This and That

Random bits of my life

Inside Siena Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 21, 2013

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Main altar, close up:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Detail of vaulted ceiling over aisle, with painted stars:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Nicolo Pisano’s pulpit (1265-1268), richly carved with scenes from the Last Judgement:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

The coffering of the central dome of the cathedral is trompe l’oeil:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Dome and nave:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

There are 172 busts of popes over the aisle (no, I didn’t count them. I got that from Wikipedia):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Detail of popes:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Wall tomb of Bishop Tommaso Piccolomini (1484):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Painting, Coronation of Pius III, by Bernardino di Betto (Pinturicchio) in 1504, a year after the pope’s death:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Cardinal Petroni’s tomb, by Tino di Camaino (1318):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

St. Sabinus of Spoleto (originally polychrome stucco, gilded in 1704):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Fresco of Marriage of Esther and Ahasuerus, by Ventura di Archangelo Salimbeni (1611):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

She-Wolf of Siena surrounded by emblems of the allied cities (1373), one of the oldest floor panels:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Part of Pinturicchio’s Allegory of the Hill of Wisdom (1504):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Wheel of Fortune (1372):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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One Response to “Inside Siena Cathedral”

  1. Judy Montel said

    maybe not “death by art” but definitely – losing much of what is left of one’s marbles by art – the only explanation for my thinking – Wheel of Fortune, 1372!! Vanna White doesn’t look THAT old… : )

    On Mon, Jan 21, 2013 at 4:26 PM, This and Th

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