ten istorie represent historical events from the life of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini, Pius II’s given name, they are for the most part ceremonial in character.8 The first introduces him as secretary to the prominent Cardinal Domenico Capranica (Aeneas Departs for the Council of Basel). The following three show Aeneas as a humanist for hire: as conciliar ambassador (Aeneas Before James I of Scotland); as poet (Frederick III Crowns Aeneas Poet Laureate); and again as imperial ambassador (Aeneas Before Pope Eugenius IV).9 The two frescoes on the entrance wall opposite the windows portray scenes from Aeneas’s career first as a bishop and then as a cardinal— Meeting of Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon (fig. 4) and Aeneas Receives the Cardinal’s Hat. The third wall focuses on his papacy. The seventh scene illustrates his coronation (Coronation of Pope Pius II); the eighth celebrates Pius II’s self-appointed role as leader of a new crusade against the Turks (The Council of Mantua); and the ninth demonstrates the papal power to create saints (Canonization of Saint Catherine) (fig. 5). The tenth and final scene returns to the overarching theme of crusade in which Pius II appears as the leader of the Christian West (The Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona) (fig. 6). Several of these scenes would have had a particular resonance for a Sienese audience.

A WEDDING AND A SAINT: THE FRESCO CYCLE IN ITS SIENESE MILIEU Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon illustrates the arrival of the Holy Roman Emperor and his court outside Siena and his formal betrothal to his Portuguese bride (fig. 4). The meeting occurred on 24 February 1452 on a field outside 6

For further analysis of this fresco, see Shepherd, “A Monument to Pius II,” 235–42. Given the brevity of Pius III’s reign, it seems unlikely that the new pope suggested the commission of such a grandiose fresco above the library’s portal as Shepherd suggests. Also, rather than linking the scene to the ceremony that took place in front of Saint Peter’s basilica, it is equally likely that Pinturicchio drew upon the actual reenactment of Pius III’s coronation staged in Siena to commemorate the event. See Toracca, “The Piccolomini Library,” 267–68; and Esche, “Die Libreria Piccolomini,” 54–56. 7 Gaetano Milanesi first published the contract in his edition of Vasari’s Life of Pinturicchio. See Gaetano Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell’arte senese. 3 vols. (Siena: Onorato Porri, 1854–56), 3:9–16. 8 Pinturicchio’s biographical cycle was taken from three sources: Pius II’s Commentaries, which were left unfinished at his death; Giovanntonia Campano’s Life of Pope Pius II (first published in 1479); and Bartolommeo Platina’s Life of Pope Pius II (1470–77, but first published in 1495). Nicholas Adams published translations of these documents in Charles R. Mack, Pienza: The Creation of a Renaissance City (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), appendix. 9 In the background of the fresco of Aeneas before Pope Eugenius IV, another ceremony illustrates Aeneas’s investiture as bishop of Trieste in 1448, marking his entry into the clergy. It was Nicholas V, however, and not Eugenius IV, who conferred this honor upon Aeneas.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 4. Pinturicchio, Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, ca. 1505–8. Fresco, Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Scala/Art Resource, NY.

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the Porta Camollia. It was orchestrated with much effort and primarily by means of the diplomatic skills of Aeneas, then bishop of Siena. The fresco shows the emperor and his court on the left side; on the right are several members of Aeneas’s family. The Piccolomini become Siena’s first citizens (a position they may have coveted but did not possess). Cardinal Piccolomini is not represented in the istoria, but his brother Andrea stands in front of the white horse and behind his wife, Agnese Farnese, who looks out directly at the viewer. Alberto Aringhieri, the head of the Opera del Duomo, is also included, no doubt because it was under his tenure that Cardinal Piccolomini received the cooperation required to construct his library in the cathedral. Aringhieri stands behind Aeneas, wooden jawed and with the cross of a Knight of Rhodes emblazoned on his chest.10 Siena’s most recognizable monuments—the tower of the Palazzo Pubblico, the Torre della Mangia, the Duomo, and the unfinished façade of the Duomo Nuovo—all rise in the background. The triumphal column in the middle ground appears almost as another figure. The column serves several functions: it anchors the action, serving as the hub of a great compositional wheel; it enhances the solemnity and ceremonial splendor of the moment; and it reaffirms the historical veracity of the event. The column was erected a year after the event by the city government in the general area where the meeting took place so that, as Pius II remarked in his Commentaries, “after ages might know that an Emperor from the East and an Empress from the West had first met in that place.”11 Pinturicchio, of course, embellished the marker in keeping with the rhetoric of the moment. To the Sienese, the column would have served as a palpable link between the historical past and the immediate present, and would have instilled a great sense of civic pride. Aeneas, as bishop of Siena, stands at the ideological and ceremonial center of the composition. Through his eloquence and diplomatic acuity, he accomplished not just the union of two royal houses, but of the eastern and western European powers that they represented. The accompanying inscription beneath the fresco focuses attention on Aeneas’s eloquence and its success—a skill that, as seen below, is the thematic glue of the cycle as a whole. Furthermore, Pinturicchio’s image places two generations of Piccolomini side by side so that the whole family basks in the penumbra of Aeneas’s triumph, which is set against the backdrop of Siena itself. There is an interesting desire here to collapse the historical parameters of the scene, to include those who attended the ceremony as well as those who may have been alive at the time but were far too young to have played any role in those events—Andrea Piccolomini and Aringhieri, after all, would have been but boys at the time. The canonization of Catherine Benincasa (1347–80) occurred in Rome on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul on 29 June 1461. Pius II describes the event in Book V of the Commentaries: 10

Aringhieri played a role in shaping the oligarchical government that eventually helped put Pandolfo Petrucci into power. He also seems to have been a close ally of Andrea Piccolomini. See Christine Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation in Siena 1480–98 (I),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 103 (1996): 68. 11 Leona C. Gabel, ed., Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope: The Commentaries of Pius II, trans. Florence A. Gragg (New York: Putnam, 1959), 61.

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DYNASTIC & PATRIOTIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PICCOLOMINI LIBRARY Meantime, the Pope had been asked by his fellow citizens to enroll the blessed Catherine of Siena among holy virgins of Christ.… He called a council of bishops then in Rome…. When the meeting…approved with one voice in the maiden’s canonization, Pius ordered a tribune to be raised in the basilica of Saint Peter, from which after celebrating mass he delivered a mass on the merits of the girl. At the end, with the warm approval of the cardinals, bishops, abbots and other prelates present, he directed that Catherine should be enrolled with the usual ceremonies in the catalogue of the sainted maidens and ordained an annual commemoration of her.12 (italics added)

In addition to Pius II’s own words, there is a formal description of the ceremony in the Caeremoniale Romanum (1485), written by Agostino Patrizi Piccolomini, papal master of ceremonies (ca. 1468–88).13 The canonization took place in Old Saint Peter’s Church, and the ceremony was attended by both Patrizi and Francesco Piccolomini. It has already been pointed out that Patrizi’s book on protocol certainly served as the source for Pinturicchio’s composition, as a comparison of the two demonstrates (fig. 5). For instance, Patrizi describes the raised platform (suggestum) constructed to accommodate the papal throne and seats for the cardinals. Pinturicchio omits, however, the specially constructed altar, although he does include the baldachin that covered it. The artist also includes the flowers and greenery that decorated the suggestum, as he does the cloth and tapestry (cum pannis et tapetis) used to close off the platform. Patrizi’s description requires that the papal coat of arms and images of the saint be hung about; Pinturicchio omits the latter. Finally, candles were distributed to all those attending the ceremony, a detail also represented by Pinturicchio. The ceremony concluded with the pope delivering an oration on the merits of the figure to be canonized, followed by a mass. Pius II appears in full pontificals, the iconic image of the Pontifex Maximus. He appears at the moment when he utters the words reported in his Commentaries, “on account of her numerous miracles, [Catherine] is [numbered] among the sainted [maidens].”14 Here the pope’s unique power to create saints demarcates the difference between the temporal and spiritual spheres, with the emphasis placed upon his spiritual authority. The inclusion of this event as one of the ten episodes from Pius II’s papacy seems logical. Certainly no event could be more appropriate or inspiring than a Sienese pope canonizing a Sienese saint. And yet those familiar with Pius II’s life and aspirations, and with his Commentaries, might have considered his reception of the relic of Saint Andrew the Apostle into Rome a more accurate representation of the pope’s political and religious goals. Indeed, the canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena barely occupies a page of the Commentaries. The events and festivities surrounding the reception of the relic of Saint Andrew into Rome, on the other hand, are described at length in Book 8; Pius II clearly considered this event one of the most significant of his papacy. 15 On his tomb (ca. 1470), which was translated from 12

Gabel, Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope, 189–90. Gabel, Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope, 295–307. 14 Gabel, Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope, 190. 15 Almost a third of Book 8 is taken up with the transportation to Rome of Saint Andrew’s head XXXX 13

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Old Saint Peter’s to San Andrea della Valle in 1614, Pius II chose to represent his entire papacy with the reception of the head of Saint Andrew into Rome. Cardinal Piccolomini, too, was fully aware of the importance Pius II attached to the head of Saint Andrew, a precious relic brought from Greece to Ancona and then to Rome in 1462. The cardinal himself was among the party sent to retrieve the relic. Representing the reception of the relic of Saint Andrew may have been appropriate for a Roman context, but not a Sienese one. The choice made here also demonstrates Cardinal Piccolomini’s sensitivity to the position of the Piccolomini family and to his audience. On the surface, the replacement of Saint Andrew with Saint Catherine disrupts the preoccupation of the last three episodes with papal reform and the organization of a crusade against the Turks, whose menacing advances in the eastern Mediterranean had necessitated the removal of the apostle’s head to Rome for safekeeping.16 Nevertheless, Cardinal Piccolomini rightly made the more appropriate and locally significant choice of the canonization of Saint Catherine as the subject of the ninth episode.17 The inclusion of Canonization of Saint Catherine, like Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, in the pictorial cycle of Pius’s life gave the Sienese the temporary feeling of playing an important role on the larger, international stage. In both instances, Siena was the focal point of an event with more than local significance. Recognizing that the episode was chosen with a Sienese audience in mind, one has to wonder what other aspects of the fresco might resonate with local significance.

THE PICCOLOMINI, SIENA, AND THE CREATION OF A DYNASTIC MYTHOLOGY Canonization of Saint Catherine furthers both Pius II’s memory and his mythology (fig. 5). As with all the events in his pictorial biography, this scene illustrates a ceremony or ritual that added to the pope’s personal myth; indeed, ceremony lies at the pictorial and narrative core of the fresco cycle’s episodic structure. At the same time, the scene of Catherine’s canonization acts, in the sense of epideictic rhetoric, as praise. Catherine, of course, is praised as she takes her place among the saints, but Pius II is also praised for making this honor possible. Catherine of Siena’s elevation to the communion of saints, like Frederick III and Eleanor’s union, becomes part of Pius II’s legacy, in particular his legacy to Siena. The mythology of Aeneas Sylvius/Pius II is carefully set out in the Piccolomini Library. Each element of the whole—for example, the sculpted decoration of the façade, the commemorative appearance of the inscriptions beneath each frescoed 16

and the pomp and ceremony that Pius organized to honor the relic following its installation in Saint Peter’s. The opening lines of the chapter praise the apostle as “a great preacher and teacher of the truth and with the hook of [Saint Andrew’s] eloquence caught countless men whom he won for Christ.” The emphasis upon eloquence and its power to convert would have been a particularly pointed reference to the esteem in which curial humanists held the power of eloquence as a didactic tool. 16 N. A. Weber suggests that “possibly the transfer…of the head of St. Andrew to Rome was…a fruitless attempt to rekindle zeal for the Crusades.” See Catholic Encyclopedia, s.v. “Pius II, Pope” (by N. A. Weber) (New York: Robert Appleton, 1912). 17 Gabel, Memoirs of a Renaissance Pope, 189.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 5. Pinturicchio, Canonization of Saint Catherine, ca. 1505–8. Fresco, Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena. Photo by Fabio Lensini, reproduced by permission from Opera della Metropolitana, Siena (aut. no. 754/04).

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scene, and the funerary nature of the biographical cycle, underscored by the plan of the room—works to define the monument as a glorious mausoleum in the original sense of the word. The library’s 1502 contract refers to these inscriptions as epitafi (funeral orations or eulogies). They were drawn from the Life of Pius II (1494) by Giovantonio Campano, and serve to enhance and complement rather than describe the episode they accompany.18 Classical sources play an important role in Pinturicchio’s decorative program, a subject about which there is ample literature. For the purposes of this paper, however, it is important to point out only that Pinturicchio and his patron carefully chose to frame the biography of Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini with elements drawn either from ancient texts or from ancient Roman art itself. As Nicole Dacos first pointed out, the ceiling for the library is based upon a prototype taken from Nero’s Domus Aurea.19 In the 1502 contract for the fresco cycle, Cardinal Piccolomini specifically asked that Pinturicchio use “grotteschi” on the ceiling, a contemporary name coined for the fanciful fourth-style Roman wall decoration discovered in the grottoes of the Domus Aurea. The loggia format Pinturicchio devised to unify the ten episodes came from the cityscape vignettes the painter devised for Innocent VIII’s belvedere at the Vatican, but even this pictorial device is rooted in classical sources. It should not come as a surprise, then, that Cardinal Piccolomini modeled his uncle’s biography on another classical form, the epideictic funeral oration, or laudatio funebris. Epideictic oratory, the rhetoric of praise and blame, became the vehicle by which Cardinal Piccolomini glorified his uncle’s deeds and, at the same time, created a myth of the Piccolomini using Aeneas Sylvius/Pius II as the family’s “founder.” Epideictic oratory evolved as a branch of rhetoric used on special occasions, such as state receptions and funerals, and it fulfilled a moral and didactic function. In the case of funeral oratory, it praised or blamed the deceased, whose moral character was manifested by his deeds. These actions were then compared to historical and legendary figures alike. Oratory and eloquence went together.20 This is important because of the moral and civic stature accorded the orator, who held a preeminent position in classical and humanist treatises alike.21 Cicero and Quintilian, two of the most widely read classical authors in the quattrocento, perceived the orator as 18

August Schmarsow was the first to point out the source of the epitaphs; Schmarsow, Raffael und Pinturicchio in Siena (Stuttgart, 1880), 74. For other discussions of the inscriptions and their importance for the cycle, see Esche, “Die Libreria Piccolomini,” 187–209; and Green, “Context and Function,” 203–7. 19 Nicole Dacos, La découverte de la Domus Aurea et la formation des grotesques à la Renaissance (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1969). See also Jürgen Schulz, “Pinturicchio and the Revival of Antiquity,” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 25 (1962): 35–55. 20 See Hannah Gray, “Renaissance Humanism: The Pursuit of Eloquence,” Journal of the History of Ideas 24 (1963): 497–501. Renaissance humanists thought of themselves first and foremost as oratores, a word that denoted everything from writer to ambassador. 21 Isocrates, writing and teaching in the fourth century BC, emphasized the moral nature of rhetoric, making it the basis of a liberal arts education. Isocrates was among the first of a long line of educators to give epideictic oratory a moral underpinning and make the orator a model of virtue. Cicero addressed the characteristics of the ideal orator in The Brutus and De oratore. Quintilian also devoted the first part of his widely read treatise, Institutio oratoria, to the ideal orator. Cicero’s and Quintilian’s works heavily XXXX

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the guardian of a community’s social and political well-being.22 Such informed eloquence demonstrated virtue and wisdom. Quintilian (Institutio oratoria, I.Pr.10) reiterated Cicero’s arguments, writing that the ideal orator must “[guide] the state by his councils [and purge] its vices by his decisions as a judge.”23 Between the papacies of Nicholas V and Clement VII (1450–1534), curial humanists appropriated epideictic oratory from its classical origins, and the Piccolomini Library frescoes were the perfect vehicle for creating the visual equivalent of a literary trope. In any case, Francesco Piccolomini was not the first to praise Pius II with a funeral oration or use epideictic rhetoric to pay tribute to his eloquence. In their biographies of Pius II, Bartolomeo Platina and Giovantonio Campano (the latter served as Pius II’s secretary and was a close friend of Cardinal Piccolomini) declared him the erudite and wise pope par excellence. In a funeral oration delivered the year following Pius II’s death, Campano declared that men first learned the meaning of true oratory from Pius.24 Domenico Domenichini, a prominent bishop and theologian, gave a eulogy in which he stated that Pius II exhibited “the persuasiveness of Isocrates, the subtlety of Lysias…[and] the force of Demosthenes.”25 Domenichini and Campano praised Pius II’s eloquence as an instrument of peace and concord that “[led] men to the good and moral life,” restored papal authority, and showed men the true meaning of oratory.26 Funeral oratory’s celebratory function, as John McManamon has shown, “[helped] to create and propagate historical myths.”27 This mythology is played out on the walls of the Piccolomini Library. As Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini moves up the political ladder, one sees his stature as an orator grow until he becomes the ideal orator. In the Piccolomini Library, Pius II is illustrated either in the guise of an orator or while being rewarded for his eloquence, and the inscriptions accompanying each episode often underscore the hero as orator.28 In

22

influenced fifteenth-century humanist theories on education, as well as educators such as Guarino da Verona and Vittorino da Feltre. 22 Cicero, De officiis, 2.14.51. In De oratore, 2.16.7, Cicero equates the ideal orator with the ideal citizen because he kept his fellow citizens on the path of personal and political virtue. 23 See Brian Vickers, In Defense of Rhetoric (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1988), 42, for an excellent summary and discussion of this topic. 24 See Giovantonio Campano, “In exequiis divi Pii II Pontificis Maximi oratio,” first published in Omnia Campani Opera (Venice, 1502), fols. 95r–100r. 25 Domenichini’s funeral oration for the obsequies of Pius II took place in Rome. His oration is published in the Vatican Library, Ottob. lat. 1035, fols. 10r–18v. 26 See John McManamon, “The Ideal Renaissance Pope: Funeral Oratory from the Papal Court,” Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 14 (1976): 38–39. McManamon discusses in detail the adaptation of the epideictic funeral oration by curial humanists to funeral oratory in the papal court. His thesis here has formed a key role in my own understanding and development of the subject and my interpretation of its use in the Piccolomini Library. 27 John McManamon, Funeral Oratory and the Cultural Ideals of Italian Humanism (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 153. For a discussion on the funeral oration’s moral function, see the chapter “Ethos Enshrined,” 153–161. 28 In Aeneas Before King James I of Scotland, the inscription pointedly refers to Aeneas as orator, which could describe his action before James I or his role as ambassador to the Council of Basel. In the next episode, the German emperor rewards Aeneas for his literary eloquence, yet another facet of the orator’s talent. In Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, Aeneas delivers an oration. In The Council at Basel, Pinturicchio illustrates the pope ticking off the points of his argument as any orator XXXX

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fact, according to Brian Vickers, Renaissance humanists often turned the orator into a cultural hero.29 Pius II’s given name, Aeneas Sylvius, also lent itself to historical and mythological comparisons, the funeral orator’s stock in trade. It was impossible not to compare Aeneas with his Trojan namesake, as the first fresco demonstrates. With the aid of Pinturicchio’s courtly style, it was not hard for Cardinal Piccolomini and his heirs to tap into the epic possibilities suggested by Pius II’s original name. The tenth and final fresco in the Library, The Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona, summarizes the function of ritual, eloquence, and funerary rhetoric in a single image (fig. 6). This fresco represents a meeting that never occurred. Of all the istorie in the cycle, this last is truly a fiction, a fabula. Pius II died before he ever met any of the people represented here. He expired in the cathedral of San Ciriaco, which appears isolated on Monte Grasco on the right of the painting, shortly before the long-awaited Venetian fleet sailed into Ancona harbor. Pinturicchio, famous for his cityscapes and landscapes, illustrates the town with a fair degree of accuracy. The Arch of Trajan, which still survives, contrasts with the pope’s triple tiara. Beyond the seawall lies the Adriatic Sea and the bristling fleet of Venetian ships. To the left, a ship (showing shields bearing the Piccolomini stemma) appears ready to set sail; sailors swing down from the rigging as they hoist sail. A skiff hangs from its stern, as if in anticipation of the Pope’s transferal from dock to flagship. An aging, ailing, but thoroughly energized Pope Pius II sits enthroned above a group of princes and witnesses. The Venetian doge, Cristoforo Moro, dressed in his golden robes, genuflects before the pontiff. The dispossessed Prince Hassan Zaccaria of Samos kneels beside him. Calapino Bajazet, or “Djem,” a famous Turkish hostage kept for many years in the papal palace, stands behind Zaccaria.30 Thomas Paleologus, the last Byzantine emperor to inhabit Constantinople, is immediately identifiable in his blue-lobed hat. With pallid face and sagging cheeks, Pius II receives the homage of a theoretically united Christendom, symbolized by the doge and representatives of an obedient East. Why was this episode included and what does it have to do with epideictic rhetoric, funeral oratory, or personal mythology? First,The Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona illustrates the inevitable conclusion of the pope’s efforts to launch a crusade. This inevitability points to the thematic focus of humanist historiography, which tells the truth or gives the appearance of telling the truth to convey certain messages. The message in this instance, the thrust of the entire cycle, is the glorification of Pius II and his legendary eloquence and abilities as an orator. If Pinturicchio 29

would do. In the last two episodes, Pius addresses an audience, although he does not take up the stance of the orator as in Scotland or Basel. 29 Vickers, In Defense of Rhetoric, 272. 30 Djem, frequently referred to as Il Turchetto, was brought to Rome in 1489. With the exception of his clothing, this figure is identical to Pinturicchio’s other famous portrait of Djem in the Disputation of Saint Catherine of Alexandria in the Sala dei Santi, in the Borgia apartments at the Vatican. Pinturicchio may have had access to one of Gentile Bellini’s well-known drawings of a standing Turk. See Piero Misciattelli, The Piccolomini Library in the Cathedral of Siena, trans. Lilian E. Hunter (Siena: Libreria Editrice Senese, 1926), 35 n. 1 and fig. 63.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 6. Pinturicchio,The Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona, ca. 1505–8. Fresco, Piccolomini Library, Duomo, Siena. Photo by Fabio Lensini, reproduced by permission from Opera della Metropolitana, Siena (aut. no. 754/04). Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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had portrayed the historical truth, that is the failure of Pius’s crusade, all that came before would come tumbling down. The entire cycle rests upon the premise of perfection—that Pius II represents the ideal humanist, the ideal orator, and the ideal pope. Failure would suggest that this was not true. The inscription beneath the last fresco describes the pope’s death and suggests that it was an apotheosis similar to that of a saint—or a Roman emperor: “Pius II, after expediting the expedition against the Turks at Ancona, died of fever, whose spirit a Camuldensian hermit saw born aloft to heaven, [his] body having been carried to the city by decree of the Fathers.”31 The significance of this scene lies in the assumption that, through his legendary eloquence, Pius II was able to unite the European princes on behalf of a holy cause. By doing so, he demonstrated his virtue and wisdom and became the embodiment of that seemingly unattainable achievement of fifteenth-century humanism, the ideal Renaissance pope.

THE LIBRARY, THE PICCOLOMINI, AND SIENESE POLITICS Pius II’s political biography would have resonated with the learned men of Siena who came to consult the collected works of Pius II and Cardinal Piccolomini. At the same time, every Sienese citizen could have appreciated the intention, though perhaps not actuality, of peace through the politics of dialogue and compromise that was championed, if not by Pius II, then by his heirs. The ordered stages of Pius II’s life must have seemed a welcome tonic to the turmoil that marked Sienese politics in the last decades of the fifteenth century. Chaos, factionalism, and self-interest could be forgotten in the face of a view of universal order shared between temporal and spiritual powers based on moral authority and eloquence, diplomacy, and learning. Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini, himself pious and perceived as politically neutral, used his position to promote peace within Siena.32 The Piccolomini Library served as an extension of that order through the life of Aeneas Sylvius. As conciliar and imperial ambassador and as the leader of Christian Europe, he represented the imposition of order through peaceful means if possible and through war if necessary. The layout of the decorative program reinforces this idea visually (fig. 1). The fictive loggia, the lunettes and pendentives with their seemingly riotous grotesque figures, and the measured order of the lozenges that fill the vault itself all create an order that is comforting even if it is somewhat autocratic.33 31

Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini had been protector of the Camaldese Benedictines since 1476. According to Shepherd, “A Monument to Pius II,” 141–42 and n. 58, “the ascension of Pius’ soul into heaven…was, after all, the destiny which Pius sought through his dedication to the Turkish Crusade, even to his own death and martyrdom.” One could take this even further and consider the inscription a parallel to the Roman deification of an emperor. 32 For the high regard in which Cardinal Piccolomini was held by his fellow Sienese, see Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovations (I).” 33 See Green, “Context and Function,” 356.

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 Epideictic rhetoric, shaped by Pinturicchio’s courtly style, gave Cardinal Piccolomini the opportunity to fashion a great conceit, and at the same time create a mythology for Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini. As shown elsewhere, the biographical cycle, when viewed together with the inscriptions, or epitaphi, roughly follows the outline of a funeral oration as laid out by Quintilian and followed by the curial humanists. Like most funeral orations, a recitation of the deceased’s deeds forms the longest section because only an examination of deeds reveals the possession (or lack) of virtue. Funeral orations for prominent individuals were usually entirely political in nature, which also explains the subject matter and tone of Pinturicchio’s cycle. In addition, modeling the cycle after an epideictic model also provides the narrative with a historical air that is larger than life. Although Pius II’s body and tomb resided in Old Saint Peter’s, Cardinal Piccolomini succeeded in creating a monument that was both memorial and mausoleum. Pius II does live through the ages as a larger-than-life character. His representation as the ideal humanist orator and ideal Renaissance pope gave those who entered the library (many of these visitors must have been students and scholars from the Studium, Siena’s university, as well as regular citizens) a model of decorum and political virtue. The tale told on the walls of the library also gave the Piccolomini an ancestor to admire, as well as an enhancement of the family’s prestige.

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The Rise of Saint Catherine of Siena as an Intercessor for the Sienese

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The rulers of Siena, the City of the Virgin, formally dedicated their city to their divine patron on many occasions. Most notable among these was the dedication on 3 September 1260 before the battle of Montaperti, a victory that the Sienese attributed to the Virgin’s intercession. Still, Siena found need for the assistance of many other saintly personages, including native-born Saint Catherine, during subsequent centuries. This essay will chart the rise of Saint Catherine as a special favorite of the Sienese and suggest some societal factors that may have contributed to her rise in popularity during the last half of the fifteenth century and the first decades of the sixteenth. Her rise in popularity may have come, at least in part, at the expense of the prestige of the Virgin Mary herself. Lidia Bianchi and Diega Giunta’s monumental compendium, Iconografia di Santa Caterina da Siena, substantially amplifies George Kaftal’s earlier collection of images of Saint Catherine of Siena.1 It contributes greatly toward a thorough census of images of the saint, providing valuable information on the dissemination of her cult over time. Bianchi and Giunta’s work is currently being augmented by an immensely valuable, ongoing historical survey and catalogue of all Sienese churches and their art.2 Thanks to these vast scholarly projects, scholars can now with greater confidence assess the frequency of images made, the development of new themes, and the specific forms of art (from major altarpieces to embroidered vestments) in which Saint Catherine of Siena appears as a prominent figure within Siena and its immediate environs. An overview of these images from the early modern period reveals several moments in which there are intense concentrations of significant image-making. One of these concentrations starts around 1470 and continues up into the first half of the sixteenth century. Why a succession of large-scale images of Saint Catherine should have been created during this period, and why she was to occupy a prominent place on the biccherna paintings of these years are questions to be examined in this essay. Why should such devotion expressed in visual terms have occurred just 1

This article was prepared with support from the Bowdoin College Faculty Research Fund. I would like to thank A. Lawrence Jenkens for his scholarly generosity and encouragement, and for his tireless work as organizer and editor. 1 Lidia Bianchi and Diega Giunta, Iconografia di Santa Caterina da Siena. 1. L’Immagine (Rome: Città Nuova Editrice, 1988); and George Kaftal, Saint Catherine in Tuscan Painting (Oxford: Blackfriars, 1949). 2 Pieter Anselm Riedl and Max Seidel, eds., Die Kirchen von Siena, 2 vols. (Munich: F. Bruckmann, ca. 1985–ca. 1992).

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at this time? Were societal factors present that paralleled or preceded this period of rich invention of images of Saint Catherine? While it is likely that many factors contributed to this phenomenon, this chapter offers a reading of the visual and documentary evidence that views this upsurge in Saint Catherine’s image in light of changes in the political fabric of the city of Siena. Caterina Benincasa (1347–80) was certainly a popular figure during her brief lifetime, and images of her likeness and of her miracles began to be made shortly after her death. Andrea Vanni, a contemporary of Catherine’s, created what is considered to be a posthumous portrait of her shortly after 1380. This frescoed image is now found next to the Chapel of Saint Catherine in the church of San Domenico in Siena. Catherine’s disciples instituted local devotions to her in 1386, well before her formal canonization. Her cult was then spread to other Italian centers and beyond by clerical reformers who saw Catherine as an ideal model for those who would follow the religious life. Small-scale images of Catherine, including those of her stigmatization, were created in conjunction with this expansion.3 She was officially canonized on 15 June 1461 by Pope Pius II, a son of the sometime-exiled Sienese Piccolomini family. In the following year on 19 March, Catherine was named patron of Siena. An annual public procession in her honor, going to San Domenico on the first Sunday of May, was instituted in 1462.4 Unfortunately, at the very moment of this formal acknowledgement of Catherine’s sanctity, a bitter and long-standing controversy flared up with the Franciscans over the issue of her stigmatization, a spiritual experience that they claimed exclusively for Saint Francis. Franciscan critics vigorously disputed the authenticity of Catherine’s reception of the stigmata, allowing that she may only have dreamt of the experience. Even Pius II did not make her stigmatization a part of the bull for her canonization, perhaps in the hope of placating the Franciscans. This was not to be. The Franciscan Pope Sixtus IV promulgated a bull in 1472 that threatened painters with excommunication if they represented Catherine with the stigmata. A second bull in 1475 reiterated the prohibitions, which were also ratified by the Dominicans in 1478. If images of Saint Catherine with the stigmata had already been made, they had to be changed or taken down.5 The first monumental statue of Saint Catherine Stigmatized, done for the Oratory of the Oca for Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, was created by Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’ Landi in 1474 in the midst of Sixtus IV’s repeated prohibitions. The wooden figure shows the wounds clearly, as if in defiance of the papal bans.6 3 Gaudenz Freuler, “Andrea di Bartolo, Fra Tommaso d’Antonio Caffarini, and Sienese Dominicans in Venice,” Art Bulletin 69 (1987): 570–57; Keith Christiansen, Laurence B. Kanter, and Carl Brandon Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 1420–1500, exhibit catalogue (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1988), 233; and Barbara P. Gordley, “A Dominican Saint for the Benedictines: Beccafumi’s Stigmatization of Saint Catherine,” Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 55 (1992): 410–11. 4 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 58. 5 Bianchi and Giunta, Iconografia di Santa Caterina, 80; Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 233–35; Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 233; Gordley, “A Dominican Saint,” 396–97; and Chiara Frugoni, Francesco e l’invenzione delle Stimmate (Turin: Einaudi, 1993), 216–22, 231–32. 6 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.2, 127 and 2.1.l, 147–50; and Pietro Torriti, La casa di Santa Caterina da Siena e la Basilica di San Domenico a Siena (Genoa: Sagep Editrice, 1983), 14. The XXXXX

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Perhaps this very conflict over the nature of Catherine’s stigmata helped to spur the Sienese to create monumental images of their new saint. Although small paintings of Catherine’s stigmatization had been made as early as the late trecento, Neroccio’s polychromed, life-sized, three-dimensional figure of Catherine marks a significant departure. It creates a convincing living presence, asserting the truth of Catherine’s wounds in a way no tiny figure in a small predella scene could ever have done. In a compromise of 1490, Pope Innocent VIII proclaimed that images of Catherine showing the stigmata that had been made before 1472 should remain as they were, but that for the future, the stigmata were not to be painted.7 Sometime between 1492 and 1503, Pope Alexander VI, convinced of the authenticity of Catherine’s stigmata, allowed the Sienese to show the wounds but published no official document regarding this change. Just around the time of this decision, a Sienese artist was charged with making the first monumental painting depicting the moment of Catherine’s stigmatization (fig. 1). In 1495, Bernardino Fungai received the commission for the altarpiece for the Oratorio della Cucina, in Santa Caterina in Fontebranda. He finished the large panel in 1497.8 This commission may be ascribed in part to the strong desire of the Sienese to honor the sites associated with Saint Catherine’s early life: her home and her family’s dye shop. One year after the completion of Fungai’s image, the first representation of Catherine’s stigmatization to be used in a more broadly civic context—not one exclusively associated with her cult—was created to grace a tavoletta of the Gabella. These tavolette, or small painted panels (also called biccherne) were initially created to ornament the covers of the account books made for the two financial offices of Siena, the Gabella and the Biccherna. By the mid-fifteenth century, they had become independent works of art, small portable panels that could be hung on the walls of a room.9 Since there are major gaps in the sequence of surviving biccherna panels, the generalizations made about the frequency of themes appearing within the whole series must remain provisional. The anonymous painter of the gabella panel, probably from 1498, shows the moment of Saint Catherine’s mystic wounding, placing it specifically within the context of papal approval and authority (fig. 2).10 Pope Pius II, enthroned on the 7

statue is 1.98 meters high, including the base. A painted terracotta statue (1.3 meters) of the wounded Catherine from the Oratorio dei Disciplinati sotto le volte dello spedale, Siena, also attributed to Neroccio, is dated to the 1490s. See Catherine de Sienne, exhibit catalogue (Avignon: Palais des papes, 1992), 222. The Dominicans and Franciscans had had bitter disputes before, such as the clash over the blood of Christ in 1462. Perhaps Neroccio’s statue was a visual riposte to the Franciscan pope Sixtus IV from the Dominican-approved “society of Saint Catherine of Siena.” Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 58. 7 Bianchi and Giunta, Iconografia di Santa Caterina, 80; and Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.l, 234. 8 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 203–6. 9 Jane Turner, ed., Dictionary of Art, s.v. “Biccherna” (by Hayden B. Maginnis) (New York: Groves Dictionaries, 1996). 10 Luigi Borgia dates the panel 1498(?): Luigi Borgia et al., Le Biccherne:Tavole dipinte delle magistrature senesi (secoli XIII-XVIII) (Rome: Ministero peri beneculturali e ambientali, 1984), 200–201. Ubaldo Morandi dates it to 1499; Morandi, Le Biccherne senesi: Le tavolette della Biccherna, della Gabella e XXXXXX

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 1. Bernardino Fungai, Stigmatization of Saint Catherine, 1495. Tempera on panel, Oratorio della Cucina, Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, Siena. Anderson 21649. Reproduced by permission from Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 2. Anonymous,The Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena, 1498. Gabella panel, Archivio di Stato, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

right, holds a scroll that reads “Stimata Passa Fuit,” alluding to his Poema written in honor of Catherine, which proclaims his own strong belief in the truth of her stigmatization.11 Two members of the Piccolomini family, Giacomo and Guidantonio, are inscribed in the list of officers at the bottom of the panel. They may have influenced strongly the choice of the scene that proudly recalls their family’s connection with the saint. This same tavoletta may also be meant to invoke Pope Alexander VI, whose belief in Catherine’s stigmata was of great importance to the Sienese in this last decade of the quattrocento. Alexander VI had moderated Sixtus IV’s ban, allowing images of Saint Catherine to be made showing her wounds with gold or light but not with red blood.12 The very moment of Saint Catherine’s canonization was soon given monumental public form in the sumptuous Piccolomini Library in one of the series of frescoes commissioned from Pinturicchio in 1502 by Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini (see Green, fig. 5).13 The library and its decoration were 11

di altre magistrature dell’antico stato senese conservate presso l’archivio di Stato di Siena (Siena: Monte dei Paschi di Siena, 1964), 124–25. 11 Bianchi and Giunta, Iconografia di Santa Caterina, 87 n. 25. 12 Bianchi and Giunta, Iconografia di Santa Caterina, 80; Gordley, “A Dominican Saint,” 398; and Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 234. 13 For Pinturicchio’s fresco of the Canonization of Saint Catherine, see Stratton Green’s contribution in this volume.

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intended as a tribute from the cardinal to his uncle, Pope Pius II, whose brilliant career it chronicles in images. The fresco celebrating the ceremony of Catherine’s elevation to sainthood makes a strong visual impact, with Pius II enthroned dominating the top half of the scene. The uncorrupted body of the saint lies on a bier at the foot of Pius II’s throne. Her stark black and white habit stands out sharply, both from the ranks of standing figures in the lower half of the fresco and from the red cardinal’s robes, the red carpet, cloth of honor, and baldachin of Pius II’s throne. Catherine’s stigmata, which were still under contention, are treated with discretion. Instead of recreating the moment of Catherine’s wounding, as did the anonymous painter of the gabella panel, Pinturicchio has subtly signaled the miraculous event by the flow of red cloth above and around her body. The inscription beneath the fresco emphasizes the great number of miracles brought about through her intercession, a theme that was soon to be reiterated in monumental images elsewhere in the city.14 In the quarter century between 1500 and 1525, two monumental fresco projects illustrating events from Catherine’s life were begun for Saint Catherine’s chapel in the church of San Domenico and for the Oratory of the Oca, which was created at the site of her home, now Sta. Caterina in Fontebranda. These two cycles expanded the range of themes of the saint’s life well beyond the contested stigmatization, presenting wall-sized images of Catherine’s miracles on behalf of others. Both cycles include the stigmatization, giving it pride of place on the altar wall. In the Oratory of the Oca in Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, Catherine’s mystic wounding appears in a lunette by Giacomo Pacchiarotti dated ca. 1510– 20.15 Companion images covering the side walls treat episodes from Catherine’s life that specifically stress her curing power or the efficacy of her prayers on behalf of others. For example, Vincenzo Tamagni’s fresco features Saint Catherine curing Matteo Cenni, rector of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, of the plague, while Girolamo del Pacchia portrays two Dominican monks saved from robbers and murderers by Saint Catherine’s fervent prayers.16 Both of these incidents are only rarely treated by artists. The choice of these two specific events among the dozens of episodes from Saint Catherine’s life indicates that the Sienese were increasingly relying on Saint Catherine to intercede in their lives, freeing them from life-threatening illness or delivering them from the terrors of brigands. The flamboyant artist Giovanni Antonio Bazzi, called Il Sodoma, contributed five charming little angels to the fresco decoration for the Oratory of the Oca around 1520–25. Near that same time, he was entrusted with a much greater responsibility for the Chapel of Saint Catherine in S. Domenico. There he planned the entire complement of frescoes for the chapel that housed the precious relic of the saint’s head, brought to Siena from Rome in 1384.17 As in the Oratory of the Oca, the themes for Saint Catherine’s chapel included her stigmatization, which Il 14

Salvatore Settis and Donatella Toracca, The Piccolomini Library in Siena Cathedral (Modena: Franco Cosimo Panini, 1998), 112 fig. 142, 113 fig. 143, 251, 366–68. 15 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 134–36, and 2.2 fig.110. 16 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 137–40, and 2.2 figs.111, 115, 116. 17 Piero Torriti, La Casa di Santa Caterina e la Basilica di San Domenico a Siena (Genoa: Sagep, 1983), 44.

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Sodoma painted on the altar wall to the left of the reliquary. This he balanced with a depiction of her ecstasy and vision of the Christ Child on the right. Again, as in the Oratory, themes of Catherine’s curing power were planned for the side walls. On the left wall, Il Sodoma completed a huge fresco, Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tuldo, an episode detailed in one of her letters and one that is rarely represented in the visual arts (fig. 3).18 Dressed in white, Catherine kneels at the lower left of the image, praying fervently for the soul of Niccolò, who has just been beheaded. The success of Catherine’s intercession shines forth in the upper part of the scene where smiling angels conduct Niccolò’s pure white soul into heaven. This grand image proclaims that even the most hopeless person, condemned to an ignominious death, could be reconciled to God and brought to salvation by Catherine’s passionate intervention. Il Sodoma had planned to paint Saint Catherine Curing a Demoniac Woman for the right wall, as indicated by several surviving preparatory drawings. He never completed the work, for reasons unknown. This wall remained bare until 1594, when Francesco Vanni, who probably knew of Il Sodoma’s preliminary sketches, created his own striking image of Saint Catherine casting demons out of the afflicted woman.19 Though not completed in the early sixteenth century, this story of Catherine’s triumph in relieving the possessed of their demonic tormenters was clearly important to Il Sodoma’s patrons at that time. Catherine, healer of souls and bodies by virtue of the unopposable power of Christ working through her, stands out as a compassionate and accessible figure in Il Sodoma’s cycle. Close to the same time when Il Sodoma and others were frescoing these holy sites, still other artists were painting large-scale altarpieces aggrandizing Saint Catherine. The esteemed painter Domenico Beccafumi contributed several significant images to this group of monumental oils that were commissioned in the first third of the sixteenth century. Around 1514-15, Beccafumi painted the eloquent, symbolically charged image of Stigmatization of Saint Catherine for the Olivetan Benedictine monastery of San Benedetto outside Porta Tufi.20 A little over a decade later, in 1528, he created the first monumental image of Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena for the heirs of the Garbassi family for their chapel in Santo Spirito.21 As if echoing these developments in large-scale painting, images of Saint Catherine’s mystical experiences were chosen four times for the small panels of the Biccherna and the Gabella in the years between 1525 and 1550. Saint Catherine appeared more frequently on the treasury office panels between 1500 and 1550 than any other holy figure. Her images outnumber even those of the Virgin Mary as protectress of the city, a theme that had been the clear favorite for the preceding fifty years.22 18

Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.2, 579–80. Catherine’s letter is number 273 in Catherine of Siena, La verità dell’amore, intro. and notes Giuliana Cavallini (Rome: Città Nuova,1978), 161–66. See also Joan P. Del Pozzo, “The Apotheosis of Niccolò Toldo: An Execution ‘Love Story,’” Modern Language Notes 110 (1995): 164–77. 19 Susan Wegner, “Heroizing Saint Catherine: Francesco Vanni’s Saint Catherine of Siena Liberating a Possessed Woman,”Woman’s Art Journal 18 (1998): 34, 37 n. 23. 20 Gordley, “A Dominican Saint,” 394. 21 Piero Torriti, Beccafumi (Milan: Electa, 1998), 129–30. 22 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 154–201, 224–43, 387–88. The surviving panels and lost panels identified XXXXX

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 3. Il Sodoma, Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tuldo, 1526. Fresco, San Domenico, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

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POLITICAL CHANGE AND ITS REFLECTION IN THE ARTS At the same time that Saint Catherine’s image begins to appear with some frequency in the tavolette of the Gabella and Biccherna, the image of the Madonna as protector of Siena appears to be diminishing, or at least falling into temporary eclipse, on these civic images. What factors might have contributed to this change? Since 1260 and the Battle of Montaperti, when the Virgin had been elected supreme protectress of Siena in a public decree, her image held prominence in the civic fabric.23 The most striking trecento image of the Madonna as civic and religious emblem of Siena is Duccio’s Maestà, made to crown the high altar of the cathedral of Siena. That imposing painting, dedicated in 1311 with solemn processions, is perpetually linked with the city’s prayer as recorded by an anonymous contemporary chronicler. The Sienese prayed “to the Mother of God, our protectress, to defend us by her infinite mercy from all adversity, and to guard us against the hand of traitors and enemies of Siena.”24 The Virgin in majesty receives her court of saints and angels ranged in ranks to the sides. The idea of the Virgin protectress of Siena held currency for centuries, finding expression in art of many forms. In the fifteenth century, she was still highly venerated in this role. Mary’s preeminence is apparent in the tavolette of the Gabella and Biccherna from 1450 to 1500, which are rich with images of the protective Virgin, sheltering her city from all manner of threats. The Virgin in several guises is called upon to foster the city’s well-being. The biccherna panel from 1451 shows the Virgin hovering protectively over the city while the treasurer washes his hands. This reflects a change adopted by the Consiglio of the Sienese Republic in 1451 in order to keep better control over public officials. The treasurer of the Biccherna was to be elected from among the religious, as had been the custom in the distant past.25 The Virgin spreads her arms wide, sheltering with her cloak the synoptic representation of Siena suggested by a city gate emblazoned with the black and white shields of the balzana, the soaring towers of the Palazzo Pubblico, and the cathedral whose dome rises above the crenellated city walls. The motif of Virgin as protectress may here be aligned with a return to the “good old days” and governmental practices of the peaceful past, at least as it was recalled in 1451. In 1456, the Virgin Annunciate appears in celestial glory over crowds of white-garbed Sienese children crowned with olive branches. Their supplications 23

by Borgia include twenty-five between 1450 and 1500, eleven of which include images of the Virgin. Among the ten panels known from 1500 to 1550, the Virgin appears in three, all of which also feature Saint Catherine. Saint Catherine appears alone with Christ on a fourth. 23 Diana Norman, Siena and the Virgin: Art and Politics in a Late Medieval City State (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1999), 3–4 and throughout; Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 328; and Judith Hook, Siena, a City and Its History (London: H. Hamilton, 1979), 125. 24 Jane I. Satkowsi, Duccio di Buoninsegna: The Documents and Early Sources, ed. and intro. Hayden B. J. Maginnis (Athens: Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia, 2000), 100: “E tutto quello dì si stette a orazione con molte limosine, le quai si feceno a povare persone, preghando Idio e la sua Madre, la quale è nostra avochata ci difenda per la sua infinita misericordia da ogni aversità e ogni male e ghurdici da mani traditori e nimici di Siena.” English translation in Cecilia Jannella, Duccio di Buoninsegna (Florence: Scala, 1991), 21. 25 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 156, 157 ill.; and Morandi, Le biccherne senesi, 88, 89 ill.

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beg for deliverance from the threat of the advancing Turks. The biccherna panel of 1460 presents the Virgin overseeing the coronation of Pope Pius II, while the panel painted in 1467 has her consoling her suffering city after a terrible summer earthquake. In 1480, she recommends her city to her son.26 The tavolette depicting the Virgin in the next decade strike a very different tone. The gabella panel of 1483, recently attributed to Pietro Orioli, depicts a solemn rededication of the city to the Virgin in a ritual enacted at the Cappella delle Grazie in the Sienese cathedral (fig. 4).27 In 1483, four of Siena’s political parties united in offering the keys of the city to the Virgin. The occasion was a city crisis— the exiled members of the party of the Nove were threatening to capture the city by force of arms. Their attack was repulsed and the Virgin credited with the victory.28 Two of the three important images of the Virgin that were used in civic rituals are pictured here in this panel. On the right, the Virgin miraculously leans out of the painting in the Cappella delle Grazie to receive fealty from the Sienese. Just visible on the left border is the right side of Duccio’s great Maestà, showing the kneeling figure of one of Siena’s ancient patrons, the Christian warrior Saint Victor. At the time of the rededication, a governmental notary even drew up an official contract explicitly stating that no person of any rank or office had received any authority from the ceremony except the Virgin herself. The contract went on to designate her the “true feudal lady, guardian, defender, and safeguard” of Siena, having the magistrates of the city as her vassals and representatives forever. Their right to hold their offices came directly from the Virgin.29 When the banished Noveschi were to return four years later, this time to triumph, some significant changes in the city’s symbolic signage would soon begin to appear. The promises of safeguard and defense that the governors of Siena had begged of the Virgin in 1483 were not to endure. In 1484, the troubles of the previous year were still reverberating. The gabella cover for that year features Presentation of the Virgin, another comforting image for a time of trouble.30 The year of 1484 was a particularly inauspicious one for Siena’s governing group. Powerful figures, including the new pope, Innocent VIII, and the King of Naples, seemed to be 26 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 160, 161 ill., 166, 167 ill., 170, 171 ill., and 182, 183 ill.; and Morandi, Le biccherne senesi, 90, 91 ill., 98, 99 ill., and 110, 111 ill. 27 Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 335. 28 For an excellent account of late fifteenth-century Sienese politics, see Christine Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation in Siena, 1480–1498 (I),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 103 (1996): 9–102; and Christine Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation in Siena, 1480–1498 (II)” Bullettino senese di storia patria 104 (1997): 194–307. 29 Documents in ASS, Consiglio Generale 239, fol. 199, and Balia 26, and A. Toti, Atti di votazione della Citta di Siena e del Senese alla Vergine madre di Gesu Cristo (Siena: Lazzari, 1870), as cited in Bram Kempers, “Icons, Altarpieces, and Civic Ritual in Siena Cathedral, 1100-1530,” in City and Spectacle in Medieval Europe, Medieval Studies at Minnesota 6, ed. Barbara A. Hanawalt and Kathryn L. Reyerson (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994), 122 (“vere domina, custos, defensio et presidium nostrum”), see also 121–23, 135 n. 160–2; English translations in William Heywood, Palio and Ponte: An Account of the Sports of Central Italy from the Age of Dante to the 20th Century (New York: Hacker Art Books, 1969), 43; and Hook, Siena, 126. John Koenig interprets such legal formulations and supplications in front of miraculous images as actions needed to strengthen Siena’s particular tie to the Virgin Mary, in the absence of tangible relics tht would usually bind a city to its patron saint: “Wartime Religion: The PreMontaperti Sienese Supplicaion and Ritual Submission,” Bulletino senese di storia patria 105 (2000): 10–11. 30 Borgia, Le biccherne, 186, 187 ill.; and Morandi, Le biccherne senesi, 114, 115 ill.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 4. Pietro Orioli,The Sienese Offer the Keys of the City to the Virgin, 1483. Gabella panel, Archivio di Stato, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

favoring the Monte dei Nove, many of whose major adherents, including Pandolfo Petrucci, were still in exile. On the gabella cover from 1487, there appears a somewhat worried-looking Virgin, dragging the “ship of state” from tumultuous waves into more placid, if rather dark waters.31 The artist Guidoccio Cozzarelli has expressed a cautious hope for relative peace. While not picturing it explicitly, this panel commemorates the victorious reentry into the city of the exiled Noveschi. They were led by Pandolfo Petrucci (1452–1512), whose influence over the governance of Siena would grow tremendously over the next twenty-five years. Petrucci, vilified and dismissed in Burckhardt’s Civilization of the Renaissance as the “insignificant and malicious” tyrant of Siena, seems to have had a keen grasp of 31

Borgia, Le Biccherne, 190, 191 ill.; and Morandi, Le Biccherne senesi, 118, 119 ill.

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art’s power to express the ideals of an individual or of a state.32 During his reign as virtual dictator from 1502 through 1512, he unhesitatingly sponsored projects affecting the most symbolically significant sites in the city, the Piazza del Campo and the cathedral. In 1508, Petrucci put forward a plan to classicize and unify the urban face by adding porticoes to all the palaces facing onto the Piazza del Campo.33 While he held power, every artistic decision concerning the cathedral was undertaken only with his agreement. He sat on every important artistic committee. Even contracts and payments for work were made with his oversight and from within his own palace, carrying the proviso “as it shall appear suitable to the Magnificent Pandolfo Petrucci.”34 When Cozzarelli treated the subject of Petrucci’s triumphant return again in the 1488 tavoletta for the Gabella, he chose a less metaphorical image than he had the year before (fig. 5).35 He depicted the very moment when a band of armed horsemen and infantry, commanded by their leader on a white horse, pushes through the gate at Fontebranda. Above the action, the Virgin Mary holding her child looks down from a roundel. The holy pair shares this exalted space with another figure, that of Saint Mary Magdalen, on whose saint’s day, 22 July, the exiles’ victory was achieved. Eventually, the Petrucci family would institute an annual horse race in the saint’s honor, run on her feast day to commemorate Pandolfo Petrucci’s return to the city on that day in 1487; Petrucci’s special devotion to the Magdalen would find further expression in art and architecture as his power in Siena grew.36 In 1489, Guidoccio Cozzarelli—most likely a relative of Giacomo Cozzarelli who later built Pandolfo Petrucci’s ornate Palace, “the palace of the Magnifico”— was called upon again to make a tavoletta. This one, for the Gabella, reveals a poignant grouping of the treasurer and other officials dressed in penitential garb praying before a reluctant Virgin, imploring her to reenter the city.37 The Virgin looks toward her infant son, whom she supports with her left arm as she gestures toward

32 On Petrucci, see Shaw “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II);” Maurizio Gattoni da Camogli, Pandolfo Petrucci e la politica estera della Repubblica di Siena (1487–1512) (Siena: Edizioni Cantagalli, 1997); Turner, Dictionary of Art, s.v. “Pandolfo Petrucci” (by Nicholas Adams); David L. Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy and the Rise of Pandolfo Petrucci, 1487–97,” in La Toscana al tempo di Lorenzo il Magnifico: Politica, economia, cultura, arte (Pisa: Pacini, ca. 1996), 3:1051–72; Giovanni Agosti and Vincenzo Farinella, “Interni senesi ‘all’antica,’” in Domenico Beccafumi e il suo tempo, exhibit catalogue (Milan: Electa, 1990), 590–92, 599 n. 57; and Jacob Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, trans. S. G. C. Middlemore, rev. ed. Irene Gordon (New York: New American Library of World Literature, 1960), 60. Philippa Jackson’s current research at the Warburg Institute will doubtless add immensely to the understanding of Pandolfo Petrucci’s patronage of the arts. 33 For Petrucci’s transformation of Sienese architecture, see Fabrizio J. D. Nevola, “Siena nel Rinascimento sistemi urbanisticie strutture istituzionali (1400–ca. 1520),” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 43–64; A. Lawrence Jenkens, “Pius II’s Nephews and the Politics of Architecture at the End of the Fifteenth Century in Siena,” Bullettino senese di storia patria 106 (1999): 69–114; and Hook, Siena, 77. 34 Archivio de’ Contralti di Siena, Rogiti di ser Alessandro di ser Francesco, 1508, 26 September (“che parrà al magnifico Pandolfo Petrucci”), in Gaetano Milanesi, Documenti per la storia dell’arte Senese (Siena: Onorato Porri, 1854–56), 3:266 as cited in Hook, Siena, 69. 35 Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II),” 216–17; and Borgia, Le biccherne, 192, 193 ill. 36 Hook, Siena, 223, notes that, “It became a Sienese custom always to allow a Petrucci horse to win this particular Palio.” 37 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 194, 195 ill.; and Morandi, Le Biccherne senesi, 120, 121 ill.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 5. Guidoccio Cozzarelli, The Return of the Noveschi, 1488. Gabella panel, Shelfmark Davis 768. By permission of The British Library, London.

the penitents with her right. Even as she does so, she turns her body and her face away from those petitioners and from the city’s gate toward which they beseechingly gesture. Her distance and detachment from the city is conveyed despite the supplicatory tone of the panel. For the next fifty years, the Virgin’s image, once so frequent on the biccherna panels, is totally absent. Only in 1539 does she reappear on surviving panels, and when she does, she shares the spotlight with Saint Catherine of Siena at the saint’s mystic marriage to Christ. On the panel from 1546, Mary appears at a mystic Crucifixion where Saint Catherine upstages her in the left foreground with a dramatic Magdalen-like, open-armed gesture as she receives the stigmata through Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 6. Anonymous,The Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena, 1456. Biccherna panel, Archivio di Stato, Siena. Reproduced by permission from Alinari/Art Resource, NY.

blood-red lines (fig. 6). Finally, in 1548, the Virgin oversees a double mystic marriage with both Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Catherine of Siena receiving rings from the infant Christ.38 In none of these panels is the Virgin shown in her celestial realm with her protective mantle overspreading the city. These notable changes in the tavoletta themes signal a shift of emphasis in civic imagery and perhaps a loss of confidence on the part of the city’s governors in the Madonna’s special protection of Siena. Catherine’s rise as a sponsor of Siena may have been fostered to some extent by the ebbing of the Virgin’s currency as advocate for the Sienese. Soon after Pandolfo Petrucci returned to the city in 1487, he began to set the stage for his future influence throughout the governing structures of Siena. Several agents working in Siena for the Medici sent reports back to their Florentine rulers over the next few years, documenting Petrucci’s ambition and growing influence.39 By 1495 another powerful foreigner, Lodovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, began to take serious interest in Petrucci and in the factional strife in Sienese politics. The Sienese themselves initiated a diplomatic connection with Sforza after a significant 38 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 236, 237 ill., 240, 241 ill., 242, 243 ill.; and Morandi, Le Biccherne senesi, 136, 137 ill., 140 (where he dates the work to 1545), 141 ill., 142, 143 ill. 39 Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II),” 243–88.

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outbreak of civil violence. On 22 July 1495, some members of rival monti objected to the Noveschi’s celebration of the feast of Saint Mary Magdalen commemorating the anniversary of the exiles’ return in 1487. Armed opponents openly clashed in the city streets, prompting the governing group to seek military assistance from Sforza.40 With his support, Petrucci’s star continued its rise. This link with Milan inflamed Petrucci’s enemies to such an extent that some conspired to assassinate him as well as Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini (brother of Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini) and the Milanese ambassador.41 In January 1497, during the same period that such assassination plots were brewing, an envoy from the republican government of Florence warned his Sienese correspondents that their government’s foreign policy ran the risk of placing Siena under the power of outsiders, just as had happened almost a century before. He reminded the Sienese of the humiliation they had suffered under the domination of the Milanese tyrant, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, back in 1399.42 In 1497, the same year in which the Florentine envoy was issuing this dire assessment of Siena’s actions, Pandolfo Petrucci was being recognized by foreign ambassadors and by his Sienese countrymen as the virtual head of governance. Because of his great influence in the Balìa, the combined legislative and executive body, he essentially governed Siena at this time. He was even addressed by an honorific title, Il Magnifico, by visiting ambassadors.43 It has been suggested that the painted cover of the registry of the archives of the Concistoro for 1497, showing Petrucci’s favored saint, Mary Magdalen, above the she-wolf and the twins, was commissioned by Petrucci himself.44 This unique image raises the status of the Magdalen to that of a civic emblem. She stands over the she-wolf and twins, venerable symbols proclaiming the antiquity of the foundation of Siena. Perhaps she is displayed in their presence to imply the foundation of a new Siena, one that had begun on 22 July 1487, with the triumphant return of the exiled Noveschi. In contrast to the civil strife over the Nove’s homage to the Magdalen in 1495, the painting of 1497 projects a confidence in the power of the new regime and its patron saint.45 Whether Petrucci himself was responsible for the creation of this image, his devotion to the Magdalen continued and was most profoundly expressed in his construction of a church dedicated to her, Santa Maria Maddalena fuori Porta Tufi, which was begun in 1508.46

40

Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II),” 288–99. Shaw, “Politics and Institutional Innovation (II),” 297–98; and Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy,” 3:1069 n. 72. 42 Christine Shaw, “Memory and Tradition in Sienese Political Life in the Fifteenth Century,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 9 (1999): 224–25. 43 Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy,” 3:1067-68; and Agosti and Farinelli, “Interni senesi,” 590. 44 Borgia, Le Biccherne, 196, 197 ill.; and Morandi, Le Biccherne senesi, 214, 215 ill. 45 Carl Brandon Strehlke notes the interconnection of symbols of Siena’s Roman origin with those of the Siena as City of the Virgin. For example, a bronze she-wolf dedicated in the 1420s in Siena was installed on 15 August, the feast day of the Assumption of the Virgin. See his “Art and Culture in Renaissance Siena,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 38–39. 46 Agosti and Farinelli, “Interni senesi,” 590.The region just outside the Porta Tufi was also the site of the Olivetan Benedictine monastery for which Beccafumi was to paint his great image of The Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena around 1515. Gordley reports that the Olivetans of San Benedetto, XXX 41

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The new church that Petrucci built to honor his protector, Saint Mary Magdalen, was not his only politically motivated intevention into the art and architecture of Siena. During his time in power, Petrucci dramatically transformed the interior of Siena’s cathedral. He took down Duccio’s imposing Maestà, which had crowned the main altar table of the cathedral for almost two centuries. This venerated trecento masterpiece had been for generations an emotionally charged embodiment of the city’s continuing prayers to the Madonna for the gift of peace. In July of 1506, Petrucci had the Maestà removed from its place on the main altar and shifted over to a spot near the side chapel of Saint Sebastian.47 In his chronicle of that year, the Sienese historian Sigismondo Tizio, who had no great love for Petrucci, asserted that the painting was removed even though this action was against the canons’ will.48 The entire altar was demolished and a new one set up farther toward the apse. The bronze tabernacle Vecchietta had made years earlier for the chapel of the Hospital of Santa Maria della Scala was placed there. In moving Duccio’s Maestà to the side for whatever combination of liturgical, aesthetic, and practical reasons, Petrucci was also setting aside some of the symbolic efficacy of the image of the Virgin Protector. Although the records of the discussions of the Balìa concerning this action assert that aesthetic considerations were in play, Pandolfo Petrucci may have been using aesthetic arguments to advance his own personal and political manipulation of one of Siena’s most important civic symbols. The Gothic style of the Maestà, as well as its subject matter, could well have carried strong associations with governmental structures of Siena’s medieval past. Perhaps Petrucci’s preferences in style and subject conveyed a sense of a new order, one rooted in the esteemed, if somewhat fictional, tradition of Siena’s classical past.49 One piece of evidence to support a political interpretation of Petrucci’s displacement of the Maestà is the date on which it was accomplished. The move was undertaken in July, perhaps chosen specifically to recall the anniversary of Petrucci’s victorious return almost twenty years before.50 Petrucci may have gently, yet deliberately, worked at dismantling the civic image of the protective Virgin as expressed through Madonna images in the cathedral. Through the painting in the chapel of Madonna delle Grazie, the leaders who had sent Petrucci into exile had pleaded to the Virgin in 1483 to save the city from him and his armed comrades. 47

since its foundation in 1322, had performed an important role in Siena’s civic life, serving as proctors during the elections of city’s magistrates; Gordley, “A Dominican Saint,” 410 n. 53. 47 James H. Stubblebine, Duccio di Buoninsegna and His School (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979), 1:35; and Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 58. Jannella states that the work was moved “owing to repair”; Jannella, Duccio di Buoninsegna, 24. Kees van der Ploeg notes that the liturgy does not require an altarpiece, and that Pius II’s cathedral at Pienza had a ciborium and no altarpiece on the main altar; Van der Ploeg, Art, Architecture and Liturgy: Siena Cathedral in the Middle Ages (Groningen: Egbert Forsten, 1993), 25–26. According to Pius, altarpieces were acceptable for side altars only. Petrucci, following Pius II’s lead in many things aesthetic, may, among other things, have been emulating him in this change. Nevola indicates that Pandolfo Petrucci, Giacomo Piccolomini, and Antonio Bichi had already been given responsibility for this removal project as early as August 1497; Nevola, “Siena nel Rinascimento,” 60. 48 Kempers, “Icons, Altarpieces,” 93. 49 Strehlke, “Art and Culture,” in Christiansen, Kanter, and Strehlke, Painting in Renaissance Siena, 38–39, 55–56. 50 Stubblebine, Duccio, 1:35.

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Now in 1506, Petrucci successfully shifted out of its prestigious place on the high altar the Madonna painting that most fully visualized the identity of the Sienese republic: Duccio’s Maestà.51 In 1508, two years after Duccio’s image of the Virgin had been displaced from the high altar, Petrucci’s own visage was painted as part of Pinturicchio’s frescoed façade for the Piccolomini Library attached to the cathedral (see Green, fig. 3). The lunette over the door features the Coronation of Pope Pius III, formerly Cardinal Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini. Among the crowd of dignitaries in the left foreground stands an impressive, long-bearded elder, dressed in magnificent garb, whom local tradition identifies as Petrucci. This tradition was affirmed by Tizio, who as a youth had resided in the home of his patron, Niccolò Borghesi, who was Petrucci’s father-in-law.52 Completion of the fresco honoring the shortlived Pius III was overseen by his brother, Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini, whose support in the mid-1490s had been a major force in Petrucci’s political ascent.53 As Andrea memorialized his brother, he also fixed Petrucci’s image onto the wall of the cathedral that he had done so much to transform, from its marble pavements to its high altar. It is likely that some Sienese understood Petrucci’s demotion of the Maestà in 1506 as an overtly political act. After the last of Petrucci’s heirs was finally overthrown by rival Sienese in 1524, one of the victors’ first acts was to carry Duccio’s altarpiece through the streets of the city in triumph.54 Perhaps some saw the years of the Petrucci family’s reign as a time when the Virgin’s patronage of Siena was suspended. When the Nove’s opponents rededicated the city to the Virgin in 1483, those civic authorities supported their actions by a politicized reading of past history. They looked back to the shameful moment in 1399 when the Milanese tyrant, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, had seized power over the city. Authorities in 1483 interpreted this period of hated Milanese domination as a time during which the Virgin had been formally removed from her role as Siena’s protectress. The ceremony of 1483 sought to reinstate her as the city’s patron, and new notarial deeds were drafted to that effect. Maybe Pandolfo Petrucci’s rise to power in Siena, sponsored and to some extent financed by the later Milanese ruler Duke Lodovico Sforza, was viewed by Petrucci’s opponents as an unhappy revisiting of that trecento Milanese interlude.55 It is possible that the procession of 1524 that employed Duccio’s Virgin was meant as a symbolic reassertion of the Virgin’s favor and protection for the city upon the ouster of the detested Petrucci clan. It should be remembered that the 51

For a full account of the confusing history of the cathedral’s Madonna panels, see Kempers, “Icons, Altarpieces,” 89–136, esp. 112 and 116. Exclusive claims to the Virgin’s favor were again a point of contention during Siena’s war in the 1550s against the Spanish and Florentine forces. The besieging Catholic Spaniards took great exception to the Sienese claim that the Madonna was Siena’s special partisan. See Roberto Cantagalli, La Guerra di Siena (1552–1559) (Siena: Accademia senese degli intronati, 1962), 8. 52 Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy,” 3:1053 n. 8; and Settis and Toracca, The Piccolomini Library, 347. On portraits of Pandolfo Petrucci, see Agosti and Farinelli, “Interni senesi,” 599 n. 55. 53 Hicks, “The Sienese Oligarchy,” 3:1066–67. 54 Hook, Siena, 131. 55 William Heywood, Our Lady of August and the Palio of Siena (Siena: Enrico Torrini, 1899) 67– 68, as cited in Kempers, “Icons, Altarpieces,” 122; and Hook, Siena, 160.

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prayer recorded by the anonymous witness to the procession of Duccio’s painting in 1311 had implored the Virgin “to guard us against the hand of traitors and enemies of Siena.” In 1526, two years after the fall and exile of the Petrucci family and during the war against Clement VII Medici and his Florentine allies, the Sienese also destroyed Petrucci’s church dedicated to the Magdalen. While this was necessary, it was claimed, for the defense of the city, the sixteenth-century historian Francesco Malavolti attributes it to politics. He reports that the Senate ordered the church to be demolished as part of a damnatio memoriae, a desire to erase the memory of Pandolfo Petrucci.56 Before the crucial battle of Porta Camollia, on 24 July 1526 the Sienese had made a banner of the Virgin and rededicated the city to the Immacolata. After the victory, the cult of the Immacolata acquired greater importance in civic life. Further, in 1527, some of the nuns formerly inhabiting the convent of Petrucci’s recently destroyed church, Santa Maria Maddalena, received permission to found a new convent carrying the name of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin.57 Those sisters abandoned their allegiance to Petrucci’s Mary in favor of a new association with Siena’s Mary, the Virgin. To return to Petrucci’s initial removal of Duccio’s Maestà from the main altar of the Duomo, one might ask if there is any evidence in the gabella and biccherna panels of just that time to support the idea that Petrucci was deliberating dismantling references to the Virgin as patron of the city. Alas, we cannot tell. Only one panel survives from the whole span of Petrucci’s dominance from 1497 to 1512, and that is the image we have already discussed, the Stigmatization of Saint Catherine of Siena on the panel from 1498 (fig. 2). What happened to the gabella and biccherna panels presumably made during Petrucci’s reign? Were none painted? Were they all destroyed or lost in the effort to expunge the memory of Petrucci, just as some of the decorations of his palace were demolished or dispersed in the riots and looting that accompanied his death in 1512? To date, no surviving gabella or biccherna panel has been identified for the early decades of the sixteenth century until the one from the year 1523, over a decade after Pandolfo’s death and the year before his heirs were finally unseated and exiled. Did the Saint Catherine panel alone survive from the Petrucci era because of its special continuing importance to the Sienese? Perhaps the nurturing figure of Saint Catherine, known to her followers as “mama,” had taken on, at least to some degree, the protective functions previously associated with the Virgin. That Catherine would have been selected as a kind of alternative to the Virgin from among the legion of possible Sienese saints may have had to do with her maternal yet virginal status. By examining the biccherna panels surviving from 1525 through 1550, one sees a marked contrast with those that had been painted from 1450 to 1500. On 24 July 1526, when Siena faced another crisis on the eve of the Battle of Porta Camollia as recounted above, the solemn ritual of giving the keys of the city to the 56 Orlandro Malavolti, Dell’ historica di Siena, vol. 3 (Venice, 1599; repr. Bologna: Zanichelli, 1968), fol. 129r. Text quoted in Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1., 329 n. 13. 57 Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.1.1, 325, 328–29.

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To view this image, please refer to the print version of this book.

Fig. 7. Domenico Beccafumi, Ceremony of the Keys in Siena, ca. 1527. Panel, The Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Reproduced by permission of The Duke of Devonshire and the Chatsworth Settlement Trustees. Photo courtesy of Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art.

Virgin was again carried out. A small panel now in Chatsworth was presumably cut down from a work done for the Biccherna around 1527; it is attributed to Domenico Beccafumi and has been interpreted as showing the rededication ceremony (fig. 7).58 If this notion is correct, this panel portrays the ritual in a very different way than does the work done for 1483 (fig. 3). In the Chatsworth panel, the

58

Borgia, Le Biccherne, 52. Torriti interprets the panel as showing the thanksgiving after the victory; Torriti, Beccafumi, 128, 130, 51.

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chapel of the vow appears only in shadowy, murky darkness. No reassuring image of the Virgin bursts forth miraculously from the altar to accept the keys as in the earlier rendition. Even the city’s insignia adorning the chapel in the quattrocento work are lacking in this later painting. It is a very muted and rather somber ceremony. Because the date, the subject, and the provenance of this panel are unclear, many questions must remain unanswered. Whoever painted it, however, the work does not appear to project a strong confidence in the Virgin as Protectress of Siena. As the image of the Virgin as advocate waned in the tavolette, the images of Saint Catherine increased. As already mentioned, the 1520s, ’30s, and ’40s featured Saint Catherine of Siena on several of the treasury office panels. In 1527, the gabella panel shows her exchanging her heart for Christ’s. Thereafter she loves her fellow men with Christ’s heart, not her own. Catherine’s Mystic Marriage to Christ ornaments the biccherna panels in both 1539 and 1548, while her stigmatization recurs in the mystic Crucifixion biccherna panel of 1546, as noted above (fig. 6).

 The pictorial record suggests that the series of monumental images of Saint Catherine of Siena stigmatized was started in response to challenges to the authenticity of Saint Catherine’s stigmata, mounted by the Franciscans and their papal supporters. It appears that Saint Catherine’s growing popularity with the Sienese was then accelerated, at least in part, by Pandolfo Petrucci’s use of the arts to enhance his own power. Petrucci’s chosen subjects and styles served to diminish the power of the centuries-old image of the Virgin as Siena’s protectress, which both he and the Sienese may have associated with governmental forms of the past that Petrucci had supplanted. Petrucci brought in the Magdalen, his personal protectress, as a figure bound up with the ancient insignia of the city. At this same time, Catherine’s stock was rising. She seems not to have been explicitly linked with Petrucci, though she was of great importance to the family of his allies, Cardinal Francesco Piccolomini and Andrea Todeschini Piccolomini. It was also at the walls near Fontebranda that Petrucci and his troops had received help in 1487 from sympathizers within the city. The exiles’ march to victory had taken them first through the gate of Fontebranda and then into the very neighborhood of Saint Catherine’s childhood home.59 Petrucci’s apparent downplaying of one of the most important civic images of the Virgin could have opened the door for any number of saintly figures to develop as new civic emblems. However, Catherine’s canonization and subsequent international recognition had already brought her to the fore, and Piccolomini commissions and influence brought her image onto the biccherna panels and into the cathedral. Catherine’s cachet as an accessible and effective female saint made her an attractive choice to many Sienese. Her image could have served some of the 59

The Borghesi clan, into which Petrucci married in 1488, was involved in the early stages of the creation of a shrine at Saint Catherine’s birthplace. On 30 August 1462, a bequest of 200 florins was left by Niccolò di Bartolomeo Borghesi to help purchase the house and erect a chapel there. Riedl and Seidel, Die Kirchen von Siena, 2.2.l, 58.

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA AS INTERCESSOR FOR THE SIENESE

functions in civic signage that had previously been the almost exclusive preserve of the image of the Virgin. Petrucci’s actions may have weakened the visual currency of the most important traditional patron of the city, the Virgin, but they fostered the rise and increased visibility of a newer one, Saint Catherine of Siena.

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Contributors

BENJAMIN DAVID received his PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, and is currently an assistant professor in art history at Lewis & Clark College. David specializes in Italian art from 1300 to 1600, with an emphasis on Early Renaissance painting. His scholarship and teaching engage the historical and theoretical implications of the practice of narrative. STRATTON GREEN received his PhD in art history from the University of California, Berkeley, where he specialized in the Italian Renaissance. His dissertation focused on the context and function of the Piccolomini Library with a special emphasis on the influence of epideictic rhetoric on the narrative structure of Pinturicchio’s biographical cycle of Aeneas Silvius Piccolomini. Green currently resides in Kansas City as an independent scholar.

A. LAWRENCE JENKENS is associate professor of art history at the University of New Orleans. He received his PhD in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Jenkens has also received postdoctoral fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies,Villa I Tatti, Florence.

MAURO MUSSOLIN received his PhD in the history of architecture at the Università di IUAV, Venice and currently teaches in Florence. Mussolin’s research is focused on the relationships between liturgy and architecture and the process of sanctifying sacred spaces. His publications include several studies of Sienese and Florentine religious communities and their buildings. FABRIZIO NEVOLA received his PhD from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London and is currently (2004–2005) a fellow at the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies,Villa I Tatti, in Florence. He is also a Research Fellow in the History of Art at the University of Warwick. He has published a number of articles on the architectural and urban history of Siena and on the ritual use of public space in the Renaissance in Art Bulletin, Renaissance Studies, and elsewhere.

MATTHIAS QUAST is an independent scholar whose interests focus on the study of art history, Italian philology, and urbanism. He received his PhD from the University of Bonn in 1988. Quast has taught at the Universities of Munich, Heidelberg, and Frankfurt am Main. He has published numerous articles on the architecture of the Italian villa, Roman urbanism in the cinquecento, and Sienese architecture.

JUDITH STEINHOFF received her PhD from Princeton University and teaches at the University of Houston. Her current research focuses on Sienese painting, including artistic collagoration and production in the mid-fourteenth century, Sienese civic-religious imagery, and the deployment of artistic style to enhance iconograpnic content in Sienese images. She has published articles in various journals and her forthcoming book, Artistic Pluralism and Politics in Sienese Painting After the Black Death, will be published by Cambridge University Press.

202

CONTRIBUTORS

SUSAN WEGNER, Chair of the Department of Art at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, received her PhD from Bryn Mawr College. Her published articles include studies on sixteenthcentury Sienese art, Italian Old Master prints and drawings, and representations of saints’ lives. Topics of her recent essays range from sacred painting in nineteenth-century New England to preColumbian ceramics.

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

Index Illustrations are indicated by bold locators.

A

Adoration of the Magi (Bartolo di Fredi), 22, 26 Aeneas Before James I of Scotland (Pinturicchio), 160 Aeneas Before Pope Eugenius IV (Pinturicchio), 160 Aeneas Receives the Cardinal’s Hat (Pinturicchio), 160 Agostino, Fra, 91, 101 Alberti, Leon Battista, 29, 102, 152 Albertinelli, Mariotto, 90 Alexander VI (pope), 88, 175, 177 Allegory of Good and Bad Governments (Ambrogio Lorenzetti), 2–3, 22, 25, 39 Andrea, Fra, 91, 101 Andrew, Saint, relic of, 163–64 Agnolo di Tura, 27–28 Ansanus, Saint, 37, 38 Antiochus and Stratonice (Michele Ciampanti), 129, 130 Antonino, Saint. See Pierozzi, Antonino Apollonio di Giovanni, workshop practice of, 125 Arch of “Severiano and Valeriano,” 150–51 archaism. See conservatism in Sienese art Arco de’Rossi, 144–46 arco senese, 50–51 Aringhieri, Alberto, 162 Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona (Pinturicchio), 160, 168, 169, 170 Art of Love (Ovid), 118 Augustine, Saint, 21

B

Baccio d’Angolo, 106 Badia Fiesolana, 102 ballatoio, 49–50, 53, 78 Balìa, 188 definition of, 6 institutionalization of, 9, 41 of November 1497, 9 and Santo Spirito, 89–91 Battle of Actium (Neroccio de’Landi), 114, 125 Bartolo di Fredi Adoration of the Magi, 22, 26 Ciardelli Altarpiece, 32, 33 John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel, 32, 34 Beatrice, Dante’s, 116, 118 Beccafumi, Domenico, 12–13, 73 Ceremony of the Keys in Siena, 191–92 Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena, 179 Benedetto da Cingoli, 133–34 Benincasa, Caterina. See Catherine of Siena, Saint Benvenuto di Giovanni, Triumph of David, 109–10 Bernardino of Siena, Saint, 6, 42, 44, 81–82, 103, 134 Biblioteca (Photios), 137 Biccherna, 29–30, 42 provveditori of, 35

Biccherna panels, 173–75, 179–80 1487 (Guidoccio Cozzarelli), 183 Ceremony of the Keys in Siena (Beccafumi), 191–92 Coronation of Pope Pius II (1460), 182 Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena (1539), 185 Pius II Making Francesco Piccolomini Cardinal (Francesco di Giorgio), 110 Presentation of the Virgin (1484), 182–83 Return of the Noveschi (Guidoccio Cozzarelli), 184, 185 Sienese Offer the Keys to Siena to the Virgin (Pietro Orioli), 182, 183, 191–92 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (1498), 175–76, 177, 190 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (1546),185, 186 and Saint Catherine, 179–80 and the Virgin, 179–86 Boccaccio, Giovanni and beauty, 133 Caccia di Diana, 119 “Nastagio degli Onesti,” Decameron, 118–19 Ninfale fiesolano, 118–19 Teseida, 133 Bonvicino da Milano, Meraviglie da Milano, 27 Borghesi, Niccolò, 10, 87, 189 Borgia, Cesare, 10 Rodrigo (see Alexander VI [pope]) Bregno, Andrea, Piccolomini Altar, 158 Brunelleschi, Filippo, 102 and the Palazzo Medici, 17 Bruni, Leonardo, 29 Burckhardt, Jacob, 3–4, 183–84

C

Caccia di Diana (Boccaccio), 119 Campo, Piazza del, 2, 29, 140, 184 Cappella in Piazza, 19 paving of, 27–28 Campano, Giovantonio, 167 Canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena (Pinturricchio), 17, 160, 164, 165, 178 Casa Calusi Giannini, 68, 69, 71, 77 cassone panels. See cassoni cassoni, 109–37 as narrative painting, 113–14 as pairs, 114 in Siena, 109–10 Cassoni of the Two Triumphs (group), workshop of Francesco di Giorgio, 114–19, 115, 117, 124, 128–29, 137 cathedral, Sienese. See Duomo Catherine of Siena, Saint, 6, 16, 42, 82–84, 162–64, 173–92 intercession on behalf of Siena, 178, 186 stigmatization of, 174–77, 192

204

INDEX Ceremony of the Keys in Siena (Beccafumi), 191–92 Chapel of Saint Catherine, San Domenico, 178–79 Ecstasy of Saint Catherine (Sodoma), 179 Saint Catherine Curing a Demoniac Woman (Francesco Vanni), 179 Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tuldo (Sodoma), 179, 180 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (Sodoma), 178–79 Chastity, virtue of, 118, 120 Chess Players (Liberale da Verona), 129, 131 Chronica of Santo Spirito, 84–85, 87–88, 89n26, 90 Ciampanti, Michele, 127–28 Antiochus and Stratonice, 129, 130 Rape of Proserpine, 128 Ciardelli Altarpiece (Bartolo di Fredi), 32, 33 Ciardelli, Pilippino, Blessed, 32 Cicero, 166–67 classical literature and cassoni narratives, 114 classical sources for Pinturicchio, 166 Clement VII (pope), 93–94, 190 Concistoro, 8–9, 83, 85, 105 conservatism in Sienese art, 3, 4n11, 14 Consiglio Generale, 8, 149, 181 Coronation of Pope Pius II (Biccherna panel, 1460), 182 (Pinturicchio), 160 Coronation of Pope Pius III (Pinturicchio), 158, 159, 160, 189 Coronation of the Virgin (Francesco di Giorgio), 122–23, 128 Costanti, Cristoforo, 32, 35 Council of Mantua (Pinturicchio), 160 Cozzarelli, Giacomo, 105, 122, 184 Cozzarelli, Guidoccio, 128–29 Biccherna panel (1487), 183 Legend of Cloelia, 132 Return of the Noveschi (Biccherna panel), 184, 185 Crescentius, Saint, 37, 38

D

dance, representation of, 119–20 David (Donatello), 16, 19 Death of Virginia (workshop of Francesco di Giorgio), 114, 131–32 Decameron (Boccaccio),“Nastagio degli Onesti,” 118– 19 Diana, 116, 118, 120, 137 Domenico di Niccolo. See Niccolo dei Cori Dominican order, conventuals, 83 distinction between observant and reformed, 82, in Siena, 81–82, 91 Lombard congregation, 87–88 observant 83–84, 93 Tuscan reformed convents, 86–87 Tusco–Roman province, 83, 88, 93–94 Donatello, 4, 20 David (bronze), 16, 19 Duccio di Buoninsegna, Maestà, 2, 181–82, 188 procession of in 1524, 189–90

Duomo, 2, 30, 42, 44, 79, 158, 162 Maestà (Duccio), 2, 181–82, 188 Piccolomini Altar (Andrea Bregno), 158 and renovations by Pandolfo Petrucci, 184, 188–89 Piccolomini Library (see Piccolomini Library)

E

Ecstasy of Saint Catherine (Sodoma), 179 Effects of Good Government in the City (Ambrogio Lorenzetti), 25 Entry into Jerusalem (Guido da Siena), 21 epideitic oration, 166–68 Eustacchio, Fra, 90 expropriation of property, 147–48

F

façades. See palace façades Federighi, Antonio, 19 “Fiducario di Francesco,” 122–23 finestre impannate, 49, 56 Florence, Dino Compagni’s description of, 27 La Catena map, 27 Florentine Picture Chronicle, 127–28, 136 Florentine Renaissance style, 1, 3–5 Francesco di Giorgio, 12–13, 71, 109–37 and Botticelli, 129 Codex Magliabecchiano, 66 collaboration with Neroccio de’Landi, 109, 114, 120, 121–23, 129, 134 Coronation of the Virgin, 122–23, 128 Opusculum de architectura, 125, 127, 129 Pius II Making Francesco Piccolomini a Cardinal, 110 Punishment of Psyche, 132 and Santo Spirito, 105 Scipio Africanus, 110 Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, 114, 124 Story of Joseph, 114 Story of Paris, 134, 135, 136–37 Triumph of Chastity, 110–12, 111, 114, 124–25 Francesco di Giorgio, workshop of Cassoni of the Two Triumphs (see Cassoni of the Two Triumphs) Death of Virginia, 114, 131–32 Goddess of Chaste Love, 114, 115, 122, 127, 129 Meeting of Dido and Aeneas, 114, 123, 124 Story of Coriolanus, 114 Story of Tuccia, 114, 123 Francis, Saint, 81 Franciscan order, distinction between observant and reformed, 82 in Siena, 81–82 observant community at San Bernardino, 83 Frederick III Crowns Aeneas Poet Laureate (Pinturicchio), 160 funerary oration. See epideitic oration Fungai, Bernardino, Stigmatization of Saint Catherine, 175, 176

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

INDEX

G

Gabella, tavoletta of. See Biccherna panels Gentile da Fabriano, 3 Gentiluomini, Monte del, 10, 110 Ghibelline party, 36–37 Ghiberti, Lorenzo, 19 Giovanni di Paolo, 121 Giovanni di Stefano, 19 Girolamo da Cremona, 129 Giuliano da Maiano, 63, 139, 151–52 and Benedetto da Maiano, 151 workshop of, 151 Goddess of Chaste Love (workshop of Francesco di Giorgio), 114, 115, 127, 129 Griselda Master, 110 grotteschi, 166 Guelf, League, 32 party, 37 Guido da Siena, Entry into Jerusalem, 21 Guido delle Colonne, Historia Destructiones Troiae, 136– 37

H

Heroides (Ovid), 136 Historiae Destructiones Troiae (Guido delle Colonne), 136–37

J

Jacopo della Quercia, 3, 19–20 Jerusalem, depictions of, 21–22 Jesus Chased from the Temple (Liberale da Verona), 132 John the Baptist Led into the Wilderness by an Angel (Bartolo di Fredi), 32, 34 Julius II (pope), 91 Juno Pronupta, 119

L

Ladislas (king of Hungary), 41 Legend of Cloelia (Guidoccio Cozzarelli), 132 Liberale da Verona, 123, 127, 129 Chess Players, 129, 131 Jesus Chased from the Temple, 132 and Neroccio de’Landi, 131 Rape of Europa, 129 Rape of Helen, 129 Scene from a Novella, 129 Story of Tobias, 131 libraries, Cosimo de’Medici’s at San Marco, 157 Sixtus IV’s at the Vatican, 157 Libro dei Censi, 24, 35 Loggia della Mercanzia, 19 Loggia del Papa, 19 Lorenzetti, Ambrogio, Allegory of Good and Bad Government, 2–3, 22, 39 Effects of the Good Government in the City, 25 Lotto di Domenico, 122 Louis XII (king of France), 10 love, carnal and chaste, 119–20 Luca da Trani, Fra, 88, 89n24

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

205 Lucca, 16 Luti, Bianca Saracina, 133–34

M

Maestà, (Duccio), 2, 179, 182, 188–90 (Simone Martini), 2, 39 Maiano, Giuliano da. See Giuliano da Maiano Matteo de’Pasti, 113 Marrina, Lorenzo, 19 Martini, Francesco di Giorgio. See Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Simone, frescoes of captured towns, 22 Maestà, 2, 39 Mary Magdalen, Saint, 6, 184 as civic emblem of Siena, 187–88 Masaccio, 4 Matteo di Giovanni, 13, 110 Medici Cosimo (the Elder), 17 Lorenzo (the Magnificent), 17 Piero di Cosimo, 113 Meeting of Dido and Aeneas (workshop of Francesco di Giorgio), 114, 123, 124 Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon (Pinturicchio), 157, 160, 161, 162, 164 Mei, Francesco di Andrea, 87–88 Memoriale delle Offese, 31 Meraviglie da Milano (Bonvicino da Milano), 27 Metamorphoses (Ovid), 116 Michelangelo, 19 model books. See pattern books Montalcino, San Francesco, church of 32 and Siena, 32, 35 Montaperti, battle of, 30, 32, 173, 181 Monte dei Gentiluomini. See Gentiluomini, Monte del Monte del Nove. See Nove, Monte del Monte del Popolo. See Popolo, Monte del Monte dei Riformatori. See Riformatori, Monte dei monti, definition of, 6n18 discord between, 6, 10 Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena (Beccafumi),179 Biccherna panel (1539), 185

N

Naples, 18, 71, 151 Neroccio de’Landi, 13, 110, 121 Battle of Actium, 114, 125, 132–33 collaboration with Francesco di Giorgio, 109, 114, 120–22, 123 and n43, 129, 134 and Liberale da Verona, 131 Portrait of a Lady, 134 Saint Catherine Stigmatized, 174–75 Saint Sebastian, 123 Visit of Cleopatra to Antony, 114, 125, 126, 132–33 Niccolo dei Cori, 39, 41 commissions in the Palazzo Pubblico, 41; The Virgin and the Podestà, 40

206

INDEX Ninfale fiesolano (Boccaccio), 118–19 Nove, Monte del, 22, 29, 90, 94, 182–83, 187 government of, 2, 8, 10, 48

O

Oca Oratory. See under Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, church of Opusculum de architectura (Francesco di Giorgio), 125, 127, 129 orator, 167–68 Orioli, Pietro, 110 Sienese Offer the Keys of the City to the Virgin, 182, 183 Osservanza Master,122 Saint Anthony the Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold, 23 Ovid, 134 Art of Love, 118 Heroides, 136 Metamorphoses, 116

P

Pacchiarotti, Giacomo, Stigmatization of Saint Catherine, 178 Painting in Renaissance Siena (exhibit, Metropolitan Museum of Art), 12–14 palace façades, all’antica, 56–57, 68–78 Florentine, 54, 56–57, 59–63, 78 Gothic, 57–59, 78 orders on, 77 painted, 73, 76–77 palaces (Siena) at,Via di Pantaneto, 73 Via del Pellegrini, 73 Via di San Pietro 59, 61 Via dei Servia, 59 Via di Stalloreggi, 59, 61 Palazzo Bandini Piccolomini, 68, 70, 71 Palazzo di Biagio di Cecco Binducci, 57 Palazzo Bardi, 59 Palazzo Benassai–Urgurgieri, 66, 67 Palazzo Bichi Buonsignori, 56n25, 57 Palazzo Bichi Ruspoli. See Palazzo Rossi Palazzo Borghese, 71, 72, 73, 77 Palazzo Calusi–Giannini. See Casa Calusi–Giannini Palazzo del Capitano di Giustizia, 57, 58 Palazzo Chigi al Casato, 73, 76, 77 Palazzo Cinughi de’Pazzi, 57, 59 Palazzo Davizzi Davanzati (Florence), 54 Palazzo Francesconi, 77 Palazzo del Magnifico, 73, 75, 184 Palazzo Marsili, 57 Palazzo Medici (Florence), 16, 17, 59, 66 Palazzo Nuovo. See Palazzo Piccolomini Palazzo delle Papesse, 19, 59, 62 Palazzo Piccolomini, 18, 59–63, 64, 66, 73 Palazzo Piccolomini (Pienza), 63 Palazzo Petroni, 57

Palazzo Pubblico, 2, 22, 29–30, 35, 41–42, 44, 50, 52, 79, 162 Cappella dei Signori, 39 façade, 48, 51, 53, 78 Allegory of Good and Bad Government (Ambrogio Lorenzetti), 2–3, 22, 39 Effects of the Good Government in the City (Ambrogio Lorenzetti), 25 Sala del Consiglio, 39 Sala del Mappamundo, 22 Torre della Mangia (see Torre della Mangia) Palazzo del Rettore, 49–50 Palazzo Rossi, 53–54, 55, 56, 63, 66 Palazzo Rucellai (Florence), 152 Palazzo Salimbeni, 146, 148–50 Palazzo Sansedoni, 52–53 Palazzo Selvi Cinotti, 76 Palazzo Spannocchi, 18, 63, 66 acquisition of land for 17, 139–54 Palazzo Strozzi (Florence), 150 Palazzo Taia, 73, 74 Palazzo Tolomei, 35, 49–50, 63 Palazzo Urgurgieri. See Palazzo Benassai–Urgurgieri Palazzo Vai (Florence), 54 Palazzo Vecchio (Florence), 16 Palazzo del Vecchio, 63, 65, 66 Palazzo Venturi, 73 Palazzo Vescovi, 73, 76 Paolino del Signoraccio, Fra, 91 Partini, Giuseppe, 57, 149 Patrizi, Agostino, 18, 163 pattern books, 113, 118, 120, 125, 127, 132, 137 Florentine Picture Chronicle, 127–28, 136 Peruzzi, Baldassare, 76, 91 Petrarch, Francesco, Trionfi, 110, 112–13, 119 Triumph of Chastity, 118 Petrucci, Antonio di Checco, 8 Petrucci, Pandolfo, 8, 16, 183–84, 186–93 renovation of the high altar of the Duomo, 188–89 plot to overthrow, 10 rise to power, 9, 11 and Santo Spirito, 89–91 Photios, Biblioteca, 137 Pierozzi, Antonino, 83–84 Piazza del Campo. See Campo Piccolomini, family, 17, 110, 124, 152, 155, 157, 162, 164 Aeneas Sylvius (see Pius II [pope]) Andrea, 10–11, 59, 73, 158, 187, 189, 192 Caterina, 59 Francesco, 5, 17–18, 110, 155–71, 192 Giacomo, 59, 158, 177 Giovanni, 91 Piccolomini Altar, (Andrea Bregno), 158 Piccolomini Chapel, 157 Piccolomini Library, 17, 155–71, 156, 177–78 Aeneas Before James I of Scotland (Pinturicchio), 160 Aeneas Before Pope Eugenius IV (Pinturicchio), 160

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

INDEX Piccolomini Library, continued Aeneas Receives the Cardinal’s Hat (Pinturicchio), 160 Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona (Pinturicchio), 160, 168, 169, 170 Canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena (Pinturicchio), 17, 157, 164, 165, 178 Coronation of Pope Pius II (Pinturicchio), 160 Coronation of Pope Pius III (Pinturicchio), 158, 159, 160, 189 Council of Mantua (Pinturicchio), 160 Departure of Aeneas for Basel (Pinturicchio), 160 Frederick III Crowns Aeneas Poet Laureate (Pinturicchio), 160 Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon (Pinturicchio), 157, 160, 161, 162, 164 piece molds, 123–24 Pienza, 16–17 Palazzo Piccolomini (see Palazzo Piccolomin ([Pienza]) Saint Sebastian (Neroccio de’Landi), 123 pietra serena, 57, 71 Pinturicchio, Bernardino Aeneas Before James I of Scotland, 160 Aeneas Before Pope Eugenius IV, 160 Aeneas Receives the Cardinal’s Hat, 160 Arrival of Pius II at the Port of Ancona, 160, 168, 169, 170 Canonization of Saint Catherine of Siena, 17, 157, 160, 164, 165, 178 Coronation of Pope Pius II, 160 Coronation of Pope Pius III, 158, 159, 160, 189 Council of Mantua, 160 Departure of Aeneas for the Council of Basel, 160 Frederick III Crowns Aeneas Poet Laureate, 160 Meeting Between Frederick III and Eleanor of Aragon, 157, 160, 161, 162, 164 Pisanello, Antonio, 3 Pius II (pope), 5, 8, 14, 110, 143, 152, 155–71 architectural projects, 16, 147 canonization of St. Catherine of Siena, 16–17, 18, 78, 82, 174 and a crusade, 168, 170 Storia di due amanti, 129, 133 Pius II Making Francesco Piccolomini a Cardinal, 110 Pius III (pope). See Piccolomini, Francesco Platina, Bartolomeo, 167 Popolari, Monte dei, 8, 10 Porta Camollia, 39 Battle of, 190 Portrait of a Lady (Neroccio de’Landi), 134 Presentation of the Virgin (Biccherna panel), 182–83 Pseudo–Granacci, Triumph of Chastity, 120 Punishment of Psyche (Francesco di Giorgio), 132

Q

Quercia, Jacopo della. See Jacopo della Quercia Quintilian, 166–67

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context

207

R

Rape of Europa (Liberale da Verona), 129 Rape of Helen (Liberale da Verona), 129 Rape of Proserpine (Michele Ciampanti), 128 Riformatori, Monte dei, 8 Rome, Basilica of Maxentius, 101 depictions of, 21 Sistine Chapel, 102 Romulus and Remus, myth of, 35 Rossellino, Antonio and Benedetto, 151

S

Saint Anthony the Abbot Tempted by a Heap of Gold (Osservanza Master), 23 Saint Catherine (Andrea Vanni), 174 Saint Catherine Curing a Demoniac Woman (Francesco Vanni), 179 Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tulda (Sodoma), 179, 180 Saint Sebastian (Neroccio de’Landi), 123 Salimbeni family, 144, 146, 148 family enclave, 146, 147 Salimbeni, Neri di Neri, 147, 149 San Bartolomeo alla Badia Fiesolana. See Badia Fiesolana San Bernardino all’Osservanza (church of), 82, 94, 102–4 San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi, 94, 95 San Damiano, church of (Assisi), 81 crucifix in, 81 San Domenico, church of, 54, 82, 154, 174, 178 Cappella Maggiore, 151 Chapel of Saint Catherine (see Chapel of Saint Catherine) Saint Catherine (Andrea Vanni), 174 San Francesco, church of, 82, 94, 95, 105 and n58 Piccolomini Chapel, 157 San Marco (Florence), convent of, 90, 91 friars of, 83–84, 94, 101, 103, 106 museum, 106 San Martino, church of, 39 San Pietro a Ovile, church of, 144 San Salvatore al Monte, church of (Florence), 102 Sano di Pietro, 121–22, 124 Beato Pietro Alessandrino, 44 Coronation of the Virgin, 42 San Bernardino with Siena, 42, 43, 44 Santa Caterina in Fontebranda, church of Oca Oratory, 71, 178 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (Fungai), 175, 176 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (Neroccio de’Landi), 174–75 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (Pacchiarotti), 178 Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, church of (Florence), 102 Santa Maria Maddalena fuori Porta Tufi, church of, 187–88, 190 Santa Maria delle Nevi, church of, 71 Santa Maria dei Servi, church of, 39

208

INDEX Sant’Anna dei Lombardi, church of (Naples), 151 Santo Spirito, church of, 17–18, 86, 89, 92, 4, 93, 96, 9, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101 architecture of, 94–106 Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine of Siena (Beccafumi), 179 rebuilding of, 81–107 Savinus, Saint, 37 Savonarola, Girolamo, 86–88, 106 Sassetta (Stefano di Giovanni), 13–14, 19 Scene from a Novella (Liberale da Verona), 129 sculpture, Sienese, 19 Sforza, Ludovico (Duke of Milan), 9n30, 186–87, 189 Siena, appearance of, 28 civic mythology, 35, 39 dedication to the Virgin, 30, 41, 173, 179–86, 188–89 factional fighting, 32, 41, 91, 186–87 Ghibelline alliance, 36–37 patron saints, 37 podestà, 29, 39 rededication to the Virgin in 1483, 182–83, 188– 89 rededication to the Virgin Immacolata in 1526, 190 terzi, 29, 41 Sienese Gothic style, 2n5, 3, 16, 79, 188 Sienese Offer the Keys of the City to the Virgin (Pietro Orioli), 182, 183, 191–92 Sienese Renaissance style, 1, 4–5, 13–14, 18, 20, 79 Signorelli, Luca, 13 Sodoma (Giovanni Antonio Bazzi), 76, 90 Ecstasy of Saint Catherine, 179 Saint Catherine Prays for the Soul of Niccolò da Tulda, 179, 180 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine (Neroccio de’Landi), 178–79 Solomon and the Queen of Sheba (Francesco di Giorgio), 114, 124 Spannocchi, Ambrogio, 17, 63 139–54 biography of, 142–43 Spannocchi family, 142 Stigmatization of Saint Catherine, (Biccherna panel, 1498), 175, 177, 190 (Biccherna panel, 1546), 185, 186 (Fungai), 175, 176 (Neroccio de’Landi), 174–75 (Pacchiarotti), 178 (Sodoma), 178–79, 180 Storia di due amanti (Pius II, pope), 129, 133 Story of Coriolanus (workshop of Francesco di Giorgio), 114 Story of Joseph (Francesco di Giorgio), 114 Story of Paris (Francesco di Giorgio), 134, 135, 136–37 Story of Tobias (Liberale da Verona), 131

Story of Tuccia (workshop of Francesco di Giorgio), 114, 123 Strada Romana, 140–144, 149, 152, 154 Stratonice Master. See Ciampanti, Michele

T

Tabernacle, bronze (Vecchietta), 188 Taddeo di Bartolo, 39 Teseida (Boccaccio), 133 tettoio, 48, 53–54, 56 Torre della Mangia, 30, 35, 39, 162 relationship to Duomo belltower, 36, 41–42 Trionfi (Petrarch), 110, 112–13, 119 Triumph of David (Benvenuto di Giovanni), 109–10 Triumph of Chastity (Francesco di Giorgio), 110–12, 111, 114, 124–25 (Petrarch), 118 (Pseudo–Granacci), 120

U

Ufficiali sopra all’ornato, 53, 78, 140, 143, 146, 148– 51 Ufficiali dei terratici, 148 Urbano da Cortona, 19 urban renewal, public policy in support of, 140–42, 148, 152

V

Vanni, Andrea, 22n1 Saint Catherine, 174 Vanni, Francesco, Saint Catherine Curing a Demoniac Woman, 179 Vannoccio Biringucci, Oreste, 105 Vasari, Giorgio, 3–4, Vecchietta (Lorenzo di Pietro), 4, 19, 121 Bronze Tabernacle, 188 Venus, 116, 119–20, 136–37 Via Francigena, 48. See also Strada Romana Victor, Saint, 37 Villa I Tatti, Settignano, Punishment of Psyche (Francesco di Giorgio), 132 Visconti, Giangaleazzo, 36, 187 Visconti family, 8, 37, 41 Virgin and the Podestà (Niccolò dei Cori), 40 Visit of Cleopatra to Antony (Neroccio de’Landi), 114, 125, 126

W

War of 1555, 8, 11–12, 94 windows cloth (see finestre impannate) glass, 56n25 workshop practice in Siena, 18, 121–22 wrought iron, on Sienese palace façades, 51–52, 54, 56-57, 66, 68, 73, 76–77

Renaissance Siena: Art in Context