Painting in Siena Cathedral
The paintings in Siena Cathedral, be they panel, canvas or fresco cycle, offer a rich and many-faceted overview not simply of Sienese art but of the broader cultural picture in Italy from the 13th to the 19th centuries. The oldest painting is a picture known as the Madonna del Voto, or Madonna of the Vow. Attributed to Dietisalvi di Speme, it is of the greatest religious and civic importance for the city of Siena. The Renaissance is well represented by the lavish decorations in the Piccolomini Library built off the Cathedral's north aisle where the priest's house once stood. Alongside the Library, the Chapel of St. John the Baptist hosts a series of scenes frescoed by Pinturicchio but partly repainted by Francesco Rustici and Cesare Maccari. And finally, artists from the Mannerist (Domenico Beccafumi), Late Mannerist (Ventura Salimbeni) and Baroque (Carlo Maratti) eras, or Caravaggesque painters such as Mattia Preti, all contributed over the centuries to the embellishment of one of Europe's most illustrious cathedrals.