32 Route 5.
SIENA. Opera del Duomo.
The exterior of the entrance-wall is adorned with beautiful marble sculp¬
tures by Lor. di Mariano (ca. 1497). Over the door is a fresco by
Pinturicchio (Coronation of Pius III., who reigned 27 days only, in 1503).
The interior, with its fine tiled floor, and its murai paintings and frescoed
vaulting executed in 1505-7 by Pinturicchio and his pupils, is a marvel
of harmonious decoration. The ten frescoes on the walls represent scenes
from the life of JEneas Sylvius Piccolomini of Pienza (p. 49), Archbishop
of Siena (1450-58), and afterwards Pope Pius II. (1458-64) : (1) Departure of
iEneas Sylvius for the Council of Basle ; (2) iEneas Sylvius in presence of
King James I. of Scotland, to whom he had been sent by the Council ; (3) His
coronation as a poet by Emperor Frederick III. at Frankfort in 1445;
(4) iEneas Sylvius doing homage to Pope Eugene IV. in the name of
the Emperor; (5) Betrothal of Emperor Frederick III. to Eleonora of
Portugal at Siena by ./Eneas Sylvius ; (6) iEneas Sylvius created a cardinal
by Pope Calixtus III. ; (7) iEneas Sylvius elected Pope Pius II. ; (8) Pius II.
at the diet of princes in Mantua ; (9) Canonization of Catharine of Siena ;
(10) Death of Pius II. at Ancona, while preaching a crusade against the
Turks. The dainty grotesques in the spandrels near the entrance are
especially well preserved. Designs for these frescoes are now preserved
in the Uffizi (that of No. 1), in the Brera at Milan (No. 3), and by the
Duke of Devonshire at Chatsworth (No. 4). — The missals, embellished
with miniatures, also deserve attention: No. 5 and No. 9 by Liberale da
Verona, No. 12 by Girolamo da Cremona (ali dating from 1467-75), and
No. 11 by Sano di Pietro. — On a fine Renaissance pedestal stands a
famous antique * Group of the Graces (much mutilated), found in the
Palazzo Colonna at Rome about 1460 by Pius II. and presented by him
to the cathedral library. From this work Raphael is said to have made
his first studies from the antique. By the wall at the back is a bronze
statue of the Risen Christ, by Fulvio Signorini (1595), which is placed
on the high-altar at Easter.
Opposite the S.E. side of the cathedral, in the corner where the
steps ascending from San Giovanni terminate (p. 29), is the former
Opera del Duomo (PI. C, 6), now the Cathedral Museum, which
contains several interesting works of art. In the entrance-passage
is the custodian's beli (ticket, admitting also to the Capp. San Gio¬
vanni and the Libreria, 1 fr. ; best time 10-4).
The hall on the Ground Floor contains a painted terracotta figure
of St. John the Evangelist, by Giac. Cozzarelli (?) ; sculptures from the
Cappella di Piazza (p. 27), and others from the facade of the cathedral;
an antique sarcophagus with sea-gods; *Graffiti from the cathedral
pavement (comp. p. 30). — On the First Floor is a reduced copy of the
entire cathedral pavement. — On the Second Floor are several plans
for the cathedral ; a painting of the Baptism of Christ, by Andrea Pucci-
nelli, surnamed ti Brescianino ; handsome embroideries ; crosiers; ring
of Pius II. Also several early Sienese paintings, the chief of which is
the large *Picture by Duccio di Buoninsegna: on the right the Madonna
enthroned, with angels and saints, the once highly revered 'Majestas' (see
p. 25), with the inscription: Mater Sancta Dei, sis causa Senis requiei,
sis Ducio vita, te quia pinxit ita. On the left is the Life of Christ,
in 26 sections, which originally formed the back of the Majestas. Also
f our saints by Ambr. Lorenzetti ; a Byzantine Madonna of the 12th cent. ;
a Nativity of the Virgin by Pietro Lorenzetti (1342), in a life-like genre
style; a Story of the Cross by the same.
Adjoining the Museum is the Palazzo Reale (PI. B, C, 6), erected
by Bern. Buontalenti, now the Prefecture. Beyond, in the Via del
Poggio, are the Scuole Regie, the church of which contains a painted
wooden *Statue of St. Nicholas of Bari, by Neroccio di Bartolomeo.