This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Siena Cathedral’

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 23, 2013

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

The colorful Pinturicchio frescoes of the Piccolomini Library are stunning. The wall panels depict the life of Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-64), later Pope Pius II, and were commissioned by his nephew Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini, in 1492. The ceiling panels depict mythological subjects.

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

The statue visible below is the Three Graces, a Roman copy of the Greek original:

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Liturgical manuscripts:

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

Piccolomini Library, Siena Cathedral

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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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Siena Cathedral

Posted by Avital Pinnick on January 20, 2013

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, covered in black and white marble, was completed in the thirteenth century. The direction of the church is unusual. Usually the “front” door faces west, with the high altar on the east side, and the main axis of the church running in an east-west direction. Some sources say this cathedral’s axis runs north-south because it was going to be expanded so that the present nave would have been the transept of a church twice the size. I checked a map and the cathedral actually runs at a diagonal — its facade faces south-west, with the high altar on the north-east. This doesn’t mean a whole lot except that I couldn’t use the usual terms like north side, western facade, etc.

The first photo (above) is a close-up of the cupola on top of the dome. As you may have gathered, I love photographing architectural details and sculpture.

The next two photos show the cathedral and its campanile, taken with a wide-angle lens. The piazza in front of the cathedral is not very large, which means that using a normal lens would require stitching several shots together to capture the whole building.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

View of the cathedral over the wall, part of the unfinished nave:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Massive open doorway leading from the street to the unfinished nave. There were plans to double the size of the cathedral, but the Black Death and other problems stopped construction, which was never resumed. Now the unfinished nave is used as a parking area.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Inside of  unfinished nave, with Romanesque arch.

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Close-up of the arch (not easy to get without a tripod because it was roughly the height of the church, but the bright sun helped):

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Facade, viewed from the side of the church:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Close-up of facade:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

Portico over door facing unfinished nave:

Siena Cathedral, Italy

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