Inside Siena Cathedral
Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 21, 2013
Another installment in the “Death by Art” march!
The photo above shows the Oculus by Duccio di Buoninsegna (1288) over the apse, one of the oldest examples of Italian stained glass. The silhouette in front is a large lamp hanging from the ceiling.
Photography inside Siena Cathedral is permitted without flash or tripod. The interior is very dark, so most of these photos were taken at ISO 800.
View towards main altar and apse:
Main altar, close up:
Detail of vaulted ceiling over aisle, with painted stars:
Nicolo Pisano’s pulpit (1265-1268), richly carved with scenes from the Last Judgement:
The coffering of the central dome of the cathedral is trompe l’oeil:
Dome and nave:
There are 172 busts of popes over the aisle (no, I didn’t count them. I got that from Wikipedia):
Detail of popes:
Wall tomb of Bishop Tommaso Piccolomini (1484):
Painting, Coronation of Pius III, by Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) in 1504, a year after the pope’s death:
Piccolomini altar, by Andrea Bregno and several artists of his workshop (1481-1486). The four niche statues (1501-1504) were created by the young Michelangelo, who had just created the Pieta in St. Peter’s Basilica:
Cardinal Petroni’s tomb, by Tino di Camaino (1318):
St. Sabinus of Spoleto (originally polychrome stucco, gilded in 1704):
Fresco of Marriage of Esther and Ahasuerus, by Ventura di Archangelo Salimbeni (1611):
The mosaic floor is one of the wonders of the cathedral. It is covered most of the year, but can be viewed in September. I’m sure most of it was covered when we were there. I took only a few photos of the floor. The History Blog describes the floor panels in detail.
Floor panel depicting Hermes Trismegistus:
She-Wolf of Siena surrounded by emblems of the allied cities (1373), one of the oldest floor panels:
Part of Pinturicchio’s Allegory of the Hill of Wisdom (1504):
Wheel of Fortune (1372):